Published by Penguin, £6.99
Actress and freelance journalist Giovanna Fletcher has taken to this whole novel writing malarkey like a duck to water. Her debut, Billy and Me, went straight to the top of the charts upon release last summer – and it appears her second title, You’re The One That I Want, will do the same.
The great thing about Giovanna’s writing is how she manages to somehow encompass her own spirit into every story. There’s a lust for life, bursts of emotion and explicit kindness that is sewn into her main characters – it’s no wonder that at just a few pages in, you begin to fall in love with them.
As Maddy Hurst takes her first steps down the aisle, she sees her beaming husband-to-be, Robert, waiting for her. Next to him is Ben, the best man and their best friend – a friend who would gladly give anything to swap places with the groom.
Growing up, Maddy had two best friends – strikingly cute and confident Robert Miles and the equally adorable Ben Gilbert. Since becoming pals at the tender age of nine, they have been inseparable.
Fast forward 10 years and the friends are as close knit as ever. Maddy is dating and in love with Robert and Ben has become her rock as they take on student life together at Bristol. What more could a girl want?
But with two boys who adore her and protect her every move, Maddy realises things aren’t quite as straight-forward as she thought… Love can play mysterious tricks on a young heart.
And now here she is, about to get married – but has she picked the right man? Maddy has to think quickly, who is it to be – the hot and loveable Robert or the quietly devoted Ben? It’s decision time…
A chapter in, and you’ll have entered that vortex which whisks you out of the real world (for me it was an 81/2 hour plane journey) and into the pages of the book – because Giovanna’s ability to make her characters pop out of the page is incredible.
Having faced the seemingly unbreakable bonds of childhood friendship, first loves, second loves and those first daunting adult decisions as most of us have – it’s hard not to feel every moment of happiness and heartbreak with Maddy, whilst also empathising with Robert and Ben as they unknowingly weave the most tangled web around her. Your heart will flutter at the possibility, race at what could happen and cry out when yet another tear is shed.
Just be sure you have a few hours to spare when you start reading because this is an absolute page-turner – full of love and woe – and you won’t want to put it down until your own heart is completely satisfied.
A wonderful read by a wonderful author.