Let’s Talk About… Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher

Sophie May is in her twenties and still living at home with her mother while working in the local tea shop. She has her own personal ambitions, but she’s also content to live in the way she is for a good while longer. Her life is comfortable and stable. Then her small town of Rosefont Hill is chosen as a filming location for the new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and things start to flip upside down for Sophie. She meets and falls in love with Billy Buskin, a Hollywood actor approaching the height of his career. As they get closer to each other, Sophie has to decide to make some big changes to her comfortable life, and so does Billy if he really wants to commit fully to this relationship.

I think there is definitely a connection between respect for an author and enjoying their work. (We don’t have to mention the fact that I don’t like Cassie Clare’s actions much but rave about her books nonetheless) I feel similarly when it comes to actors and musicians as well. If you respect the creator, you are almost guaranteed to love what they create for their audience. I love Giovanna Fletcher as a person. I have been watching her vlogs on YouTube since early this year and I can already tell that she is a super down to earth woman and a wonderful mother to her two little boys. Liking her as a person definitely helped me to enjoy this book all the more, as it does get a bit cheesy and frustrating at times. I genuinely enjoyed this book and breezed through it. Obviously if you are a fan of Gi and haven’t read her books yet, I recommend you do so.

My rating: 5 stars

**There will be spoilers below**

Sophie is a character I found I could relate to regardless of her life story being completely different to mine in many ways. I mainly read teen fiction, so branching out into an adult story is always refreshing for me as I am still bridging the teen-to-adult gap at 19 years old. I too experienced the loss of a fully rounded family at age 11 (though to divorce, not death) and I do not suffer from anxiety, but rather share Sophie’s hesitancy when it comes to romantic relationships. I must say that I also saw a few parallels to this story and Zoe Sugg’s Girl Online series, though the main characters are at different stages of life in the two series. This novel was also published a year before Girl Online, so I do know that this one came first. Regardless, the whole idea of being a normal person who is in a relationship with a famous person is hard to personally imagine and relate to, but I think Giovanna Fletcher does a good job of representing how overwhelming the situation would be. I like that Sophie’s anxiety was touched upon without being the main focus of the story because it could easily have taken over the whole novel. I’m glad it wasn’t the focus though since the absence left room for Sophie’s story to be a bit more believable. Another part of Sophie that I related to was her need to be independent. The fact that she felt she needed to work while living in London with Billy was very respectable to me. I knew it was exactly the kind of thing I would do in that situation (heck, I don’t have a job in college this semester and it’s slightly stressing me out as I have not been jobless since I was almost 17).

I really feel bad for the Hollywood stars after reading this book. I know that most of them are probably like Billy and just ignore the paparazzi constantly snapping pictures of them without permission. It was easy to feel even worse for poor Sophie, who had her entire life shared with the world as soon as anyone had the chance to sneak into Molly’s life and grab a tabloid story from her about Sophie. I know Gi Fletcher (as well as Zoe Sugg) could write about things like this from real experience considering that Gi is a former stage actress herself and her husband gained fame as part of an extremely popular British band. I just think it must really suck to have all this attention all the time when they’re still just people and want to have a bit of privacy while going to the drug store or a simple dinner out with family. That’s my little sympathetic moment for the real people today…

I’m a bit bitter that Molly died, not gonna lie. She was definitely a character that I felt was essential to the story (while Sophie’s mom was pretty much not important at all), so I did mourn her death alongside Sophie briefly. The time Sophie spent split from Billy was definitely a bit frustrating since she left him without actually talking things over. I felt that was a bit selfish (though Sophie has shown that she is a bit selfish throughout the story) and I wished she would just talk to him to at least get some sort of closure if the split was going to last.

I bought these two books as a pair while I was studying in England this summer, and if you’ve seen my summer reading list post it should be a given that I have already started reading the sequel, Always with Love, on my plane journey to Boston for my sophomore year of college! I am so excited to see how Billy and Sophie progress in the next installment. I know their journey will be rocky and frustrating, but that’s life isn’t it? I hope everyone has had a lovely summer! I’ll be back soon with a review of Always with Love, of course.

Katie x

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