As mentioned in a previous post, I checked out Sophie Kinsella's Twenties Girl from the library last week. I have not read the Shopaholic series, or any of her books before. I have yet to see the film. The real reason I checked it out? The girl drawn on the cover had a dragonfly dangling from her necklace, so I thought it can't be that bad.
And it wasn't
It was a fun, light read. It involved a bit of a mystery, which I was particularly interested in from a writing standpoint. I really hate it when a mystery or suspense writer makes it totally obvious, AND when that kind of writer gives you no good clues and changes all the rules at the end (see Lost finale post for more on this). Somewhere in the middle and I am fine. I was pleased with this novel. There was plenty of building evidence, and even though I kind of knew where it was heading, I had no idea how the author would get us there. The characters were fun and sweet, and there were enough twists in the plot to keep me on my toes.
Here's the basic premise:
The main character, Lara, is a bit of a mess. She's obsessing over her ex boyfriend (to the point he's asked her parents to get her to stop texting him *wince*). She starts a new business with her best friend, using all of her own savings, and her friend promptly bails on her. Her friend is traveling in India and decides to stay- no idea of when she'll return. Now she's the only person running "their" headhunting company, and she has no idea of how the job is done. When we meet Lara she is heading off to her Great Aunt's funeral, who nobody in the family really knew, or spent time with. In the midst of the funeral, Lara starts to hear voices, and soon realizes she's being haunted by her Aunt Sadie's ghost. The ghost of Aunt Sadie is desperately looking for her lost necklace. Lara has to stop the funeral and then find the necklace or she may never have any peace again.
Though I had no idea when I grabbed the book, it features a nice little mystery. The ghost was the cute, funny, entertaining type of ghost-- nothing remotely horrific or scary about it, which was also a plus for me. Life is tough enough, I don't need to be freaked out by books. Sadie was a young girl in the roaring twenties, which is an era I love. That was the form her ghost took, so it was interesting to read about the clothes/makeup/beauty regimens of the time.
My one complaint is that because Lara is always talking to a ghost that no one else can see, she often pretends to be on the phone. It felt like a bit of a stretch at times. Yes, for the most part I would ignore someone who seemed to be speaking into a phone, but not if, for example, they were yelling something like :"You're dead! When are you going to understand that!" Even the typically disinterested tube commuter would notice that I think.
I definitely recommend this book. A bit of mystery, a bit of social commentary, a bit of romance and family dynamics, but all lighthearted and fun. Though it won't go into the "to read again" pile, I enjoyed it immensely.