Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mini-Reviews: Diving into Sophie Kinsella

Recently in the search for some light reading I picked up a couple of Sophie Kinsella stand-alones. I've been put off the idea of her books for a long time, mainly because the shopoholic series sounds about as far away as you can get for me in terms of 'identifiable character.' But I'd had a few recommendations from trusted bookish friends, so figured why not give her a shot.

I've Got Your Number


Kinsella, Sophie (2012). [Genre: Chick-lit]


A couple of glasses of bubbly with the girls at a charity do and Poppy's life has gone into meltdown. Not only has she lost her engagement ring, but in the panic that followed, she's lost her phone too. As she paces shakily round the hotel foyer she spots an abandoned phone in a bin. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number with the hotel staff. It was meant to be! Except the phone's owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn't agree.

I've Got Your Number was a surprisingly fun read! The set-up of the main character is usually something I'd find completely unbelievable, but as soon as we meet Poppy it immediately seems like something she would do. She's (to put it unpolitely) a total ditz, but a human one. You can imagine yourself being friends with her. And believe it or not, she has a real job - physiotherapy This immediately attracted me to her more, because I get constantly frustrated by chick-lit characters that either have no job or a brainless one that they constantly skiv off from. She has her utterly cringeworthy moments, but is overall extremely likable. As is the hero, Sam - he's surprisingly sensible. The sort of guy who actually exists in real life. The chemistry between the two is enjoyable, laugh-out-loud and subtle enough that you find yourself rooting for them before even they realise there's anything going on between them. It's light, but also funny and despite the sometimes over the top tone, genuine. Lots of fun. 5 stars

Can You Keep a Secret?


Kinsella, Sophie. (2005). [Genre: Chick-lit]


Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets. Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger... Until Emma comes face-to-face with Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her.

In comparison to I've Got Your Number, Can You Keep a Secret just wasn't as fun. I think it comes down to the characterisation. To me, Emma was less memorable than Poppy. To the extent that half way through the book I found myself struggling to remember her name. For the most part, her spilled secrets aren't that mind-boggling, just the mundane things that most of us think on an everyday basis and don't routinely spill to other people. She has the brainless job that so annoys me in the genre and the stereotypical family problems. Jack Harper also didn't stand up well. His mysteriousness is overdone and the climax of the story centres on actions he takes which seem completely in contrast to his character throughout the rest of the book. The fun, unique plot line meant that overall the story was still just about enjoyable. But because the characters were less likable and understandable, the cringeworthy moments were more cringeworthy and the over the top tone more annoying. 3 stars

If I'm in the right mood, I might pick Kinsella up again sometime. It was definitely light and for the most part, fun. I still have absolutely no desire to try the shopoholic series - the characterisation in Can You Keep a Secret annoyed me enough! But some more of her stand alones may be worth a try.

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