You Are Here by David Nicholls

Like so much of the book world, I was over the moon when I knew we were getting a new book from the pen of David Nicholls. I am an original fan of ‘One Day’, ‘Starter for Ten’ and ‘Us’ (‘Sweet Sorrow’ is on my shelf waiting to be read, and ‘The Understudy’ is on the wishlist) and, like so many, had my heart broken all over again by the recent Netflix adaptation of ‘One Day’. I was confident that ‘You Are Here’ would not disappoint, especially after hearing David Nicholls speak at the recent Stratford Literary Festival.

So, I was even more over the moon when ‘The Book Taster’ announced that this would be our June book pick, because that meant I had a whole host of lovely book buddies to read this book with and the chance to meet, discuss it and hear David Nicholls speak again.

‘You Are Here’ is just brilliant. I could end my review there, as this book is going to be up there as one of my top reads of the year (I never manage to have just one). This is a story that contains everything that you expect from the books of David Nicholls. Marnie and Michael are two beautiful characters who are incredibly easy to relate to (as my day job is a leading a humanities department, I can confirm that Michael is very much a geography teacher, with a geography teacher’s sense of humour). I would love to bump into these two and have a drink and a catch-up with them, especially as Marnie is a fan of ‘Wuthering Heights’. The plot is delightful, with humour and romance to satisfy us all; it is definitely a cosy read – none of that is a spoiler because, if you are a fan of David Nicholls, these things will not be a surprise.

But the thing I loved the most about this book was the beautiful, descriptive writing. I shared a wonderful paragraph about Euston Station with other readers because it was just so brilliantly written, and I think may well be one of my favourite pieces of writing in a book (and I never thought anything involving Euston Station would be my favourite…).

You feel you are there with Michael and Marnie at every moment throughout this book. There is a humour in the writing that is a joy to read; you smile as you read this book, and you feel like you are an old friend – and I may even have shed a little tear at one moment, too, which is also probably no surprise.

In a world that is far from ideal at the moment, where we all need a little escapism, this is a book that can give you exactly what you need – a hug in book form, and a pure moment of joy.

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