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I finished reading this book a couple of days ago, but I find myself struggling to find the adequate words to review it. This book is the whole package. There, I said it. I knew very early on that it was going to be special. It gave me that familiar feeling that I get when a book just checks off every mark. In all honesty, I always find it difficult to express how I feel about a book that I fall in I love with; I never believe that I can do it the justice that it deserves. Just Last Night is a book that I want everyone to read. I can’t recommend it enough.
If humor is what you’re in search of, then you will get your share, but this novel is so much more than a good laugh here and there. The characters are complex and well developed. The story is deep and emotional. There was an intimacy that I felt while reading it. I felt as though I knew this group of friends. I could have easily seen myself out at trivia night with them, sharing some laughs, and a pint or two of ale.
McFarlane established my connection with these characters early on, and I was completely absorbed in their lives. They weren’t some perfect, ideal group of friends. They had known each other since their school days, they were well acquainted and close, some closer than others. They had their share of flaws and issues; they could be any one of us, they were “normal.”
I don’t want to get into too much detail about the story, however, I will say that the story went in a direction that I didn’t expect, and do you know what? It couldn’t have been better! It threw some surprises at me that I never saw coming, but it was exactly what the story needed. This novel hurt, it was painful, angsty, filled me with anticipation and hope, and made me believe in the true power of friendship and love.
How do we ever really know the people in our lives? With secrets, revelations, angst, love, and an abundance of emotion, I was in my zone, my happy place, and this novel ended up being everything that I search for as a reader.
I can’t sing this book’s praises enough. Just Last Night will definitely be gracing my list of favorite books of 2021, and Mhairi McFarlane has cemented herself as one of my must-read authors! I wish I could read it all over again for the very first time.