When browsing Amazon, it was impossible to ignore the reviews for Who’s That Girl? as critic after critic praised its comedy and wit, with some comparing it to One Day which, as I have mentioned before, I loved. Never the girl to turn down a ‘laugh-out-loud’ rom-com, I decided that this had to be my next book of choice. I was intrigued to get reading, seeing as the front cover mentions “She kissed the groom. She’s not the bride,”, and I couldn’t wait to see how this would unfold.
I loved that the book started in media res, rather than being introduced to the main character, Edie, the reader gradually gets to know her over the course of the first few chapters. McFarlane’s chatty and friendly style of writing was immediately obvious, which meant that, even from the very beginning, I didn’t want to stop reading. The tone was very light-hearted, which made for very easy reading. On top of this, Edie made for a great protagonist, she was unfortunate to the point that it was funny and I could feel empathise with her, but McFarlane didn’t overdo it for the sympathy vote. The author manages to portray the dynamic of the relationship with her family, and others around her perfectly, with aspects that I think everyone can identify with, so that Edie feels like a real-life, multi-dimensional character with real-life relationships.
The main event of the novel comes about fairly early on, which is good as it allows for the rest of the story to unfold after it. I would say that the few chapters after this main event were my favourite- I was stuck in the dilemma of feeling very sorry for Edie, yet laughing at the reactions of others about what happened. I found the character of Lucie particularly humorous. Not because she was witty or intelligent, but because she was very much the stereotypical and clichéd mean girl- always going too far.
I appreciated the array of different male characters in the narrative, as it allowed for a varied representation of the different men in any woman’s life and how, sometimes, they can create as much drama as other girls!
The narrative wasn’t such that I didn’t know what was going to happen next, it was more a matter of when, and that is another thing that kept me reading- although there were some surprises along the ay, which revealed deeper insights to certain characters’ personalities. I wanted to know when Jack was going to get his comeuppance, when Edie would stand up for herself, and when the proclamation of love would come out. However, while for the majority of the progression of the narrative was fairly predictable, the ending didn’t quite happen as I had imagined. This wasn’t necessarily a negative thing, as it did reach a compromised happy conclusion, but I couldn’t help feel a little disappointed that it wasn’t the ‘fairy tale’ it was looking to be.
With all considered, I would definitely recommend Who’s That Girl? to anyone looking for a humours and and heart-warming story, especially if the clichéd fairytale endings have gotten old for you now. Though I perhaps didn’t laugh-out-loud, and I couldn’t have really compared it to One Day, the novel was definitely filled with humour and the author’s talent for writing was obvious for the entirety. Something I would say is that McFarlane’s passion and dedication to this book seemed to shine through, and I think that is what made it so enjoyable.