Friday, July 4, 2014

Review: Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Description: Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?

When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie—a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance—mysteriously appears, she has one request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, because Sadie cannot rest without it.

Stats: Contemporary Fiction, 435 pages, First Published by The Dial Press, July 2009.

My Rating: 3 STARS

Twenties Girl is a ghost story about Lara, a young struggling business women who just got dumped by both her boyfriend and her flaky business partner. Enter Sadie, a 1920's loving former 105 year old who just can't rest in peace without her beloved necklace.

Allow me to start by asking: Is there such thing as a reasonable ghost? I know that them being overly demanding is what make plots like this one work, but for once when the all seeing heroine is freaking out I would love to see a super-reasonable ghostie be all, "Don't worry about it and I'll just come back later when I wouldn't be inconveniencing your life. I'm dead so I have a little bit more perspective then I did when I was living, but If you could at some point save my immortal soul then that would be great too. kthxbye"

But I do love this kind of ghost story, so much so that I've been a little over saturated, but what sold this book for me was Kinsella's writing. Her dialogue and creating individual character voices was what kept me interested despite my former experience in this genre.

Unfortunately, this book wasn't all that it could have been for me. For 435 pages, it didn't feel like it's length matched it's content. The story has this comfortable familiarity to it, but sometimes it got to a point where I was just stuck waiting for the next plot point to come, already knowing what it is. I was just waiting for things to get to the punchline and waiting and waiting.

The characters suffered from this as well, even though they were all energetic and fun, it took till well into the third half of the book for me to start really wanting to root for them. I felt very sympathetic for Lara and Sadie, but I never had that moment where I connected with them. I would feel bad for the situation and then one of them would do something and I would just think, "Someone needs to smack this person. Why hasn't that happened yet?"

Twenties GirlThis frustration happened especially when it came to Lara's relationship with Josh. I know it was suppose to be frustrating, that's part of why I can applaud Kinsella's writing, but it was still there after some 200+ pages. Why? I have no idea.

There were a lot of moments like that one that pushed my buttons but still much to my surprise I found myself enjoying the story. I am a sucker for good dialogue and I absolutely loved the way things ended. This may not have been the most smooth introduction to Sophie Kinsella's writing, but I'm intrigued. This book reminded me just how much I love these sort of romance novels with their bold female leads and swoon worthy boys and shitty best friends. I definitely need to get back in the swing of reading these.

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