Me and You – Claudia Carroll

What to expect:
Heartbreaking and uplifting, Me and You is a story about how hard it is to leave our old selves behind, the tough choices we sometimes have to make and how love and friendship can heal the most damaged of hearts.
“I’m fine. I’m sorry. Please take care of him for me. And maybe one day I’ll get to explain.”
Angie knows a lot about her best friend Kitty. She knows Kitty is mad and wild and loves to wear clashing colours. She knows she’s incredibly funny and generous but also very unreliable. And she knows that there is a perfect explanation for Kitty standing her up on her birthday. She thinks she knows everything about Kitty, except she doesn’t.
Kitty knows that she is the happiest she has ever been. She knows she’s so lucky to have a lovely boyfriend, Simon and a best friend like Angie. But what she doesn’t know is that on this night, her past is finally going to catch up with her and change everything.

The tale is told mostly from Angie’s perspective, with some reveals from Kitty. The subject matter is quite dark, but it’s told in a frothy style. Claudia Carroll is the same author who brought us another favourite Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Both leads are a bit of a mess, although they appear outwardly strong and like to think of themselves as ‘gobby’, but when it comes down to it, both ended up going under. Angie’s less outgoing and self-confident, whereas Kitty’s overcome the abandonment suffered in childhood. I’ll keep Kitty’s history a mystery in order to avoid spoilers, but it’s a frightening one. Angie has less self-confidence, she doesn’t stand up to her overbearing family and she’s terrible with men but when her best mate is in trouble she pulls out all the stops to search for answers. In a way I think this gives her the boost to sort her own life out.

Kooks for your Kindle?– Lots of lovely smaller characters, right down to the granny next door who ends up cooking for Angie and Simon in their darkest days. Mrs K (Kitty’s former foster mother) has Alzheimers now, but knew just how to sort her out when Kitty joined her as a teen. The antagonist is, let’s just say, scary. Everyone right down to the police and former colleagues are thoroughly brought to life.

Painting a Picture for your Paperback?– Set mostly in Dublin, the book has a hugely Irish feel to it. Told from Angie’s point of view for the most part, the colloquialisms bring it to life without reaching the point where subtitles are required- I’d never heard the term ‘holliers’ before, but in context all the words can be deciphered!

Evaluation of your eBook?– It’s longer than expected- at one stage I thought I’d reached the end as things were wrapping up, only to notice I was 50% through! But I’m glad it didn’t end there, as you will be. The beginning section- where Kitty goes missing and her friends are trying to find what’s happened to her- goes on a little too long while they don’t know whether she’s even alive, which is not a mystery for the reader as the blurb gives that much away. The narrative style is akin to a diary or a letter from a very old friend, for the most part at least, leading to a frothy feel. Without giving anything away, the themes explored at the end are really well done and give such an insight as to how such a terrible situation can happen to anyone. As for Angie’s story, her life takes a rewarding turn as she discovers her own potential. Recommended for a gripping read with added depth.

Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for 99p if it’s on special, click for the latest.

US: I can’t find it on any American sites yet, let me know and I’ll update.

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? – Claudia Carroll

Irish actress Annie is only twenty-eight years old but wondering what happened to her life- she married the love of her life and lived a fun life in Dublin with a promising career for a while, before finding herself living in the sticks, in the middle of a veterinary practice in a home that’s not her own and overrun with people. Dan is Annie’s husband and took over his late father’s practice three years earlier, and also took over the large family home from his mother- on the condition that they didn’t change a thing. Annie has a part time job but is left to her own devices most of the time while Dan works long hours and the house is invaded by her unemployed young sister-in-law, her interfering mother-in-law, vet colleagues and various neighbours. When opportunity knocks, Annie takes the chance to act in a Broadway play for a year and when the distance takes its toll they decide to take a marriage break for a year.

Kooks for your Kindle?– Plenty of these to go around, although none are unbelievably over the top. Liz, Annie’s friend and colleague in New York is quite the wild woman, but comes crashing down to earth with some very real problems. Jack, Annie’s predatory director, seemed a little reptilian to me, the type to want what he can’t have. Jules, Dan’s little sister is more than just a lovable freeloader, she becomes a good friend and ally to Annie; the only person in Ireland who sees what Annie is going through and interferes to try and keep them together, even if her motives aren’t totally selfless! Annie’s mother is interesting, a diplomat based in Washington with some wisdom to impart and her own way of supporting her daughter. The wanna-be home-wrecking neighbour Lisa is a piece of work, who soon sees Dan as an easy mark and tries to enlist him as her financial sponsor and potential new Dad for her kids.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Annie is an enigma- she has the guts to take such a far away job and stand on stage in front of hundreds of people, but she let everybody walk all over her at home. The house was passed on to them by Dan’s mother when she moved to a nearby flat, but they aren’t allowed to change a thing, and the vet practice is adjoining so staff are forever traipsing through the house. To say nothing of the 24 hour a day phone calls. I suppose I’m the opposite, I would have happily pitched a fit at home to get some privacy, but wouldn’t dare get up on stage!

Painting a picture for your paperback?– the aforementioned living situation was horrifying to me, although the close-knit Irish community has its charms. New York is joyously portrayed as the city of Annie’s freedom, where she has a fabulous apartment and some days free to explore the city as a single woman. She’s even lucky enough to go to the Tony awards and the Hamptons, although both take a turn for the disastrous.

Evaluation of your eBook?– It’s a well written, well paced read, hard to put down once it gets going; I finished the whole thing in 4 or 5 hours on a long flight. The ending felt a little anti-climactic, I would have liked to see Annie speak her mind to everyone back home. The writing style is modern, quick and funny, although some descriptions are repeated a few times, and “anyroadup” is deployed with abandon! On the whole, recommended for a quick, charming, entertaining tale with some good turns along the way.

Frothy Ranking: 3.5/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: £3.99 from Amazon, WHSmith, and Waterstones.

US: Unfortunately not currently available as an ebook on Amazon, Kobobooks or Ebooks.