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?
Giovanna Fletcher’s ‘Billy and Me’ has to be the book release of the first half of 2013 I was looking forward to the most. I’ve been a McFLY fan for years, which is how I ended up following Giovanna on Tumblr and Twitter (for those of you who don’t know, Giovanna is married to one of the members of McFLY, Tom Fletcher), and that is also how I first heard about ‘Billy and Me.’ After reading the exciting blurb, seeing the pretty cover, and hearing lots of positive sounds from other bloggers, I couldn’t wait to start reading this novel myself. However, I decided it would be the perfect book to take with me on holiday (a guaranteed good read!) in July, so while sitting in the sun at a lovely beach cottage in Cornwall, I finally started reading ‘Billy and Me.’
At first glance, Sophie May’s life doesn’t seem very complicated: she still lives in the small village she grew up in (Rosefont Hill) together with her mother, she works full-time in the local tea shop ‘Tea-on-the-Hill’ together with her boss and dear friend Molly, and in her time off she loves to get lost in a classic novel like ‘Jane Eyre.’ However, it wasn’t Sophie’s own choice to not go to university and to not travel the world; she has a secret, which makes her not want to step out of her comfort-zone. However, when famous handsome actor Billy comes into the tea shop one day and falls head over heels in love with Sophie, her life is unexpectedly turned upside down. All of a sudden, photographers and the whole of England seem to be interested in the girl from the small village and every step she takes. Will Sophie be able to live with this, all for the sake of her relationship with Billy? Including sharing her biggest secret with the world?
There are so many things I loved about this gorgeous novel. I instantly liked Sophie; we both love many of the same things (tea, cake, the English countryside, old classic novels like ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’) and I could easily relate to her. Sophie isn’t one of those heroines who instantly believes in herself and knows she can do great things. Throughout the novel, she continues to feel lost every now and again, influenced by her past and the people around her, which I think happens to all of us occasionally. This made me love her even more, and I have to say Sophie is one of my favourite chick lit heroines so far. I thought the start of Sophie and Billy’s romance was also just adorable. It was clear Billy was captivated by Sophie from the start, and I loved the way he acted around her and what he did to see her and to make sure she would like him back. The fact that Billy is a famous actor really added something fascinating to the story, but it was not turned into something too glamorous, too focused on all the fame, glitter, and money. It was believable, which I think really added another layer to the story.
After reading reviews from other bloggers, I was quite curious to find out what Billy would be like. Everyone seemed to have fallen completely in love with him after reading the novel, and I couldn’t wait to discover this modern-day Mr. Darcy myself! However, I have to be honest, I liked Billy, but I didn’t fall deeply in love with him. He definitely had his moments, but somehow he didn’t manage to capture my heart (well, maybe a tiny part of it). Yet, this didn’t spoil the reading experience for me even one bit. ‘Billy and Me’ is a brilliant and warm debut novel and I can’t wait to read Giovanna Fletcher’s upcoming releases. This is the perfect book to sit down with on a comfy chair, a cup of tea, and a slice of delicious cake. A tip: make sure you have a box of tissues nearby and several free hours ahead of you, because you will not want to stop reading this lovely story!