Review: Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher

Wednesday 22 June 2016
Title: Billy and Me
Author: Giovanna Fletcher
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 23rd May 2013
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9781405909952
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Sophie May has a secret.

One that she's successfully kept for years. It's meant that she's had to give up her dreams of going to university and travelling the world to stay in her little village, living with her mum and working in the local teashop.

But then she meets the gorgeous Billy - an actor with ambitions to make it to the top. And when they fall in love, Sophie is whisked away from the comfort of her life into Billy's glamorous - but ruthless - world.

Their relationship throws Sophie right into the spotlight after years of shying away from attention. Can she handle the constant scrutiny that comes with being with Billy? And most of all, is she ready for her secret heartbreak to be discovered and shared with the nation?

I became a huge fan of Giovanna Fletcher when I read You're the One That I Want and Dream a Little Dream, both books featuring characters that I still think about now. The release of Always with Love was the perfect time for me to finally pick up my copy of Billy and Me and meet this couple that lots of my fellow bloggers went crazy about when the book was first released before reading the sequel. It took me no time at all to get lost in the world that Giovanna had created and she is now an author I feel confident will not disappoint with any of her books.

I just love books that have tiny little villages as their settings. I often wish I lived in one myself, closed off from the busy and packed city that I am used to. I have visions of just living in a cottage and spending my days sitting out in the sunshine reading books, drinking in the local pub and basically just lounging around all day. Clearly, I was born in the wrong century. But, they are just the perfect places for Women's Fiction books to be set and the village of Rosefont Hill was just a delight to read about, complete with the most wonderful sounding little tea shop. I don't even like tea, but there's just something really comforting in such a setting I've always found. Sophie May lives in Rosefont Hill and is living a life not totally dissimilar to the dream I depicted above but her whole life is about to be turned upside down when a film crew arrives in the village.

Sophie was such a lovely character and totally believable. She had an intriguing history which wasn't all that difficult to work out before it was revealed and what I was particularly excited about was the obvious journey she would go on over the course of the novel. She's working with close friend and boss Molly in Molly's tea shop when she inadvertently manages to embarrass herself when mega film star Billy Buskin walks in. The scenes that follow are especially funny. When they first met I did find Sophie a little naive at times, for example Billy is meant to be a really famous film star yet she had never even heard of him, but, thinking about it after finishing the story it completely worked and it actually made the overall relationship that started to develop between the couple better because she didn't have that knowledge or fame hungry desire that every other girl in the village had towards him.

I was celebrity obsessed in my teenage years so perhaps that's why I struggled to understand how someone of a young age couldn't recognise a really famous film star but again, the village setting and what Sophie had been through in her life up until that point explains why. Billy and Me is a brilliant example of what being the girlfriend of a famous actor (or any celebrity really) is actually like and it's not as glamorous or perfect as a lot of people might think. Sophie's struggles and feelings are almost palpable and when she leaves to stay with Billy in London that's when the first cracks in their relationship start to show. I did think there could have been a few more hurdles put in their way, and perhaps Paul, Billy's manager, could have added even more drama to the novel than he did (that's the evil in me), but overall their relationship is really tested and all of this is while they are still getting to know one another. It really is a believable love story and the attraction from both sides is clear to see.

The secondary characters in Billy and Me are brilliant also. I so want to go into detail about them but the spoiler police would be out in force. One of my favourite characters in the whole book was Molly. She was such a wonderful character to read about and is one of those characters who as a reader you take so much from. She passes on life experience and advice not only to Sophie but also to the reader. Sophie's relationship with her mother was also an interesting one and I am looking forward to seeing how this develops further in Always with Love. I have to say that the story was moving along nicely until the last third or so when Giovanna just knocked me for six, and I couldn't read quick enough to see how the story was going to end and without giving too much away, it was such a fitting ending and one that will leave the reader wanting more. I am so glad that I had the sequel ready to read straightaway (although I did pick up Christmas with Billy and Me right after finishing this book which was just a really brilliant short story, despite it being incredibly warm outside at the minute!). If you are yet to pick up Billy and Me, or indeed any of Giovanna's books, then I highly recommend checking them out.

1 comment:

  1. LOL, so funny Shaun that's what I'm doing. Just bumped this one to read first before starting her newest!


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