Although she has a career as an actress, freelance journalist and author in her own right, most probably first hear of Giovanna Fletcher when they realise that she is married to Tom from McFly. Whilst You’re the One That I Want is not generally the kind of fiction I would choose to read, my interest was piqued due to association, as it were, and I requested a copy of the novel accordingly.
You’re the One That I Want is Fletcher’s second novel, and it opens with twenty six-year-old Maddy, who is about to get married: ‘Only fifty-two feet stood between me and my husband to-be’. She is about to become the wife of ‘strong, reliable and loving’ Robert Miles, whom she has known since attending the same junior school. To complicate things a little, however, her ‘other love’, Ben, is also present at her wedding: ‘if Ben had spoken up, if he’d coughed suggestively, then there’s a possibility I’d have stopped the wedding. Even at that point’. A typical love-triangle scenario is what Fletcher has highlighted here, with many of the usual elements of chick lit novels – friendship, love, confusion and setbacks to name but a few.
Throughout, we are given the first person perspectives of Maddy and Ben, and we learn about Robert through his interactions with others. Portions of the narrative are told retrospectively, such as the moment at which the three met one another whilst at school. Sadly, Ben’s narrative voice does not feel overly masculine for the majority of the novel, and there is little in his prose style to separate his point of view from Maddy’s.
As one might expect from the plotlines, You’re the One That I Want is rather a light read. Fletcher’s writing style is not stunning by any means, but on the whole it does work well in terms of the way in which her story has been crafted. There is nothing overly original within the novel’s pages, but it is sure to charm fans of chick lit.