REVIEW: I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
Dear Ms Kinsella,
I’m sitting here shaking my head at the fact that I’ve some how, some way managed to have not read any of your books. Up til now that is. And this one I read with no blurb to lure me or lead me on. Just your rep and the fact that – as mentioned in the first sentence – yours is a name missing on my “I’ve tried this author” list. After finishing “I’ve Got Your Number,” I agree with your publisher that I lost myself in the story and – throwing this bit in myself – didn’t want it to end.
Poppy Wyatt is frantic. At a luncheon “do” with her bridesmaids and wedding planner, her family heirloom “worth a bloody fortune” engagement ring has gone missing. As she drives the hotel staff mental and sends out a flood of phone texts, her day is capped off when her phone is snatched out of her hand by a drive by thief. Staggering back inside the hotel, she notices a phone tossed in the rubbish bin – a perfectly good phone and once something is thrown away it’s fair game, right? Picking it up Poppy quickly transfers her life to it in the form of her contact list after which she sends out the number to everyone searching for her ring. When the man whose business PA the phone belong(s)(ed) – tense depends on whom you’re talking to – realizes Poppy has it, he wants it back – company property, you know. Poppy quickly spins a deal. She’ll keep the phone for a day until she can replace her own and in the meantime, she’ll forward any texts that are sent to Sam – the businessman – via his now defunct PA. Since Poppy scoots out of the hotel before Sam can do anything, he’s forced to go along.
As texts and phone calls start pouring in, and Poppy begins scrolling back to discover the origins of all these threads in Sam’s life, she can’t help but begin to become involved – it’s just the helpful – okay, slightly nosey – way she is. And honestly she’s doing him a favor to respond to the third or fourth requests some people have sent him. Can the man never answer these? Before long, Poppy thinks she knows as much about Sam as she does about herself. Or does she? Corporate hijinks, pre-wedding jitters and a ton of text messages later will Poppy be walking down the aisle towards the man she thought she would be?
When handed a Chick Lit book, I’ve realized my resistance is pretty much futile. It’s like leaving dark chocolate in front of me and thinking I’m not going to at least sample it. Ain’t gonna happen. Still, even though I’m helpless about starting to read one of them, the story and characters had better grab my attention and interest quickly. And I want something beyond the standard ditzy heroine in London with a crap job who makes a prat of herself.
Poppy’s lost engagement ring accounts for her hyperventilation state and neatly sets up the plot which, I’ll admit, has to be swallowed whole in order for the story to keep going. Sam is a very important businessman but it’s quickly revealed he’s also a nice guy as shown when he helps Poppy ace the intellectual Scrabble game she has to play with her brainiac future in-laws and fiance – via the phone of course. And, in a scene that had me busting out laughing, he helps her get a copy of The Ring made in order to buy her some more time before fessing up. I hope he eventually manages to redeem himself in the eyes of the jewelry store assistants.
Meanwhile, Poppy’s efforts on Sam’s behalf do cross the line a time or four but to her credit, from what she can see about it, she really does feel she’s helping Sam at his workplace. This is followed by Sam helping her build her self confidence as he reminds her that she’s just as important as her famous to-be in-laws and that she does great work at the job she loves helping make people feel better. There’s depth here and I can see both Sam and Poppy growing and becoming better because of the other. They work well together, talk to each other and laugh as well. They see the value in each other and help show that to others as hilariously depicted in the finale wedding fiasco. Those last 40 pages had me on the edge of my seat to see how it would get to where I knew it had to go while simultaneously laughing almost the whole way. No doubt about it, Poppy’s near wedding will be a viral sensation. Poor Reverend Fox will probably need a few swigs from a bottle of something potent to get over the shock. Not since the last wedding in “4 Weddings and a Funeral” have I laughed this hard.
It’s obviously taken me far too long to read one of your books but it’s something I’ve finally corrected. And you can bet that in the future I’ll be queuing up as soon as the new one is available. B+
After this wonderful review, I went right over to Amazon… and ouch! $12.99 for the kindle version. She’s a new author to me too, and this is way too expensive for a trial. Guess I’ll just wait til it comes out in paperback… if I remember to.
I got a copy through Amazon Vine and had much the same reaction as you. The one thing I wish had been dropped were the footnotes. I eventually stopped reading them because they pulled me away from the more enjoyable part of the story.
@Sarah: I liked the footnotes but agree that they got to such a number that they were slightly distracting.
@becca:$12.99! Whoa! I totally see where you’re coming from. That’s a chunk o’ change to lay out for any new-to-you author.
@Jayne: I think the high price is because Kinsella’s had a number of successful books before – her Shopholic series. That series declined, IMO, but thanks to your review of this, I’m gonna read the new book.
(She even had a movie made of Shopoholic.)
I LOVE Sophie Kinsella. Years ago I picked up a Shopaholic book wasn’t too impressed, but like you her name kept coming up. I then discovered Can You Keep a Secret? That was it for me. I will be picking up this book.
This sounds really good! I’m definitely keeping my eyes out for this!
I started my Kinsella reading with Can You Keep a Secret a few years ago. Loved it! Not so crazy about the Shopaholic books, but she’s a great writer. This looks like lots of fun *adding to shopping list*
@Sarah The first chapter alone is golden. I have never laughed so hard in my life.
Wow. After Remember Me? I’d crossed this author off my list. Rethinking it, but not sure I’m convinced I should give her another try. Remember Me? was that bad.
Sophia leads the pack of Brit Chick Lit books that are fun, especially for American readers who think they are Anglophiles (like myself). My favorite from Sophia is UNDOMESTIC GODDESS. I also enjoyed CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET and the Shopaholic Series (the series kept me laughing even as it became repetitive).
My mother won I’VE GOT YOUR NUMBER and loved it! I’m trying to coax her into mailing it to me!
@Sofia Harper: @sarah mayberry: Can You Keep a Secret sounds like the next book of hers I should try. A friend had read a number of the Sophaholic books and said similar things about the series.
Sophie Kinsella’s one of those authors who, even when I don’t really like her books (like the Shopaholic series. I do find them funny, but God, Becky gets tiring sometimes), I still have to keep reading them. She’s got me hooked. I thought I was done with her after Remember Me?, but Twenties Girl and especially I’ve Got Your Number reeled me back in. I even found myself enjoying the last Shopaholic book! This woman has a hold on me D:
This was my first Kinsella, too, and I really enjoyed it — other than some of her meddling was just too much. and the footnotes. (Copy through Amazon Vine.) I can’t even imagine how annoying those footnotes would be on a Kindle.
Since then, I’ve also read Can You Keep a Secret? and enjoyed that one even more.
I loved this book! I agree that the footnotes were really annoying — and quite distracting. I stopped reading after the first one. LOL.
I loved the ending, more than made up for my exasperation with Polly after she turned around her decision (I don’t want to reveal spoilers) but I just can’t get over how could she forgive that man so easily and went on with the….?? (hopefully, you know what I’m referring to as I’m trying to be discreet here.. hehe!)
Can You Keep a Secret? is my favorite by this author, and one of my top 10 all time. *LOVE* that book. 20’s girl was another stellar one!
Having read all of Kinsella’s books, I feel this was not one of her stronger ones for me. The heroine and the twists towards the end and the msg she sends hero… blech. Her lack of solid female relationships that weren’t toxic really bugged me too.
that said, even a “bad” Kinsella still is better than most any other contemp. light and fluffy novel. There was a lot to like in this one, it just didn’t wow me.
I just had a look at her site and she has also written a bunch of books under her real name, Madeline Wickham. But they are not romance, from what I can tell. The name change to Kinsella signalled the shift to chick-lit. But I heartily recommend Can You Keep A Secret. Great fun, romantic, I still think about it from time to time.
Eck. I meant Poppy not Polly!
Can You Keep A Secret had me in tears I was laughing so hard. Unfortunately I was in public! It’s one of my favorite books of all time.
All of Kinsella’s non-Shopaholic books are on my keeper shelf. Can’t wait to read this one!
I think I’m in the minority over here in that the Shopaholic books are easily my favorite of Kinsella’s. I absolutely hate shopping and usually can’t stand heroines who seem to be pathological liars but damn if I don’t love Becky Bloomwood. She can be a ninny most of the time but she’s always sweet and sincere and generally wants the best for the people in her life. The moments she has where she just stands up and kicks ass always make me cheer. She’s a mess but I love her. “Shopaholic and Sister” was the lowpoint in that series for me but I thought the latest one was spectacular.
I do agree that “Remember Me?” was terrible, though. Blech.
I’m excited about this new book.
Will have to check this one out….I am very partial to Uk authors, they write a good story and their grammar and use of the English language is much more extensive then a lot of North American writers.
Other author(s) to check out are Jill Mansell, Sarah Mason, Maggie Alderson ( she is an Aussie) and Harriet Evans.
They all write some good reads and a little something different than the “canned romances”
I love Sophie Kinsella’s stand-alone books. Not so keen on her Shopaholic books, but I loved Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess and Twenties Girl. I’ve this book on my Kindle and I look forward to starting it soon.
Other Brit chick lit authors to look out for are Christina Jones, Katie Fforde, Jill Mansell, Milly Johnson, Trisha Ashley, Victoria Connelly, Sue Moorcroft and Jane Lovering.
@Patty: Heh, me too. I always feel slightly guilty when I tell people I only read contemporary romance — actually historical too — that’s set in the UK but I just love the sense of humour. It always delights and fascinates me. But then I am a bit of an Anglophile. :p
And yaaaaaaaayyy, I adore Sophie Kinsella! A recent discovery for me too, Jayne, but I absolutely adore almost every book of hers except for that godawful one about the amnesia — was that Remember Me? — because I just couldn’t get over one aspect that totally tainted the whole book for me. I’m not sure I should say what it was cos it’s a huge spoiler.
May I recommend The Undomestic Goddess? It has one of the hottest sex scenes I have ever read — and yeah, that’s a lot — plus I found the whole feminist subtext of it very interesting. Almost provocative, really. :p
I can’t wait for payday to get my hands on this new one!
@Julie B: Years ago I read “Tickled Pink” and “Stealing the Show ” by Christina Jones plus “Perfect Timing” by Jill Mansell. None of them actually seem like traditional “Chick Lit” to me – more like gentle, contemporary English romances. Are these still the types of books they’re writing?
@Jayne Jill Mansell and Christina Jones are still writing romantic comedies – although in the last few years, Christina Jones has incorporated light magical touches(horoscopes, spells etc – no shapeshifters or vampires) to her stories that don’t detract from the romance or the comedy of her books.
In the UK, the terms chick lit, romantic comedy and contemporary women’s fiction are pretty much interchangeable. In fact, Jill Mansell is frequently regarded as one of the queens of chick lit in the UK.
Another romantic comedy writer I love is former Harlequin and Little Black Dress author Julie Cohen.
@Dri “May I recommend The Undomestic Goddess? It has one of the hottest sex scenes I have ever read — and yeah, that’s a lot — plus I found the whole feminist subtext of it very interesting. Almost provocative, really. :p”
I thought I was the only person on the planet who thought that scene was the hottest damn thing I’ve ever read. I read erotic and still that scene is hawt. The only other scene that could beat it would be one of Maggie Shane (last name?). The title escapes me, but those pages are well creased. lol
As for Remember Me? not my fav, it has to contend with Can You Keep A Secret? and Undomestic Goddess, but I didn’t find the Big Conflict bothersome. Although I can understand why it would be a wall banger for some.
I second all that, especially Milly Johnson (I think her books would be filed under Contemporary Romance in the US) and Jill Mansell.
I know some are divided over those authors, but I like their voices: Alexandra Potter, Catherine Alliott, Hester Browne and Dorothy Koomson (she rejects the ‘chick lit’ label, though).
I second Maili’s rec of Dorothy Koomson. I love her work. Her most recent books have been more in the direction of psychological suspense than chick lit, mind.
@Maili: I love Milly Johnson’s books because her characters are so real and she has a wonderful sense of humour that always has me laughing out loud. I used to love reading Catherine Alliott, but I haven’t read one in years – I must remedy that! I must give Browne, Potter and Koomson a try, though. Thanks for the recommendation.
I’d read the first Shopaholic (before I saw the movie in the theater), and I have to say I LOVED this one compared to it. I had tears streaming down my face during the “mistaken gift” scene at Wanda’s birthday. Fantastic.
As fate would have it I walked into my library and they had 5 copies out on display. I <3 this book. I loved how the phone was used to arc the characters and the romance.
"Meanwhile, Poppy’s efforts on Sam’s behalf do cross the line a time or four but to her credit, from what she can see about it, she really does feel she’s helping Sam at his workplace."
This is why I'd also give it B. Good lord, Poppy was meddlesome. Even though I'd groan I couldn't wait for Sam's reaction. And the "consequences." Thanks for putting this release on my radar.
@Sofia Harper: Poor Sam. I thought he was going to blow a gasket a few times. The consequence of the “fun run” was especially hilarious.
I reserved this book at my library after reading this review, and just got it the other day. I read it in one go, staying up till 3:30 last night (urgh! You just hit that point of no return, though, and then it’s irrelevant how late it gets). I haven’t done that in years! I don’t reckon the book would make my top 10 – it’s not brilliant in that way some books are – but it’s just so very, very readable. Great recommendation!
Just finished … a fun read!
I read this just last week because it was on the recommended list for a lot of people out of this year’s books. Not a fan of the “Shop-o-holic” series, but “Can You Keep a Secret” is one of my all-time favorite books. I’ve easily re-read it at least a dozen times. If you loved this one, Jayne, then you have to read “Can You Keep a Secret”.
@sanalayla: That title seems to be beloved by a lot of people. I’ll have to look for a copy.