I’m on quite a roll with one of my new year’s resolutions to read more. Keeping up with at least two books a month, I thought I’d share another recent read. Over the years, I have enjoyed quite a few of Sophie Kinsella’s books. So, when I saw her latest hardback book at Costco for around $15, I thought I’d make this an additional read to my Book of the Month Club for March.
First I should admit that of Kinsella’s 30+ past titles I have probably read at least half. I classify them as ‘easy’ reads and usually ideal summer/beach reads. Not too intellectually challenging i.e. no big words to look up or complicated sentence structures to ponder. Stories that usually have elements of comedy that can often make me chuckle out loud. Plots that don’t stray too much from what could happen in real life (if real life always had happy endings). Settings that are familiar ground for me as quite often London features heavily.
This book follows the trials and tribulations of Katie or Kat or Cat (one person but with a name change depending on who she is trying to be at the time). At first glance, Katie has it all – a life in London she has always dreamed of, the flat, the glamorous job, and all documented on Instagram for the world to witness.
But in reality, the flat is in Catford which means she has to endure the daily commute from hell. (That part gave me flashbacks from my own days of traveling on British Rail to my work in central London). Her glamorous job is not quite her dream job but instead a lowly admin role with a boss from hell. And as for the Instagram feed – well that is all drawn from Katie’s imagination.
As if life could get any worse? Seemingly her ‘perfect’ existence comes to an abrupt halt when her boss fires her forcing her to head home with her tail between her legs. However, life with her dad and stepmom in deepest Somerset turns out to present a different challenge for Katie. As she masterminds the set-up of a glamping business she utilizes all her new-found skills, and many she didn’t realize she possessed, to create a thriving new business. Such is the success of Katie’s marketing material that her old boss books a vacation for her whole family.
What should Katie do? Seek revenge on her boss or try and plead for her old job? The plot takes a few unexpected twists at this point so I won’t spoil the outcome for you the potential reader.
A strength and weakness of Kinsella’s books is that they do tend to be a little formulaic. While Katie’s story is very relatable – young girl starting out in the corporate world full of dreams – a few of the twists and turns she takes were too unrealistic for my liking. At one point the book made me think of the Fifty Shades series, not for the sex I should add, but more for the girl meets unattainable boy element. And of course, there is a happy ending (that’s not really a spoiler alert in a Kinsella book).
But even with these few issues, I would still recommend that you pack this book for a fun beach read. There is something about Kinsella’s stories and writing style that always makes me route for her heroines. And as with many of her other books, I found some of the almost slapstick humor in this book made me laugh out loud and who doesn’t like the guarantee of a happy ending?
Let me know what you think of this or any of Kinsella’s other books? Do you know of other authors with a similar style?
Sophie Kinsella has sold over 36 million copies of her books that have been translated into 40+ languages in 60 countries. She wrote her first novel at the age of 24 while working as a financial journalist. In the year 2000, Kinsella hit the UK bestseller lists with the first in her Shopaholic series. In 2009 the Disney Corporation turned her Confessions of a Shopaholic into a movie that stared Isla Fisher as the heroine Becky Bloomwood.
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