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The Best Thing I Never Had

(The Best Thing I Never Had)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  859 ratings  ·  118 reviews
If you’re a fan of Mhairi McFarlane’s You Had Me at Hello or David Nicholls’ One Day, then you will love our new acquisition from contemporary romance author Erin Lawless!

Miles and Nicky are getting married. Unfortunately, their wedding party is a tangle of ex-housemates, ex-friends and ex-lovers. So this wedding isn’t just a wedding, it’s a reunion. Can anything be salvag
Kindle Edition, 360 pages
Published December 5th 2013 by HarperCollins
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3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  859 ratings  ·  118 reviews

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Jan 21, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
This is my debut novel and in the interests of fairness I won't be giving it a star rating! :)

Find out more about the book here on my website, including full character biographies and "deleted scenes"!

Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
My fifth book of my holiday reads.

This a book mainly based on the main character and her friends whilst at uni. It's very much a story of friendships and relationships.

I have to admit none of the female characters really grabbed me. I found them ok but at times they grated on me. I really liked Adam and to be honest if anything it's the males in the book that get the harder side of the brush which was a change but as a female, I'm not to sure I like the tables being turned.

Whilst not blowing m
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
New favourite author alert! :)

*Received in exchange for an honest review*
*Thank you, Harper Impulse!*

Ohhhhh this book! I have SO MANY FEELS. I wasn't prepared for what this book did to me, I really wasn't. I'm not a big Contemporary reader but there was something about this book that grabbed onto me. I had to get myself a copy and I am so glad that I did (thank you, Amy!) The Best Thing I Never Had was made all the better by the fact that I haven't long graduated university. All of the events an
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-reads
WOW! What a wonderful debut! I truly loved this story. It was told as seen through the eyes of these 7 individuals. At first I thought it was a little hard to keep track of whom was whom and when was what. But the more I read, the clearer things became and the more engrossed in the story I became.

It was such a great story full of little white lies. I like that in the end all was revealed and things became crystal clear. How friends can be an awesome thing but how they can also hinder relationshi
Meredith Schorr
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this book. Could not put it down and when I did, I kept thinking about it. So much more than chick lit. About friendship and when it crosses the line to romance. Jealousy, bitterness, fears, regret. It had it all. Highly recommend.
2 Stars for Adam and Nicky ;)

'Little white lies'/'The Best thing I never had' revolves around seven friends from the year 2006 to 2012(although there were some scenes from 2005 as well).
The book is written in third person and we get to read from all the seven character's perspective but most of the book is concentrated on Harriet's perspective.
The book started off in present day 2012 and then jumped to and fro from 2006 to 2012 with changing perspectives. The beginning nearly drove me crazy as t
Lynn Marie Hulsman
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From the first few pages, I was drawn into the world of this book. There's a brief prologue, then the reader is swept back into the past. The highly charged and uber-emotional culture of fledgling adults with one foot in the door of adulthood was compelling to me.

The Best Thing I Never Had features a "gang" of friends at university, tightly knit as a group but struggling to find individual identities. Most of the characters rely heavily on the safety of the home base, and face highly ambivalent
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
I have read that this book would be great for fans of Mhairi McFarlane or David Nicholls. As I hadn't read the last and couldn't finish "You Had Me at Hello" of the first I have started reading "The Best Thing I Never Had" with mixed feelings but with great anticipation.

I couldn't get the feeling of the book at the beginning. It started with a short glimpse into the lives of the characters in the present and then moved back into 2006, into university years of all the main characters. And there w
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Read more reviews at What Danielle Did Next

This is meant as the highest of compliments when I say this...THIS BOOK DROVE ME INSANE! Oh my gawd, the emotions, the angst, the irritation! It was freaking awesome! I love a book that has such fab character development and puts you right there in the scene and you feel every moment of the journey! THE BEST THING I NEVER HAD put me right back there, right back to those undergrad days when the politics and power struggles of my group seemed like the bi
Bec Booton (Bec's Books)
This book really resonated with me and kept me interested throughout the whole novel. The story is about university life in the London suburbs and the intertwining lives of 7 friends. Since there are so many characters in the book it took a little while to get to know them.

The main characters are Adam & Harriet who I picture as Nicholas Hoult & Emma Watson.

You can read my full entry at Bec's Book Blog

This book is split into 3 parts. The first part was the introduction to the characters
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book tapped into a part of me that I hadn't thought about for many years - my time at University. It made me remember the good times, and the not such good times, the relationships that I had with my female housemates and the guys we met and forged complicated relationships with. I was at uni earlier than this and back then there was no social media, we didn't even have the internet in our student house. We relied on mobile phones as the only way to keep in touch.

I will certainly be recomme
Jane Linfoot
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my fave books this year. The beginning was fab, and hooked me immediately, and after that I couldn't put it down. Anyone worrying about meeting too many characters too fast, don't - just trust Erin, you're in very safe hands, as she deftly lets the story unfold. This is a compelling book and an evocative one - the settings took me right back to uni days, the descriptions were spot on. I enjoyed the contrast between the past and the present, and seeing how the characters had moved ...more
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I fell headlong into this book from the very first page. Initially, there are a number of characters coming at you all at once but it doesn’t take very long for you to get to grips with who’s who, thanks to Lawless’ flawless writing, and to settle down into this fantastic read.

Having never attended university, I lived vicariously through the 7 friends for the majority of the novel. Their time at uni was undoubtedly my favourite part – with the gang seeming, at times, so fun, free and naive. I wa
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, new-adult
This book was easily one of my favourites this year. Full of angst, jealousy, love and fear, it was easy for me to sympathize with these characters. The drama of the university years, the kind that can really only develop when people live together, kept me glued to the pages. I gave up sleep to finish reading this book, because I had to know how it turned out for everyone.

There's so much packed into every chapter, up until the very end, I was always (very pleasantly!) surprised by how much ther
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
First, thank you Erin, for giving me the opportunity of reading this book. I thought it was wonderful. I found myself drawn into the lives of the guys and girls and their friendship as well the breakup of the friendship as well.

This book is not only about the happiness and sadness of friendship, but it is a wonderful character study of each person. I felt like I knew each person in the book. Some of them I liked, and some I didn't. In fact, if Erin hadn't written chapters from the character's p
A touching story about friendship (especially female) and finding love in unexpected places.

Erin Lawless weaves in and out of friendships, memories and infatuations, and admirably avoids using the always-perfect best friend cliché. Instead, her characters are real and flawed and passionate...and you find yourself thinking about them long after you've turned the last page.

I loved this story! I loved the way 'he' loved 'her', and the way 'her' love affected 'him'.

Lawless' ability to give each cha
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When Harper Impulse invited me to be part of their Romance Revolution I was so pleased! I love the fact I’m going to be able to get the word out there all about their fabulous titles, and I loved even more (who wouldn’t) getting the chance to review as many Harper Impulse titles as I can physically read. First up on my list was The Best Thing I Never Had by Erin Lawless, which was compared to One Day and sounded a little bit like Katy Regan’s latest novel How We Met. I really love novels about f ...more
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Best Thing I Never Had revolves around a group of seven friends, and is split into two distinct halves: their time spent at university, and five years later, when they all find themselves brought back together for a wedding.

Initially I thought having seven main characters would be confusing, but I learnt about them all very quickly. Keeping it simple, the group is brought together by loved-up couple Miles and Nicky. Nicky lives with her three best friends, Harriet, Leigha and Sukie; Miles li
Jane Hunt
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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The Best Thing I Never Had is a great read with fabulous characters.

Divided into past and present events this story's structure allows the reader to know the characters in depth and really want to know what happens to them which I liked. The focus of the first section is the long awaited wedding of two of the group of university friends and it is here the reader realises something moment
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was privileged enough to read this book as it evolved through its early stages into the self-published novel it now is. I loved discovering the lives of the six main characters and the way in which each developed over time - mirroring the way friendships at university start and then progress as you discover more about your friends and acquaintances. Initially I struggled to clearly define some of the female characters in my head, particularly Harriet and Leigha - which as you read the book you ...more
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: new-adult
Loved, loved, loved this book; so much so I had to write my first Goodreads review! In the previous year, the books that have drawn me in the most were the 'slice of life' ones. This quiet story fit right into that category.

Right from the beginning, you knew the relationships between this group of friends weren't meant to last. There were the outright hints of betrayal, hints of unhappiness and bitterness in the sections set in present day; and it was easy to piece together what broke these bind
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chick-lit, romance
This is not a book about romance. This is a book about friendship, love, and the intermixing that happens in every different way. I read this hoping for some fun chick-lit and a good romance and that does transpire, but the actual heart of the book was the friendships. The Best I Never Had starts off with a wedding announcement. You're immediately placed into a flashback, where the bulk of the story takes place with a group of friends that are going to break apart.

The dialogue is pithy, friendly
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Book provided by HarperCollins UK on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

The title of this book is great and it really made me want to read it.
Of course also the blurb helped for that ;)

Unfortunately it took me quite a while to get into this story. All the characters were introduced at the same time and it was hard to figure out who is who and how they were all related.
One paragraph was about one of the girls and her feelings and then it was a guy again. I would have preferred one perspec
Jan 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
I received this book by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I can’t tell you how happy I was when I’ve been approved to read this book. I love the cover and the blurb sounded really great. I was sure I’m going to like this book and I was looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately everything turned out differently. I was struggling to get into the book from the first page on. The main reason why I’ve been struggling I think was that Erin introduced all the character at the
Karla Farrales
May 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I WOULD GIVE THIS A TEN IF I COULD. GOD, ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I READ THIS YEAR. So go READ READ READ it. I've been trying to find a copy of this for months now and I only saw one today. I jumped at it like a rabid dog the moment I had it! THIS IS JUST SO WONDERFUL. All those months of waiting WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT.

Although I was a bit sad for Leigh. I feel for her and for some weird reason, I feel for her more than I do with Harriet. I know she's an evil manipulative bitch but still. I kinda un
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review can also be found at

Let's just start off by saying that at first, I almost DNF'd this book. There were a ton of characters, it was 3 AM, and my brain was tired.

I am SO SO SO SO SO happy I didn't give up and quit. This book was so incredibly amazingly awesome that I want to shout it from the hilltops and make ALL my friends buy it this instant!

This book put me through the emotional wringer. I was ecstatic, in love, so incredibly angry, frustrated,
Hannah Emery
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. My favourite thing about it was the sense of atmosphere. Erin captures the setting of university so effectively that at points, I felt as though I was back in a shared house working on my dissertation. The various characters are genuine and well developed, and I liked reading about them. I loved the different perspectives of events given too: I thought the various characters’ thoughts added real depth to the book and allowed me to get to know the characters so well th ...more
This was my first foray into the shiny new New Adult genre and I'll be the first to admit that at 35 (alright, alright nearly 36) I'm not exactly the target audience. Nevertheless I found myself caught up in the dramas, loves, lies and intrigues of the main characters, intensely so as I reached the denouement.

There was an initial bit of flicking back and forth to familiarise myself with the cast of characters and time scales involved but this book becomes increasingly moreish, I warn you! Lawles
D.K. Hamilton
May 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There were so many things I loved about The Best Thing I Never Had. But I think most importantly, I loved how real it felt. The story follows seven friends – their friendships, their love lives; the bonds that held them together, the circumstances that tore them apart.

Sometimes, I think it’s easy to overlook how vulnerable we are in our early to mid 20s. Friends become family; boundaries are sometimes non-existent; relationships are delicate. Erin Lawless characterizes this flawlessly!

From the
Linn Halton
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love novels written from multi points-of-view and you draw towards this group of friends as an honorary member, looking in as if you were a part of it. Featuring both past, and present allows you to glimpse life's journey and also the trials that sometimes come with friendships. The sense of struggle, conflict, highs and lows ... life is never straightforward. A captivating read that will keep you glued to your chair!
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Erin Lawless would probably love to be your Goodreads friend.

Although she's predominantly on here with her reader hat on, she's published a book of short stories and flash fiction - The Last Train Home & Other Stories - and two bestselling British contemporary romances for HarperCollins' award-winning romance imprint Harper Impulse, The Best Thing I Never Had and Somewhere Only We Know .
“It was a common complaint amongst the Arts students that their library was in dire need of refurbishment. To call the old building shabby chic was being kind. It didn’t have automated stacks or self-service machines like the Management and Sciences library the other side of campus and the carpets and bookcases looked like they were probably the Victorian originals.

But on days like this one, where the springtime sunshine streamed in through the high windows and set the dust motes dancing, Harriet sincerely felt that those BSc lot could stuff their vending machines and state of the art study pods. The Old Library was clearly suited for those who had poetry in their souls, rather than numbers in their heads.”
“Please, decide that I'm worth it” 3 likes
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