Book review number three! Sorry there has been such a gap in my blog and vlog. I’ve been playing Lysistrata in my university’s production of Lysistrata by Aristophanes this week and, not surprisingly, things have been rather hectic. I am considering, by the way, maybe reviewing Lysistrata in one of these blogs? I know it’s a play, not a book, but it’s very funny and very well written (I love the fact that humour during Ancient Greece is still appropriately funny today). But this book review is on Giovanna Fletcher’s ‘Billy and Me’. Now, I love Gi Flether, but I have mixed opinions about this book and I can’t quite pin down why. At first, I thought it may be the writing style that I didn’t like, but now I think it might just be the characters… Just a quick note here, before I review the book. This blurb seems to tell a completely different story to what’s inside. I found this really annoying. Yes, Sophie May has a secret in the book, but it’s not the premise of the entire story (nor is it a very good one). I’m not a fan of books that lie on the back…
The blurb reads: ‘Sophie May has a secret. One that she’s successfully kept for years. It’s meant that she’s had to give up her dreams of going to university and travelling the world to stay in her little village, living with her mum and working in the local teashop. But then she meets the gorgeous Billy- an actor with ambitions to make it to the top. And when they fall in love, Sophie is whisked away from the comfort of her life into Billy’s glamorous- but ruthless- world.’
I give this book 2/5 for how put-down-able it was. This is a nice, friendly book but I wouldn’t say it was gripping. The story line is relatively fast paced and Fletcher uses lots of different settings for her characters to be in. I’m a rom-com lover, and predictable endings are part of that package, but I did find this book slightly too obvious. Firstly, the blurb sort of gives away how the love story goes, but also the whole time I was reading it, I found myself aware of what would happen next. For this reason, mainly, I would say the book is not one for people who love a twist.
I give ‘Billy and Me’ 2/5 for characters. I know, low score again. The characters were really basic… although Fletcher has made a complicated past for one of them, it doesn’t seem to do much to pad the character out. I struggle, when reading a book, to sympathise with characters I’m not fond of, and I felt this way with both of the main characters in the book. Why? I have no idea. They both seem like very nice people. I just couldn’t relate, and that seems to have had an effect on how little I cared about what happened in the end (harsh but true).
I give the book 3/5 for originality. The storyline is not one you read often (and I also think it may be linked to Giovanna’s real life situation- married to a celebrity) and that made the plot more interesting. However, Fletcher seems to have tried to pile in too many story lines within one book. The beginning is calm, soft and unpredictable, and then suddenly the whole story shifts into a completely different atmosphere that is very easy to read, all the while there being an underlying story which doesn’t really get resolved. I found myself re-reading the first couple of chapters as if they were an entirely different book.
Overall I give Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher 2/5. This is my lowest score so far, and I feel rubbish about it (I may or may not have watched all of Giovanna’s YouTube videos and developed a girl crush of sorts). I really wanted to enjoy the book more, but I think this is one I won’t be able to get into. She has written other books, which I will review later on, so hopefully they will strike more of a chord with me. Don’t get me wrong, this is a nice read. It’s easy and calm. It’s just not what I expected, and I have read many better romantic comedies (shudder at the thought of insulting Gi).
Thank you for reading my third blog! My next book review will be the Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson (nearly finished reading it) and the vlog for this review is available at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUVbkvW7oss6mwjckRTDiLg/videos