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Publisher's Summary

What happens when the one that got away comes back? Find out in this sparkling debut from Mhairi McFarlane.

"Think of the great duos of history. We're just like them."

"You mean like Kylie and Jason? Torvill and Dean? Sonny and Cher?"

"I think you’ve missed the point, Rachel."

Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart.

It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away. They’d been partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on: Ben is married. Rachel is not. Yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend. Hilarious, heartbreaking and everything in between, you’ll be hooked from their first hello.

©2013 Mhairi McFarlane (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"Very very witty and funny. Left me in awe…a total gem." (Marian Keyes)
"The funniest, most romantic book I've read since One Day." (Lisa Jewell)
"I loved this book. It made me laugh and reminded me that anything's possible in love - and in everything else for that matter." (Minnie Driver)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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    29
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    12
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Performance

  • 3.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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  • Story

Narrator ruins it

Great book by one of my new fave authors - but yikes! The narrator! She sounds like Ringo Starr. Heavy accent probably won't faze the UK listeners but really hard to understand for me - and not helped by the fact that she speaks very rapidly, runs all the words together, and tends to mumble and fade out at the end of sentences. Even weirder, she not only doesn't bother to change voices with different characters, she actually goes up when voicing the character of Ben. Makes him sound like a little girl. Almost impossible to distinguish what characters she's voicing with little or no change - or an odd change like with Ben. The storyline is great, but this is one that might have been better to purchase and read!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Awfully Read

Would you try another book from Mhairi McFarlane and/or Julie Hesmondhalgh?

Can't understand a word of that guttural voice and I am not reviewing the story, as I cannot listen to this. But I can't send the review without giving the story stars too. So sorry if I am unfair with the story.
The reading is ghastly. Is this scottish? I have nothing against scottish, just don't understand it and I thought I was buying an english book. Should have warned me.

What was most disappointing about Mhairi McFarlane’s story?

Nothing

How could the performance have been better?

In everything, specially in the accent and the aesthetics of the voice.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

irritation and impatience. Makes me want to cancel my Audible subscription.

Any additional comments?

I find it difficult to download the books onto my iMac, but that may be my own ignorance. The audible manager works only for windows.
I think the world is separating not into left and right, first world and third world, but into Apple freaks on the one hand and Microsoft freaks on the other. Those people really unbelievably totally disrespect and hinder each other!

I hope Audible can help me get the books onto iTunes on my iMac. (By the way, I have nothing against Microsoft, they have many advantages, but I just happen to have an iMac.)
And then onto my iPad and iPhone. Would be grateful for your help.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Horrible performance!

Narration was horrible! I could not understand what the narrator was saying most times. I continue to listen because I got drawn into the story.

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Narration was BRUTAL

I could not clearly understand the narrator's accent. I would listen again with a different narrator.

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  • Story

Good (vague spoilers)

Any additional comments?

The accent was there, deal with it. Yes it was heavy and a little garbled at first but you can acclimatize. I found it disappeared after a few chapters.

I think this author is a bit of a star. I've listen to other British chick lit (Kinsella, Keyes, etc) and this one is the best easily. Very sharp, funny analogies and a gifted ability to observe the world, which is what the best kind of author does. If you're going to tell us about things we see every day for God sake make it fun.

The only reason I didn't give it top stars was the ending. Yes it was happy, as these things have to be, but it was VERY rushed a bit incongruous when you compared it to the rest of the story, which was extraordinarily slow and quite values driven. There was a lot of angst in this book about extramarital/extra-relationship affairs. I'm not very moralistic about these things. I can quite happily read a book about an affair. But given the outspokenness of all the characters about the wrongness of infidelity, the final union of Rachel and Ben - even though a divorce was in the works - didn't ring quite right. I think the author wanted to skirt a controversial line but didn't want to commit to it. She should have committed.

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Horrible narration

The narrator was impossible to understand. It was not the accent as much as her stringing words together to create incoherent sentences. There was no change in her voice, speed of speech, or tone for different characters so it was impossible to follow and understand which characters were speaking. I should have listened to other reviews and skipped this one, but I liked "Here's looking at you" so much, I had hoped the story would be enough to overcome the narrator. Very very disappointed.

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Great easy listen

Loved this book, well written, funny and really great characters. It is written in a regional way so if ur not familiar with north of England terms / accents I'd imagine there would be a few bits that didn't make sense.

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Realistic love story

I will first say that I'm so lucky I was able to tolerate the narration long enough to partially acclimate to the accent. There really should be a version for American listeners. I'm sure it's missed out on some great parts because it was so fast and difficult for me to understand. However, the story really was worth it. I really appreciate the humanity of the characters, the humor, and the authenticity of the interactions.

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  • Victoria
  • Manukau, New Zealand
  • 06-27-16

Gave up after 5 hours

Really struggled with this one, the narration was boring and difficult to follow, the story never kicked in and chopped and changed every few minutes between past and present without warning. I imagine it flows better in written form but for me this did not make a good audio book. Bought this based on really enjoying another audio book by the same author.

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Not perfect but certainly compelling

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book because the narrative is funny and interesting and, after the first few chapters, really sucks you in

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mindy! Hilarious and so unique.

Which character – as performed by Julie Hesmondhalgh – was your favorite?

Mindy, again. Thought she did a great job of her loudness and over-the-top emotion.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I felt angry more than a few times, indignant some, and remarkably sad throughout.

Any additional comments?

It IS hard to understand at first, given the accent. But it gets easier. And by the end, it's like a familiar Scottish friend reading you a story.

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  • Saffy
  • 02-28-13

A real gem!

What a lovely surprise this audiobook was. It looks like a standard chick lit, which I would usually avoid listening to. However, it is a real gem! It is perfectly read by Julie Hesmondhalgh ('Hayley' to us Corrie fans!), it's funny, moving and for me, full of nostalgia (for my student days in Manchester). I became completely immersed in the characters lives and was very sad to finish it. Can't wait for the next book by Mhairi McFarlane.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Maya
  • 06-02-13

Best book I have listened to for ages!

hThis is a fantastic book from a great new chick-lit talent. I have listened to it twice and absolutely loved it. The narrator's Sheffield accent takes a little bit of getting used to but I would urge you to bear with it. It's a gripping 'will they - won't they?' storyline with the mystery of what happened between the male and female characters in the past as a constant theme throughout the book.

I am eagerly anticipating Mhairi McFarlane's next book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mooma
  • 03-09-13

Loved this book...

Having already read some of this book in paperback, I was a bit worried that the narrator might not interpret the characters in the way I had in my head, but this wasn't an issue. The book is both funny and touching. If you didn't get on with how the book was narrated, I urge you buy the paperback/Kindle/iBooks version as it's a lovely story. Over 1000 5/4 star reviews on Amazon are not wrong. I can't wait for Mhairi's next book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeanette
  • 02-06-16

Brilliant - it had me at hello

Really loved it - funny, witty - believable characters - loved Julie's narration!! Great read!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • comp lit
  • 08-06-15

Super listen!

What made the experience of listening to You Had Me at Hello the most enjoyable?

The story didn't go as expected and a lot happened.

What did you like best about this story?

The characters were very engaging, the protagonist was clever and funny, and the narrator read it very well.

What about Julie Hesmondhalgh’s performance did you like?

She paused at exactly the right places, and spoke just the way speech actually works.

Any additional comments?

I really loved this listen - it was easy without being stupid, it was fun and engaging and kept me entertained, but it wasn't complicated. It was clever and funny and I cared about what was happening. It wasn't predictable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jacqueline Coyne
  • 08-05-15

Good but not great!

I really enjoyed this book but it's no where as good as Here's Looking At You by the same author! Would recommend but again no where as good as the others!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ann D
  • 06-22-14

Well written, but the narration was all wrong!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend the book and I may well read it myself. Unfortunately, after sticking with it for several hours, I have to 'return' the audio book due to the narration. Julie Hesmonhalgh is a fine actress, but sadly, this narration was totally wrong!

What did you like best about this story?

The characters were written so well. It all felt so familiar. I know people like that, with the same sense of humour etc. The story is funny and intelligent.

How could the performance have been better?

Julie really needed to tone-down her very broad Sheffield accent for this (although given the book was set in Manchester, she may have been told to read it that way, in which case the fault lies with someone else). She is obviously capable of reading with a softer accent, and with a relatively 'received' English accent, as she did so for some characters. Notwithstanding the accent, Julie's narration would have been 5*. The pace, tone, emphasis and portrayal of mood and emotion was perfect.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Yes!

Any additional comments?

I am from Manchester and therefore comfortable with Northern accents, but Julie's when full-on was too much for me to listen to for hours. I was sad not to have been able to listen to the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bibliophile
  • 07-05-13

Not what I expected and really good

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, well-written debut novel, portraying today's society from the viewpoint of a 31-year-old single woman...

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I would have changed the end and made Rachel's behave less embarrassingly in some scenes.

What does Julie Hesmondhalgh bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Her accent really brings Rachel to life and she gives each character an individual voice.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

“Do nothing, and nothing happens. Life is about decisions. You either make them or they're made for you, but you can't avoid them.” (quote from the book itself)

Any additional comments?

"Very very witty and funny. Left me in awe...a total gem." (Marian Keyes)"The funniest, most romantic book I've read since One Day." (Lisa Jewell)...caused me to have fairly wrong expectations. Yes, "You Had Me at Hello" is funny in some parts and also romantic - but to me it is mainly a realistic book, sometimes witty, sometimes tragic and mostly a well-written tale about a 31-year-old woman, trying to find a new way in life, after having lived in a relationship with her fiance Rhys for the last 13 years. One star taken off because Rachel made me cringe in a few scenes when she behaved quite out of character - reminding me of the bad bits in "Bridged Jones". It is more like "One Day" or "You Before Me", both books I treasure because they are not shallow, have laugh-aloud moments and characters that seemed like real people after a few chapters. Just less romance (in my opinion) due to the break-up situation. Read it or listen to it, it is much more than an average summer read - just don't so if you just split up with someone, it might be a bit too painful. I would not be surprised if it turned up on the big screen next year.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ms. J. K. Campbell
  • 07-19-17

A Rollercoaster you don't want to end

This book is thoroughly enjoyable....unputdownable. It has everything....drama, laughter and tears. It's a classic will they or won't they. Enjoy

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  • Cristina
  • 01-18-17

Absolutely dreadful narration

Been listening to this book for 15 and already feel that I need hearing aid

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  • Amelia
  • 02-09-15

Good not great

I absolutely love 'it's not me, it's you' and adored the main characters Delia - so was really excited to listen to this. Unfortunately I just couldn't like the main character Rachel - not sure if it was the the narrators voice but i just 'click' with her. The story was good and listenable but definitely wouldn't listen again. A bit disappointing

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Emily
  • 12-20-16

Accent difficult to understand

Story was lovely. really enjoyed it. The accent was a little bit difficult to understand but apart from that I am very happy with this book.

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