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Monday, 27 February 2017

I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

The more romance I watch and read, the more convinced I am that this is one of the hardest genres to write. I had a go-to instant buy romance author who I feel like I've discussed extensively on his blog - Nicholas Sparks. But I've fallen out of love or maybe grown out of Nicholas Sparks. They either aren't as good as they used to be or, we were all on something and they were never good to begin with. Sigh. Whichever one it was, I wasn't giving up and have been continuing the search! The thing is, if I'm tired of a book - even in the first few pages, I don't stick around and tend to ditch; and my radar for crap romances is well and truly alert.

I'm ashamed to admit that while I've heard about Sophie Kinsella for years, I just thought - it's main stream "chick-lit" (problematic genre - rant coming soon) so it can't be good. Which by the way, is a really shameful and shallow thought process. Don't do it.
Anyway, I was listening to Emma Gannon's Ctrl Alt Delete podcast as I do every week (I'm really building this up aren't I?) and Sophie Kinsella was a guest and talking about her latest book My Not SO Perfect Life. Sophie Kinsella was giving super intelligent, articulate, thoughtful and real conversation.


So after hearing this voice, I read the blurb of a random book of hers - I've Got Your Number and bought it straight away. This blurb screamed rom-com plot and I bought it on that whim. We all know that a 2-Dimensional love story is far easier to watch than it is to read so Sophie Kinsella really had to come through, and and I was pleasantly surprised?!

I’ve lost it. :( The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day! Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. Stay positive :) !!
Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!
Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.
What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents . . . she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

Guys. I've Got Your Number is like every element you want in a perfect rom-com, but in book form. Poppy is funny and ditsy and also unsure of herself. Because the book is written in her voice it's in her voice, it's really interesting to see the way she talks to herself, because she doesn't really give herself enough credit. She's intelligent and needs o trust her instincts more, but doesn't. But she does grow up and there is a really beautiful and satisfying character development in this book! She's a flawed but unintentionally hilarious and relatable character.

(SPOILER-ish ZONE) 

Why its such a good rom-com? Kinsella a. understands her characters and b. understands the balance between comedy and romance. Yes, the situations are kind of ridiculous at times but because there's restraint even with how ridiculous the plot lines go, these plot lines are well developed and because they're so funny, its so easy to roll with it. There are also just as many twists and turns but, always done in a funny and charming way - meaning we do just get lost in the story. I can't emphasise this enough, every, single, twist serves a purpose later on - to its characters and the overall story. It's wasn't linear or predictable, which is at such a service to the characters.

Of course I too fell for Sam in a way in which, it's not even normal to fall for a fictional character. And I think you'll fall for him, at the same time that Poppy starts to fall for him which again, makes you feel like you're really settling into this story. This love story is slow burner that is warm, and sweet and authentic. I mean really, bravo Kinsella. 

I also loved the ending and how it's not a typical fairy-tale riding-off-into-the-sunset-live-happily-ever-after-and-have-twenty-kids-who-grow-up-to-be-super-attractive-blah-blah-blah ending. It's a little open but you can create your own idea of what happens after the last page.

All in all, this is the first time in a long time I've felt inclined to read an author's entire body of work. The writer clearly understands human relationships and I really think I've found something super special here. Romance is a craft, that this book has hit right on the head.

5/5
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