Posts Tagged ‘Sophie Kinsella

20
Mar
17

I’m clearly an idiot with a Sophie Kinsella problem. Send help. CBR9 Review 19.

UnknownI’m going to be honest with you. I’m way behind on my reviews, and the books are all starting to mix together in my mind. I’m not sure if I can remember which characters were in London and which were tennis players and who lived on Nantucket, so please bear with me today as I attempt and sort all of this out!

I’ll start with the book I liked the least…and yet couldn’t put down.

A few weeks ago, Classic reviewed this book and very eloquently (and with gifs!) explained all of the problems with Sophie Kinsella’s books and characters. And we both admitted that we were the only ones to blame for our problems with Kinsella. We know that she writes ridiculous characters who do crazy things with completely unrealistic consequences. But we keep reading. Why?

This book, in particular, was a problem for me. Katie — now going by Cat, because she’s attempting to become a new person with a new life in London — works for a fancy branding company. She is the lowest employee on the ladder, she can barely afford to eat, pay her rent, and keep herself dressed in London, but she DOES. NOT. CARE. Because London.

She lives with awful people in a horrid apartment that is about as far away from her office as possible. Her commute sucks. She has no friends. Her boss is a witch. But LONDON!

She’ll never move home to the country, where her dad owns a farm. No more country life for Cat! Cat’s a city girl.

Blah blah blah, Cat meets a man, who turns out to be top dude at her company. Cat gets fired from her job and blames her witch of a boss. Cat moves home, once again becoming Katie, and helps her dad and step mom launch a successful GLAMPING business.

Yes. With yurts.

Of course, Katie lies to everyone about everything and is horrible and awful. When her boss the witch comes to her GLAMPING site, Katie is pretty much the worst human of all time and should have gone to jail for some of the stunts she pulled.

But, ha ha! It was funny! Or so Sophie Kinsella seems to think.

All of these characters were awful. They did truly abhorrent things to one another. Their attitudes about money and city life vs country life were infuriating.

The only person I liked was Katie’s dad. I imagined him as Jim Broadbent.

Of course, everyone’s problems get wrapped up in a pretty package at the end. Ha! Isn’t that a delight? The bad people get slapped on the wrist and sent away. And the good people all live happily ever after.

Except that the good people weren’t especially good. And didn’t really deserve a happy ending. Like Classic, the only character who interested me at all by the end was Demeter, the witchy boss. But even her ridiculous problems were all solved with a snap of the fingers, because that’s how real life works.

I would have much preferred this book if Demeter had pressed charges against Katie for abuse while glamping. That would have been a far more interesting story.

I really didn’t like this book at all. But couldn’t put it down. And of course, I’ll read whatever Sophie Kinsella writes next. Because I’m clearly an idiot with a problem.

 

 

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08
Sep
16

The troubled love story of Rhubarb and Orange Slice is one that I’m glad I read. CBR8 review 41.

unknown-4I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve read every single stinking Shopaholic book by Sophie Kinsella. I know that Becky’s ridiculous adventures aren’t great literature. But I find them somewhat comforting. I know Becky will make a horrible decision about something, wear fabulous clothes, do ridiculous things with her friends, make questionable parenting choices, and be rescued by her sensible husband who helps her to realize that her horrible decision was actually a great idea in the end.

When I heard that Kinsella had recently written a YA book about depression and the aftermath of bullying, I was immediately skeptical. But I knew I would read it sooner or later. And I’m quite glad I did.

Audrey is a high school student in the UK who is currently not attending school, for reasons we aren’t 100% clear on. There was a bullying incident that led to several other girls being expelled and Audrey being admitted to a psychiatric hospital to recover. Audrey now stays home, wears dark glasses to avoid eye contact, and doesn’t interact with anyone that isn’t her family or her therapist…until Audrey meets her brother’s friend Linus.

Audrey’s older brother, Frank, is a bit obsessed with computer games, to their mother’s constant consternation. His only goal in life is to compete in a video game tournament, win $6 million in prize money, and become a professional gamer. So he brings his friend Linus over to the house to start practicing.

Linus knows all about what happened to Audrey, and handles himself and the situation with great care. For a while, Audrey’s anxiety is so great, that she can’t even sit in the same room with him, so they pass notes to each other from different parts of the house. Its really quite cute.

Eventually, Linus gets Audrey out of the house, talking to people, and breaking down some of her barriers. But they disagree 100% on whether or not Audrey should ever have any communication with the girls that hurt her, and if she should ever accept their apology.

Linus and Audrey are adorable. Kinsella nails the transition from a crush to a first relationship so well. And I loved Frank, too. He was supportive when he needed to be, and treated Audrey like a regular person most of the time. I loved the way Frank stood up for her when confronted with one of her attackers, and was so happy when Frank discovered that maybe there was more to life than just video games.

Some parts — THE MOTHER — of the story were a bit over the top, however. Audrey’s mom and her obsession with advice given in The Daily Mail were a bit too much to take at times. I understand a mother’s need to care for and protect her children at all costs, but Audrey’s mom was a bit too much like Becky Bloomwood for me, and it just didn’t fit with the story.

But I mostly loved it. I thought it was a strong portrayal of depression and anxiety, and I really cared about what was going on with Audrey and her life.

It was certainly weird that Kinsella never explained what exactly had happened to Audrey. I kind of wanted to know, but I also didn’t want to know. It must have been something really terrible, and as a parent of a brand-new middle schooler, it probably would have given me nightmares.

 

 

 

24
Apr
15

Becky needs an intervention. CBR7 Review 24.

UnknownShopaholic to the Stars is the latest (the seventh?) book about Becky Bloomwood Brandon, a London girl obsessed with shopping. Over the past six books, she’s found herself in pretty much every single ridiculous plot situation imaginable, all while spending large amounts of cash in order to buy fashionable clothes. She’s kooky, but she has a delightful and grounded bunch of friends and family to keep her in check. You know what you’re going to get when you pick up one of these books, kind of like the UK equivalent to a Stephanie Plum story.

And just like my vow to break up with Stephanie Plum, I think Becky and I are through. This book’s outrageousness was simply too much for me to take.

Becky and her UNREALISTICALLY patient husband, Luke, move off to Los Angeles for a few months so that he can cater to his new movie star client (he’s a something or other in PR, and clearly makes huge amounts of money). Along with their preschool aged daughter, they pick up and head to Hollywood, where Becky decides she’s going to be a top-notch stylist to the stars.

Of course, things don’t go as planned.

Becky gets herself into one crazy plot after another, and frankly, I’m tired of it. Yes, in this one, it seems as if she actually learned that her crazy actions can actually affect others around her, but too little, too late, for me.

Becky spends loads and loads of money. She fibs her way into embarrassing situations. She befriends movie stars, only to find out how absolutely horrid they are. She spends time in a cult-like Hollywood self-help center, and becomes slightly brainwashed. But she’s so cute and charming, how can anyone stay mad at her?

Luke, wake up. She’s draining your bank accounts and making you look like an idiot. Time to move on.

Also, I despised the cover of this book. There was nothing redeeming about it.

Sophie Kinsella is a fun writer, and I’ve usually enjoyed her books. I’ll keep reading her novels, just not the Shopaholic ones. I think I need a break from the “non-stop fun”. I’m assuming there will be another in the series, as this one ends in the middle of a major plot point. I guess I’ll just look it up on wikipedia or goodreads, as I just can’t read another of these.

01
Aug
13

Scootsa1000’s #CBR5 Review 28: Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

UnknownLike books by Janet Evanovich, Sophie Kinsella’s writing is a bit like comfort food for me. Except while Evanovich’s comfort food might be pizza and snack cakes, Kinsella’s is more champagne and sushi. But in a comfortable way.

You always know that you’ll get the following when you read Kinsella: an adorable heroine who doesn’t completely have her life together: she spends too much money, eats poorly, has a dream job that doesn’t really exist in real life, and usually doesn’t make the wisest decisions regarding her love life; a man who is probably too good to be true; and an absurd plot where ridiculous happenings pile up on each other until we reach a happy ending.

Wedding Night fits nicely into that mold. The only difference is that in this book, we have TWO silly and adorable heroines, sisters named Lottie and Fliss.

Lottie has just broken up with the love of her life, Richard, after he doesn’t propose when she thinks he is going to. Fliss is a recent divorcee and mother of adorable Noah. And then Lottie takes up with her ex-boyfriend Ben from when she was 18 and things start to spiral out of control. Crazy marriage proposals and elopements come out of nowhere. And Fliss needs to be the one to try and hold everything together, with the help of Ben’s gorgeous and super-smart best friend, Lorcan.

Yes, this book is absurd. And yes, I knew EXACTLY what would end up happening. But still. I enjoyed it and will continue to read anything Kinsella wants to write about (um, except for ghosts. No more ghosts, please.).

And it sure didn’t hurt that when Lorcan was described as having dark, serious features and dark hair with a widow’s peak, that I had just watched the trailer for Bad Milo with Ken Marino (my erstwhile Pajiba 10 nominee).

 

04
Apr
12

Scootsa1000’s #CBR4 Review #12: I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

After finishing The Fault in Our Stars, I was looking for something a little lighter and a little easier to digest.  And NO CRYING.  So I went through my pile of library books and pulled out the latest by Sophie Kinsella, author of such literary delights as The Shopaholic series of books and other titles like The Undomestic Goddess and Can You Keep A Secret?  These books are the equivalent of a burger and fries.  They aren’t good for you, but you enjoy them and look forward to them anyway.

I’ve Got Your Number is the story of Poppy Wyatt, a 30-something physical therapist in London, who is recently engaged to the gorgeous and brilliant Magnus.  They haven’t been dating very long, but they both felt getting married was the right thing to do, and he gave her a gorgeous emerald ring (that just so happens to be a family heirloom).  At the very start of the book, Poppy realizes that she has lost her ring while at a big event in a hotel ballroom, and is madly searching for it with the hotel’s entire cleaning staff.  As she is about to leave (and go face Magnus and his family without the ring), her phone is stolen and she realizes that she has no way for the hotel to contact her if they find the ring.

Of course, this is when Poppy finds another, perfectly good phone in a trash can in the hotel lobby, and decides that this is her phone from now on.  It turns out that the phone belonged to the disgruntled assistant to a local businessman named Sam Roxton.  And after a quick Beyonce-themed singing telegram for a Japanese businessman, Poppy and Sam begin a text and phone-call relationship.

Poppy helps Sam to be a better man at work, and to realize that he doesn’t have to be all business, all the time.  Sam helps Poppy realizes that she is smarter and more important than she believes herself to be.  They begin to enjoy their quick conversations more and more…will they become friends or even something more?

Oh, and did I mention that Sam is extremely wealthy and equally handsome?

Even though I could see the ending coming a million miles away, I still enjoyed the story and was actually sorry when it ended.  I could have used another 100 pages of Kinsella’s fun version of London.




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