Author: Giovanna Fletcher
Publish Date: 23 May 2013
Audience: Young adult, adult fiction
If you know me, you will know that I am an avid follower of the Fletcher family, having been hopelessly in love with Tom Fletcher from the age of 5. Thus, I have always been eager to read Giovanna’s books, but I have never quite gotten round to it, so when I was pining for a fluffy romance, I thought there was nowhere better to start than with ‘Billy and Me’.
‘Billy and Me’ tells the story of teashop waitress Sophie May who falls in love with the famous actor Billy Buskin when he shoots a film in Sophie’s village. The plot follows Sophie and Billy’s relationship as it is strained by the pressures of fame and jealousy – and Sophie has a secret.
Firstly, I read this book in just over 24 hours, a feat which I haven’t completed with a novel in a long, long time. Whilst this was arguably down to the fact that I have been ill this weekend and thus have had a lot of time to relax, Fletcher’s writing proves to be one which is extremely easy to read. Despite it being not the most sophisticated style, it is accessible and turns the novel into a true page turner. In addition, I adored the way in which Fletcher writes Sophie’s relationships with those around her; her friendship with her co-worker Molly was extremely touching, and as a result I felt a real connection to the characters. In fact, I was more interested in Sophie’s friendships and the story-line with her family than I was her relationship with Billy!
‘Billy and Me’ is split into different parts which I really valued the addition of. These parts broke up the story appropriately, each ending with a reflection from Sophie about the current situation; I felt that this helped to symbolise different points in both their relationship and Billy’s career as both progressed suitably, making you want to read on as soon as possible. I also loved the ending as the circumstances surrounding both Sophie’s own career and her relationship with Billy made me feel utterly cosy and warm. Thus, ‘Billy and Me’ felt pleasantly paced with a satisfying end.
However, there were points in the novel which did irritate me slightly. The plot of Sophie and Billy felt rather like an amateur piece of fanfiction due to the situation surrounding their meeting, and the way their relationship progressed – the addition of real life actors such as Jude Law did not help this at all! As a result, I feel like the target audience of adult women is slightly misplaced, and it would work much better as a young adult novel. I also became increasingly irritated with Sophie’s behaviour towards Billy; I found her character to become more and more selfish and unreasonable. Overall, her interactions with her Mum and Molly were far more pleasant to read as Fletcher’s writing flourished in these moments, and they were much more realistic and relatable, providing a very emotive side to the novel.
In conclusion, I enjoyed ‘Billy and Me’ more as the novel progressed. Whilst Sophie’s relationship with Billy fluctuated between being cosy and annoying, the plots surrounding her family, as well as her friendship with Molly were affectionate and heart-warming. Fletcher’s writing style may not be the best, but overall it is easy to read, and perfect for if you need a fluffy chick-lit to warm you up.