I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

40702156It’s been about a year since I last read anything by Sophie Kinsella, who I really love. And just like last time, I wanted to like this book more than I did.

For the first half of the book, I want to scream at Fixie Farr, our heroine, who never says what she means and gets taken advantage of by basically everyone she knows. It’s frustrating to watch, but then you think, what would people think if they were reading about me and my stupid quirks? Our hero doesn’t get fleshed out as well as I’d like for him being our hero, but it’s nice that he’s got hang ups too. And of course, when they get together two-thirds of the way through, you know something’s going to come blow it up.

I wish there was a little more in the resolution, especially of the family bit, since it seems like it would be harder for everyone to change so quickly. But maybe if you love hard enough, it breaks through the barriers.

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

35411583I’ve been a fan of Sophie Kinsella’s standalone books for a long time. This one is a quick read that I didn’t love, but I didn’t hate it either.

Our heroine thinks she has the perfect marriage, but it turns out it isn’t so perfect – and not in the way she believes. The love story in this book is different than most chick lit because our main character is already married (with children). She’s got a stable job (not in publishing) and her life seems settled. When she and her husband contemplate how long they might end up married to each other, she decides they should surprise each other to keep things fresh. It starts out innocent (and ridiculous) enough, but soon there are BIG secrets being kept and Sylvie starts spiraling.

The conflict does enter that sitcom cliche territory of “JUST TALK TO EACH OTHER” a little bit, once things start coming out, you ALMOST understand how they got there. It still feels more contrived than not, so this book gets a “like,” not a “love” from me.

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

30821598As someone who tries to curate her Instagram feed, I very much related to this story.

Cat, nee Katie, is new at her job at a branding agency, where everyone hates their overbearing boss. She commutes an hour (on a good day) for the privilege and is still trying to make her mark at the office. She’s a country girl, trying to make it in London, making no money, sharing a flat with terrible people and sneaking photos of other people’s lives for her Instagram. A chance encounter with a cute guy on the roof of her building (after her boss makes her re-do the boss’s roots) makes her think her life’s finally turning out the way she always dreamed. But then she gets laid off.

Going back to her dad’s place, Katie finds him in the middle of another get-rich-quick scheme. Realizing she can actually help him do it right, she tells a white lie about being on sabbatical from her job to make it happen. Then her boss shows up at their glamping grounds, and it all goes to hell.

As someone who sacrifices a lot to live in a world-class city AND who has had some not-so-great bosses (though luckily, not at the same time), I really felt Katie’s dilemma. It’s hard to keep going when it feels like everything is telling you “no.” And given our/my obsession with social media, it’s really easy to project that your life is going however you’d like. Making connections as an adult, out of college, is difficult, and her desire to fit in really struck me. Also made me realize that perhaps I shouldn’t have been so hard on some of those not-so-great bosses. Still waiting to meet the cute guy who wants to stay with me though. Guess I need to try a Santa-themed bike ride across London!

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

15998118I’ve been trying to get this book from the library since April when it came out and finally, last week, I was successfu1! Sophie Kinsella can always be counted on for a quick, fun read and this latest offering did not disappoint.

First, I absolutely love how British our main characters are named – Fliss (Felicity) and Lottie (Charlotte). I found myself relating much more to Fliss than Lottie, even though I have no child and have not been through a divorce. The “divorce fantasy” of the ex recognizing his wrongs and publicly admitting them is something I definitely cop to imagining about my ex when we were breaking up. That said, Fliss goes to SUCH lengths to try to protect her sister and I don’t relate to that at all. I could definitely see this novel being made into a movie because the sabotaged honeymoon is SO over the top. I liked the chemistry between Fliss and Lorcan and I wished we got a little bit more of them.

I was surprised to see how much Lottie and Ben fell for the sabotage. Though I suppose, if you didn’t know that your sister wasn’t on board your quickie marriage, you wouldn’t suspect that she was trying to keep you apart from your new husband at all costs. I was curious as to why Lottie and Ben didn’t just go to another hotel, since they made a point of talking about how built up Ikonos had gotten, but I guess it wouldn’t have been as funny otherwise.

Lots of twists at the end and I was not at all expecting the ending, but that made it extra fun. I didn’t want to leave these characters and I hope that Ms. Kinsella will think about another book focusing more on Fliss in the future.

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

12033455This book hits a lot of the same beats that other Sophie Kinsella novels do, but you know what? It totally works.

Poppy is a little scatterbrained and she goes a little too far sometimes, but you can really sympathize with her most of the time. I didn’t even realize that Sam Roxton was the hero of our story until about 1/3 of the way into the book. I had pictured him as much older and gruffer than he turns out to be. I really enjoyed how gradually Sam and Poppy came together, mostly over email and text. As someone who hates talking on the phone and is mostly awkward, it was cool to see them getting to know each other in that way. I was cracking up when Sam was helping Poppy cheat at Scrabble via text and the internet.

As we got to the ending, I thought it was going to go one way, so I was really shocked to see how it really went. I could have done without some of the dramatics as it seems like that kind of thing really only happens in novels and movies. But the right guy ends up with the girl in the most delightful way possible, so I really can’t complain.

Sophie Kinsella has another book coming out next week and as soon as one of the libraries near me gets a copy, I’ll be reading that next.