Strengths: Ability to turn something odd (finding a mobile phone in the bin) into a major plot and make it unputdown-able.
Weaknesses: It has the ending you expected.
Why I read it: Enjoy Kinsella’s books as something light.
Publisher: Random House
Rating: 9 out of 10
If you liked this, try: Twenties Girl by the same author
I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for Sophie Kinsella’s novels for several reasons. One, they’re light, fun and easy with a happy ending; and two, I once won a competition from reading her Shopaholic series. Of late, I’ve been enjoying especially the stand-alone books she writes – Twenties Girl reduced me to tears, so I was pleased to see she had another book out.
Initially, I was a bit dubious about the plot – girl finds mobile phone in bin, starts up texting relationship with owner of phone. It actually works very, very well and Kinsella should be proud of integrating technology into fiction books so well. The texts between Poppy (our protagonist, a physiotherapist who will marry the very clever Dr Magnus Tavish within weeks) and Sam Roxton (his former PA ditched the phone so now he has no-one to organise his life) add a lot to the novel. Granted, there is some use of text speak (mainly Poppy’s J and xxxxxxx’s) but the texts reveal their growing relationship (as well as awarding Poppy victory in a Scrabble match with the future in-laws).
Poppy is fairly clever in relation to some of Kinsella’s other characters, but she has a huge inferiority complex when presented with Magnus and his family, who are all scholars. One of the ways Poppy tries to cope with this is by mockingly using footnotes as she tells her story. Sometimes these work, sometimes they don’t. It is different though to the standard chick lit fare and well done to Kinsella for integrating this too. It’s an interesting choice having a physiotherapist as a main character- definitely not something I’ve seen before, but it works. Poppy’s workmates are both evil and hilarious. Sam is a well-rounded character; while Magnus is painted as the weird and wonderful lecturer with Issues. As for Magnus’ mother, well! She is one unique lady, at least to Poppy’s eyes.
As for the ending, you’ve probably guessed it already but it’s fun making the journey there. This is chick lit with depth and feeling. There are a lot of twists and turns along the way (several quite unexpected), making the book a fun journey. I’ve already passed this one on, with the suggestion to read this book soon!