Currently (Re)Reading: Billy and Me

Billy and Me
Author: Giovanna Fletcher
First Published: May 23, 2013
Publisher: Penguin UK
Pages: 432 (Paperback)
Rating: 5/5

I love rereading books. It’s my adult version of a baby blanket or a favorite toy – there are a few books that just comfort me when I’m having an awful day, so I love rereading them. One day, I’ll reread all the books I originally reviewed on this blog – it’s always good to give a book a second (or third) read. I might even change my mind about a book (or two).

I also have this inane need to reread books if I’m going to read through a series. I can’t just pick up book two or three in a series and start reading it – I need to start at book one and then read through the series until I hit the newest book. I’ve always done this – I think the only exception was when I read a “Nancy Drew” or a “Boxcar Children” book. (There was never really a need to read all the series in those books.)

I’m determined to finish an insane amount of books this weekend, and three of those books that I want to finish are in Giovanna Fletcher’s “Billy and Me” series. “Billy and Me” was Fletcher’s debut novel, and I remember this being one of my favorite books of 2013. The book tells the love story between a super shy girl, Sophie May, and famous actor Billy Buskin, whom she meets in her hometown café, as he’s in town shooting Pride & Prejudice. They fall in love but as the relationship grows, Sophie May wonders if her relationship is really worth all the constant scrutiny that comes with dating a celebrity.

While the plot is a bit cliché, I fell in love with it due to Fletcher’s amazing writing style. The book is just as good as I remembered – a few cringe moments, a few super cute moments, and entire part where I couldn’t stop crying. I finished my reread in a few hours because I couldn’t put it down. The storyline isn’t quite realistic, but the characters definitely were.

Sophie May was just as adorable as I remembered – shy, quiet, a bit traumatized but still someone I wanted to befriend if she existed in real life. I liked how Fletcher made Sophie so realistic – she’s a girl who was traumatized by an event that happened when she was younger, so she ended up becoming this really quiet girl. All of that ended up messing with her self-confidence, so it was no surprise that she had settled with where she was in life. She cared deeply for her family and put their needs above her own for almost her whole life, until Billy Buskin entered the teashop and changed her life, of course. I really enjoyed watching Sophie grow as a character throughout the book – she was definitely a character I kept wanting to achieve whatever she wanted in life.

I loved Sophie’s relationship with Molly, the owner of the town’s teashop where Sophie worked. Molly was the grandmother-figure I’ve always wanted – the one who probably would have baked everybody cookies and cakes even if it weren’t her job. Molly was actually my favorite character in the book – the only one who I didn’t really want to throttle for a second.

I wasn’t as impressed with Billy Buskin – but that may be because we didn’t really get to learn more about him. The entire book was written from Sophie’s point of view, so we got to see how she felt when Billy took her to his newest film location, and how she felt at his events. We got to see how she held in all her problems because she didn’t want to trouble Billy in any way, but we didn’t really get to see Billy’s point of view. Billy was cute as the love interest, but I didn’t really fall in love with him.

I also really liked that this wasn’t a Cinderella story – Giovanna Fletcher really fleshed out the relationship troubles between Sophie and Billy. There was never a “happily ever after;” instead, Fletcher made the relationship more realistic by showing the flaws and how much work it took to keep Sophie and Billy’s relationship stable.

Overall, I would still recommend this book. I enjoyed it and it was a lovely quick read. If you like chick lit or young adult novels, you’ll probably enjoy this book. I feel it has more of a beach vacation book vibe than a book I’d read before bed, but I will read anything any time and anywhere, so I may not be the best judge.

To Buy or Not to Buy: Buy it if you like chick lit. Borrow it from the library if you’re not sure, then buy it when you realize you like it.

Extras: I originally got the book because Giovanna Fletcher is the better half of Tom Fletcher of McFly/McBusted fame, and together they make my favorite celebrity couple ever. Giovanna Fletcher is also an absolutely adorable human being and I absolutely love her vlogs on YouTube. In case you haven’t seen any of her vlogs yet, I’ve included one of my favorites (from two years ago) below.