Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Here's Looking At You by Mhairi McFarlane
This book was so enthralling, I actually screamed in frustration at the characters multiple times and that's when I know an author has done their job brilliantly.
Anna is a wonderful main character, she's smart, funny, and gorgeous - all in all a well rounded female character - we learn about her past slowly over the course of the book and she/it does not disappoint. What I love about the Anna character is that she is strong and knows herself as a person, but also isn't afraid to dig deeper and allow herself to be weaker because humans and females are not 2 dimensional characters. Her arc is dealt with beautifully and at no point in the narrative is her thought process given in a manner that makes you question her judgement. One of my favourite character to read about/from.
James is also an well rounded character in that who he is at the beginning of his narrative, both chronologically and and within his time as an adult. He could have so easily become an unsympathetic character yet Mhairi is so talented that even at his worst you still can't help but love him.
More minor character and all outstanding, they each have their distinct personalities and none are written as cliches which can be so easy to do. Aggy, Anna's sister, is away with the fairies but still endearing. Michelle gives off a "takes no shit" vibe but more importantly, she's always there for her friend but not at the detriment of her own character development.
and then we have Laurence, an absolutely despicable character that would show up in pantomimes and be horrendously booed and for good reason. Again, wonderful writing on McFarlane's part as he is one of the most sleazy characters I've read and thankfully isn't forced to go down the whole sleazy=rape route that can sometimes be harrowing, even to read
The story is so compelling, it doesn't ever feel forced, or rushed, it works in it's own pace and it's definitely worth the wait. This book deserves all 5 stars, despite not thinking it possible, it manages to surpass her previous book which is amazing because that too is an stellar output. As a solid Mhairi McFarlane fan, i wait patiently (okay, not so patiently) for her next book.
also available here