Sunday, March 25, 2012
BOOK REVIEW: I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
Poppy Wyatt has lost her engagement ring followed by a stolen cellphone, so why wouldn't she grab a dumped cell in the trash bin and use it to stay connected? The premise is a bit more than that. Poppy is getting married (to a man she barely knows) and she is desperate to find the ring so his very academic family doesn't realize what an idiot she is. She borrows a cell and through a series of events she and the man (Sam Roxton) who technically lays claim to the phone begin a textual relationship, strictly platonic (of course that might change since this is a romantic comedy) until the ring has been located. But once the ring is found, Poppy can't seem to part with the phone and she then finds herself not only planning a wedding, but helping Sam stop a scandal that can ruin his company, and the reputation of an honorable man. Phew! That sure is a lot of background story. What one should take away from the premise is that girl meets phone, then meets boy while getting married to another boy then girl loses phone.
Sophie Kinsella is the queen of the Chick Lit genre. She's the queen because she writes well. She knows her genre. She hits the beats. She has a knack for witty and fast paced dialogue. I enjoy this genre as it's quick and easy, and mostly painless. But I am finding that the older I get the more annoyed I become with her female leads (I'm particularly fed up with her Shopaholic series as Becky Bloomwood has gone from quirky and unique to downright insane).
Poppy Wyatt, although I liked her in the beginning, started to really piss me off. She's a complete idiot, clueless and just downright dumb. She's charming and sweet, and has a heart of gold (like all Kinsella's leads) but it's getting old and repetitive. Poppy, using a company phone (a company she doesn't work for) takes it upon herself to answer emails and texts for Sam in a way that he never would. He's a professional and doesn't need to add smiley faces and xxxxxxx at the end of his name. No normal and sane man would do that. And Poppy not realizing how unprofessional that is causes a lot of problems. Now I know the plot needs conflict and obstacles, but when it comes from the likes of a lead who is so clueless as to the mess she could be creating it just feels forced. I mean, who is this Poppy? What world does she live in? On what planet is it okay for her to pretend she's a male boss and send an email ending with kisses to a female underling? Does she not know that technically speaking, that's harassment?
I was just frustrated by Poppy's actions, especially the wedding at the end. I won't give it away, but let's just say that her actions made me feel really sorry for her in a way that made me think she was pathetic. And it's never good for the lead character to be viewed as pathetic.
I wish Kinsella would think more outside the Chick Lit box. Give her characters some edge because the whole stupid, but sweet shtick is starting to grate.