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You Had Me At Hello

(You Had Me at Hello #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  23,411 ratings  ·  1,943 reviews
What happens when the one that got away comes back?

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.

From the moment they met they’d been a gang of two; partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on. Ben is marr
Paperback, 436 pages
Published December 6th 2012 by Avon (first published November 8th 2012)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  23,411 ratings  ·  1,943 reviews

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Rosalinda *KRASNORADA*
Sep 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: next-up

"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"

'You Had Me At Hello' is a funny and romantic story set in Sheffield, close to Manchester, UK. I absolutely LOVED the writing style. If you've read Me Before You, I'd say the writing style is very similar. So why didn't I give it a higher rating you ask? Well, this one gets 3.5 stars because the story didn't totally grab me and the pace was very slow at times. I also
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What happens when the one that got away comes back?

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The story begins when Rachel, discussing her upcoming wedding, realizes that she and Rhys are not right for each other. To a point she doesn't know why they're still together. And she comes to a decision to call it off.

One day, after several turn of events she bumps to Ben, a friend from Uni, that she hasn't spoke in 10 years. Now we so get that it's a whole more in that story than meets the eye. And it always seems that they want to say mor
***2.5 stars***

Ugh! I had such a high expectations for this book. I read couple of reviews that got me all exited, but it was a bit of a let down.

The story had a really great beginning. A collage kid proposing to a girl. It was funny, sweet and romantic. The prologue ends and you are in the present: heroine is engaged to another man, having an argument about a wedding arrangements, realizing it will never work, because they can't seem to agree on anything, and deciding that it's best to go their
Susan's Reviews
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I didn't want this one to end - and lucky me, there is a novella (After Hello) that carries on after that spectacular ending! What a fabulous debut novel for Mhairi McFarlane! She was truly meant to be an author.

I'm trying to recall which of Mhairi McFarlane's books I read first, but I can honestly say it was love at first sight. This author writes with a clear and confident voice and has a colossal sense of humour. I love the intelligent banter and quirky characters that are common to all of he
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mhairi McFarlane, THANK YOU.

And also:

You, with your stellar writing and biting wit and pitch-perfect characterizations, have infused new life into the world of chicklet/ rom-coms.

Ben and Rachel met in university and hit it off immediately. They were young and idealistic and sharp as a pair of new scissors. They were best friends and partners-in-crime. A steady boyfriend on Rachel's part and a slew of blonde bedmates on Ben's part never put their friendship in their jeopardy.
Until one da
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
I have no idea how this is rated so highly on Goodreads: a main character I wanted to slap into next week, and a cast of one dimensional supporting characters which add nothing at all to the plot. Add to this obscure references about Manchester, and "You had me at hello" quickly turned into "I can't wait to say goodbye". ...more
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
There is nothing remotely contrived about this book, it is evident from the opening chapter that Mhairi McFarlane has a real skill with words. Her narrative is sharp and sassy, and she infuses her characters with such an abundance of spirit, that it is an absolute joy to read about them. Rachel and Ben's story engulfs from the very beginning, and alongside some laugh out loud funny moments, there are some situations which really tug on the old heart strings. When I finished reading the book I fe ...more
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-own-books
I really love this book, sure I hated Olivia and Simon but screw them because I loved Rachel, Mindy, Caroline an Ivon (the last theee are the greatest friends I will tell you). At firs I struggled to get into the book. Considering that I brought it (from a charity shop, don’t judge even books need a good home 😊) I powered through it to make sure that I did love it. I do it’s romantic and witty .

I would definitely recommend it!. Props to the author.
Jacob Proffitt
Oct 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
Well crap. I fat-fingered a really nice rant that had lots of great allusions. It was frankly poetic. But I had got to the end when I accidentally hit the wrong button so my furious energy was spent. And now I'm just sad. Rachel was a waste. She's a weak coward who has persisted in a job she doesn't much care for (or have the heart for, frankly) and in a relationship where she wasn't happy with a guy who was a controlling snot-wad. And the author is all coy about the details of the past so that ...more
I feel bad for saying this, but this is one of my least favorite books by McFarlane. I think the biggest problem I have is that the heroine (Rachel) is hoping for emotional cheating or something to happen with the hero (Ben) who we go into knowing is married. I just didn't like her and thought Ben read her very well at the end. She was and still is a mess. I think the Happily Ever After (HEA) we get was 100 percent not earned. I did like the secondary characters in this one, especially Rachel's ...more
I needed to re-read it after Don't You Forget About MeDon't You Forget About Me I have abstinences now.

This book is so adorable I could die. I actually got butterflies in my stomach while reading this!
Aah I just love, love, love Ben and his friendship with Rachel.
Its a well written story with engaging characters, there is not one single character in this book that´s spendable.

I just wish I had more books by Mahiri McFarlane . I seriously cannot oversell this, no matter what expectations you
Camilla Isley
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In short this is how this book made me feel:

The romance was great a mix between that perfect young love and adult relationships... Loved also the humor.
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: swoooon
You Had Me At Hello is the best type of romance. And by that, I obviously mean that it is effortlessly humorous, realistic to a flaw, and downright witty. McFarlane writes a love story that is only part true love, with a main course of friendship, side dish of embarrassment, and a drink of nostalgia. What makes this contemporary novel work as well as it does is precisely because it tries, but not too hard. Unlike a Sophie Kinsella which will often have you in peels of laughter or Sara Manning wh ...more
Nov 11, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5/5 stars

I have mixed feelings about this one. It was definitely an enjoyable read, but not at all what I was expecting. It was fun and the characters were interesting, but the romance was not at all what I had hoped. To me, this is more of a general fiction or ‘woman’s fiction’ (although I hate that label) than I romance, which is not what I had expected. This is why I probably didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to, because I was expecting a more romance-focused story. To me, this read like
What happens when the one who got away comes back?

Rachel and Ben were best friends at university but with Rachel's steady long distance boyfriend and gorgeous Ben's endless conveyer belt of stunning girlfriends, they never quite made it past the platonic stage...

Ten years later, Rachel is still living in Manchester, still with her old boyfriend and still best friends with her university housemates. She hasn't seen Ben for years, until she hears he's returned to Manchester and contrives to bump i
Amy McG
Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is everything I wanted it to be, and more.

I'm a little reserved in my reading tastes, but this book was 99p on Amazon, and I was feeling a little homesick and just wanted a good cry. (Some context: I'm on a year abroad in Canada, and this is currently the longest I've ever spent outside of England)

What I wasn't expecting, however, was how much of a chord this book would strike. I was completely unaware it was set in Manchester, yet I couldn't have been happier that it was. There are a
 Megan • Reading Books Like a Boss (book blog)

$5.99 — 3-Book Bundle: You Had Me At Hello, It's Not You, It's Me, and Here's Looking at You (affiliate link)
You Had Me At Hello: Kindle Edition (on sale-affiliate link)

"The problem is, after all these years, I can't think of anyone I'd more like to slowly go off, see get senile and die than Ben."

Two former best friends reconnect after not seeing each other for ten years. She's newly single and he's....married. Quick-witted characters, an endearing heroine, and a love story with h
Hannah | The Redhead Reader
I LOVED this book. Simple. Mhairi McFarlane has such a witty, fresh and clever way with words, I didn't want this book to end. In fact, I feel quite bereft now this book is over, and feel as though I've lost something - it's very rare that I feel that way!

Firstly, thank you for setting it in Manchester!! I love the city and always thankful that I only live 20 minutes outside it. I love all the details the author adds that are very familiar to me but any other reader would also understand. I've a
Sep 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
You Had Me At Hello accomplishes what the most inspiring and endearing Rom Com’s aspire to: relatability, charm and contemporary timelessness.

The book begins in present day. Rachel, our narrator, is an early 30 something staffer on the cusp of ending her 13 year long relationship with her fiancé Rhys. Thru Rachel, we are introduced to Ben, our prospective love interest and protagonist. Ben is Rachel’s long lost best friend from uni days with whom she hasn’t spoken for the past decade. When Rach
Apr 25, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5 stars round up.
It is a cute book, even funny at times but that's about it.
Megan Readinginthesunshine
Dec 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I will start by saying that I was very excited about reading this one! I love reading debut novels, I enjoy discovering new authors and the excitement of not knowing what you are going to get with the new author, as well as the opportunity to read their books, delve into their imagination, and escape into the world that they have created.

Rachel and Ben meet at university in Manchester and immediately strike up a brilliant friendship. As Rachel has a long-distance but steady relationship with her
*The Angry Reader*
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, chick-lit
I mean - this SOB comes this close to 5 stars. What a fun read!

First off - I’ve been a complete bitch this week. No reason. Just feeling like a Krabby Patty. I got so mad at that freakin Ravenels book last night I wanted to burn it.

And I’ve declared this the year of the historical romance. But let’s be real - I have 26 of them piled in my living room. And more on kindle and Scribd. However, I’m not doing them any favors reading them back to back and slapdash. I like to work books from other gen
Helen F
Apr 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
The fact that I normally read a book in a couple of days, but this one has taken me about 10 days to read says a lot about how interesting and gripping it was for me. It started off fairly funny and made me chuckle a couple of times but then it has just been a rather long and boring account of the copule getting together, which you can tell from the beginning (and the title) is going to happen. There were not really any other twists or climaxes to the book. I didn't really get on board with the ...more
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was hilarious! McFarlane is so clever and witty. The laughs just kept on coming and I loved it. It reminded me so much of a Marian Keyes' novel. The only thing that I didn't love was the misunderstandings, but they did provide some tension in an otherwise very funny book.

I will definitely read more of her work.
Highly recommended.
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Price drop to $0.99 at Amazon US, 12/3/20
You Had Me At Hello is a standalone novel written by author Mhairi McFarlane. This was a great book and it actually held a lot of humor which I really enjoyed. It centers on the topic of "the one that got away". Rachel and Ben were best friends that could have been much, much more. Now, a decade later, they find each other again kinda-sorta by chance. This is not a mindless chick-lit book where everything falls into place easily with a happily ever after. Rather it shows the reality of ten years ...more
Zanna Mackenzie
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Everyone seems to have raved about this debut novel and I can now see why. I took the, for me, very unusual step of reading the last chapter first with this book because I just knew reading it any other way would drive me crazy and I'd be trying to read it so fast to find out what happened that I'd not take in all the details of the story. As it turned out reading the last chapter first didn't help matters. As the story of Rachel and Ben unfolded I just kept reading and reading, knowing how the ...more
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really good read, Mhairi writes with a style that absorbs you into the story, I really enjoyed the way that that story was told both from the present, but also with insights into the past, and what made them who they were in the present.

There were many ways that the story could have gone, I knew the outcome I wanted but could so easliy see many different twists.

A definate author that I'm going to look out for.
Sam (AMNReader)
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sam (AMNReader) by: *The Angry Reader*
.SQUEEE. Angry wasn't sure I'd like this, but I adored this friend/female centered romancey book.

Also, really felt my American showing reading this one. There was more than once I read a sentence and thought"what the fuck does that mean?" Which was so so part of the fun.

Btw, I LOVE the narrator's voice but didn't work out to listen as much as I would have liked, so mostly print for this one. 3.5, rounding up.
Amanda McGill
Jun 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
Such a perfect summertime (or COVID escape) read!

I really enjoyed the two main characters, Rachel and Ben, and reading about their story. The novel goes back and forth between the present day, where Rachel and Ben see each other for the first time since university graduation, and 13 years ago when they were best friends in university. I liked the friendship between the two of them and was curious on what was going to happen.

The novel did have different subplots going on and while I appreciated
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Mhairi was born in Scotland in 1976 and her unnecessarily confusing name is pronounced Vah-Ree.

After some efforts at journalism, she started writing novels. It’s Not Me, It’s You is her third book. She lives in Nottingham, with a man and a cat.

Articles featuring this book

Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team sorts...
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“It's pathetic, I knew I did from that first moment we met. It was...not love at first sight exactly, but - familiarity. Like: oh, hello, it's you. It's going to be you. Game over."
“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.” 206 likes
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