Review: Billy and Me | Giovanna Fletcher

Billy and Me | Giovanna Fletcher
Published: 23rd May 2013 by Penguin Books
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A rom com with baking, movie stars, London, theatre and angst aka MY DREAM BOOK. Billy and Me is all of those things and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot follows Sophie May, a romance lover who lives in a small town and works in her local cafe, who is swept off her feet when a famous actor comes to town to film a Pride and Prejudice remake. Sophie is thrown into the spotlight and her life changes, but can love conquer all??

Now look, this book is pretty much exactly what you expect and there’s not really anything shocking or unexpected in terms of the plot, but the way it’s written just evokes all the warm and fuzzy feelings. 

The romance is a bit insta-lovey but the couple are genuinely sweet and have some wonderful moments. Whilst I really like them both, the two leads do have some flaws. Sophie tends to be a bit of a wet flannel and doesn’t really have much initiative. It’s sort of part of her characterisation but it feels unrealistic at times. She kind of has no life outside of Billy and when she's alone, instead of finding hobbies or anything, she just thinks about Billy. She's also very judgemental of her boyfriend's work, which is a plot point that's necessary but it's played up quite a lot and, in my opinion, makes Sophie unlikeable. Equally, Billy is sometimes just a bit of a pushover. I think it’s all part of the book being predictable, which I am a sucker for, but it was a bit of a shame that the pair weren't developed a bit more.

Worth mentioning are the interesting familial relationships which pop up throughout the book. Sophie’s relationship with her mother is strained due to trauma and the way Giovanna Fletcher portrays it seems very truthful and sensitive. The friendships with the locals in the cafe are lovely to read about and I liked the way the struggles to maintain them were shown.

Also compelling are the comments on celebrity culture and the impact of fame on celebs and those close to them. Some moments feel like a peek behind the facade, seeing how media is sculpted to fit an ideal.

Aside from the negative I mentioned, I did enjoy the book And if you’re a fan of Notting Hill you’ll probably like it too because... they’re basically the same story! There are irritating character moments but overall Billy and Me is is a sweet slice of life that I flew through and enjoyed a great amount.