Sunday, 12 April 2015

Book review: You're The One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher

"Maddy, dressed in white, stands at the back of the church. At the end of the aisle is Rob - the man she's about to marry. Next to Rob is Ben - best man and the best friend any two people ever had. 
And that's the problem.
Because if it wasn't Rob waiting for her at the altar, there's a strong chance it would be Ben. Loyal and sensitive Ben has always kept his feelings to himself, but if he turned round and told Maddy she was making a mistake, would she listen? And would he be right?
Best friends since childhood, Maddy, Ben and Rob thought their bond was unbreakable. But love changes everything. Maddy has a choice to make but will she choose wisely? Her heart, and the hearts of the two best men she knows, depend on it..."

You're The One That I Want took me back to my childhood and my schooldays, where hormones and emotions are rife. Giovanna has the ability to make every single character jump off the page and you are immediately engaged with their thought and feelings, rooting for them to succeed at whatever they do. 

The story follows Maddie, Ben and Rob who are best friends and together make the 'tripod'. It's narrated by Maddie and Ben, with a small bit of narration from Robert in the form of his speech at his wedding to Maddie, which starts each chapter. You're The One That I Want begins on Maddie's wedding day - as she is about to walk up the isle she reflects on her relationships with the two main men in her life and if she's made the right decision to marry Rob and not be with Ben, which immediately makes for a gripping and intriguing start.  

I liked the male/female narrative as it provided two very different angles to the same story and also provided you with a really insight into how each character is feeling and dealing with their emotions. It follows Maddy and Ben's stories from the age of nine up to twenty six, focusing on the key moments of their lives, and their friendship, in this timeframe.  

I will admit that personally I found the start of the book slightly slower than the rest, mainy when it covers their time at primary school. However, this time is when their strong friendship is formed and really explains why and how the emotions and events that the three of them go through effect them so much. You understand just how much their friendship means to each of them and what they would do to keep it in place. Once it got to the time of them being at high school I found the book much more fast-paced and exciting and, towards the end, I couldn't put it down - I just HAD To know where the three of them would end up (and who with!) 

I resinated with the main character Maddie on a personal level. Not because of the love triangle element (I'm nowhere near that exciting!) but because of the strong friendships she had with Rob and Ben. She is a tomboy, and although it is seen as strange that she'd rather hang round with two boys, she does so anyway. That was me. When I was growing up I lived in a small village and so my evenings were spent 'playing out' (and when we were older and cooler 'hanging out') with a group of five wonderful boys who I am still firm friends with now. I was best friends with all of them, but one in particular was more than that. This boy is now my other half and we've been together for a longgg time and lived together for the past two years :) No love triangles here, but it certainly made me relate to Maddy on a personal level and become absorbed in her story. 

My favourite character though was Robert. Sure, the story is narrated by Ben and Maddy but I think that's what made me like Robert the most. I don't want to spoil anything but I'm sure if you read it you may question my choice, as I admit he is flawed. But that's what makes him realistic and, overall, he is a lovely, kind boy that falls in love with his best friend. He would do anything for Maddie and, apart from a few immature teenage moments, is happy and in love. You don't see the story from his side and perhaps if you could I'd feel differently, but I thought he was a wonderful character that I had a slight crush on! 

This is a funny, engaging novel that explores friendships and relationships in an interesting, beautiful way. Although I am team Robert, it is a difficult choice as both the main men in this story are wonderful characters and you can completely see why Maddy is torn between them. I haven't read Billy & Me (Giovanna's debut novel) yet, but after this I know I will have to as she is a fantastic author with a real talent for making a story, and it's characters, jump of the page. 

Buy You're The One That I Want on Amazon 
Pre-order Giovanna's next novel 'Dream A Little Dream' here. It is released on June 18th and is sure to be a must-read - I can't wait! 
Follow Giovanna on twitter @MrsGiFletcher 
or take a look at her fab website-

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