Billy and Me – Giovanna Fletcher
Billy and Me is the lovely Giovanna Fletcher’s debut novel, and it’s a gem.
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 gall 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 from being with Billy? And most of all, is she ready for her secret heartbreak to be discovered and shared with the nation?
Billy and Me is charming, that’s for sure. It’s difficult not get sucked heartfirst into its pages. It’s a scenario so many of use dream of – meeting a handsome, kind, caring stranger who just so happens to be a celebrity, and falling madly in love.
That’s what happens to Sophie, when Billy Buskin wanders into the cafe she works at one day and takes a shining to her.
Of course, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Despite Billy’s charisma, thoughtfulness and generosity, Sophie can’t help but feel overwhelmed by his lifestyle. He’s always out with people – many of them gorgeous, leggy women – who Sophie believes to be superior to her. Then, there’s the fact that Sophie and Billy’s love life often finds its way onto the front pages of the newspapers and magazines, and for Sophie, a conservative girl who prefers to stay out of the spotlight, that can be difficult to handle.
So, Billy and Me tells the tale of Sophie and Billy’s rollercoaster of a romance, and it’s a bumpy ride.
I loved Billy and Me. It only took me a couple of train journeys to finish, a sign that the story captivated me completely. I often find myself distracted by Twitter or my music on the train if I’m not totally addicted to a book.
There were some moments that niggled me a little bit, though. I found myself getting a bit frustrated with Sophie in some of her jealous moods. I wanted her to be a little less insecure, because I thought of her as a strong, beautiful woman that Billy is crazy in love with. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realised that any girl in Sophie’s situation would act the way she does, and feel the way she does. It’s true to life, so I take my hat off to Giovanna for that.
Of course, that could be thanks to Giovanna’s experience in the field. After all, she is married to the one and only Tom Fletcher of McFly (and that amazing wedding speech) fame. The couple met at the age of just 13, so Giovanna has had to adapt to the idea that her boyfriend is a teenage (and middle-age) heartthrob, and go through many of the same situations that Sophie does in Billy and Me.
Another thing that bothered me just a touch was the secret. It’s not really that big of a secret after all. It’s heartbreaking, though, and I found myself tearing up a little. There are a few other moments towards the end that had me in tears too, so much so that I had to pause because I couldn’t actually see the words on the page through my tear-filled eyes. But I won’t spoil it for you, you’ll have to find out for yourself by reading it.
Overall, I thought that the characters in Billy and Me were well thought-out, relatable and well developed. Among my favourites were Billy (of course. I was in love with him by about page 30) and Molly.
The ending of Billy and Me is a bit of a killer, and I’m not sure whether Giovanna is planning to continue the story or not. It’s a cliffhanger, but it could be left open like that for the rest of time, so who knows.
Perhaps I would have liked Billy and Me even more if there were one or two sexy moments thrown in there. There wasn’t really that much kissing, even, so I felt that their romance was lacking just a little something. But that’s just me being picky now…
I would definitely recommend Billy and Me to lovers of chick lit and romantic storylines. It’s a fantastic debut novel and I’m excited to see what Giovanna has up her sleeve next.
On a final note – I couldn’t help but be reminded of one of my favourite books as a teenager when reading Billy and Me, one that sparked my love of Meg Cabot: Teen Idol. Perhaps that’s another reason why I loved Billy and Me so much.
Have you read Billy and Me? I would love to know your thoughts. You can share them in the comments section below or on Twitter.
If you enjoyed Billy and Me, you might like the following books. Alternatively, if you enjoyed one or more of these books, then you’ll probably enjoy Billy and Me too.
Looking For Alaska – John Green
Starcrossed – Josephine Angelini
The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
Boys Don’t Cry – Malorie Blackman