You Me and the MoviesI had not come across any books by Fiona Collins before, but liked her idea of using films to drive the plot along, so decided to give You, Me and the Movies a try. Told in the first person, this is the story of Arden Hall. Quite by chance, when visiting a friend in hospital, she meets an old boyfriend from her student days who has been recently injured in a car accident. He recognises her, but is unable to say very much so whispers cryptic clues to films they watched together, and triggers flashbacks to a time when she had her whole life ahead of her.

The story alternates between present day and her time as a student at Warwick University. We gradually piece together the details of her relationship with Mac through the list of ten films that they watched together. I had seen all the films (though quite some time ago) which helped me make sense of the references; I’m not sure it would work so well if you were unfamiliar with them, and it was a trip down memory lane – I’m definitely going to watch them all again now.

This is not a light-hearted romantic comedy; it deals with some fairly serious issues like coercive control, infidelity, guilt, grief and lack of parental love. I found the first half of the book quite slow and depressing, and Arden a fairly unlikeable character, but gradually I began to see light at the end of the tunnel. It made me smile and made me sad, but despite the sadness I really loved the ending. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.