Book Review: Here’s Looking At You by Mhairi McFarlane

It’s 1997 and Anna’s dream comes true when the oh- so-handsome and charming James asks to perform with her at a their secondary school Mock Rock show. Quite rightly, Anna is thrilled as any girl would be if their crush made such a gesture. If this were a Jane Austen novel she would have swooned! But, the opening chapters of Here’s Looking At You is far from a love story; it is a story of the bully and the bullied.

Here’s Looking At You is brilliant in so many ways. Anna is probably one of my favourite characters. She goes from being bullied because of her physical appearance to living her dreams as professor.I love that Anna is such a real character who is confident on her best days and uncertain on her worse. This protagonist is so easy to relate to because of her transformation, both physically and mentally. Smart, funny and ‘extraordinary’, Anna still has old wounds to deal with, and McFarlane handles this so well.

James Fraser. He really is one of those easy to hate characters. Trust me, you’ll understand when you read the novel. But, (sigh) there is hope for guys that used to be silly, stupid and immature. There were times when I wanted to jump into the novel and give James a good kick. Nonetheless, I’ll admit he wasn’t all bad.

I don’t know if McFarlane was trying give me a headache, bloodshot eyes and a runny noes, because this novel has some totally heartfelt moments. So yes, if you’re a crier than get lots of tissue (I managed to hold back those tears!)

As always McFarlane kicks ass at writing dialogue and creating characters to compliment her leading stars. Plus, Anna’s family live in Barking, East London- I live near there!

My only critique: it was a little slow at times and I wish there wereemore page time with Michelle and Daniel, Anna’s best friends.

Here’s Looking At You has a pretty cover. However, this novel is more than a pretty story. There’s regret, love, arguments, humiliation and revelation. I would definitely read it again….and again… and again.

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