I am starting to get a little frustrated with Sophie Kinsella. I enjoy her very silly British humor, and I enjoy reading her books in a British accent in my head, but sometimes her characters are so stupid and her situations are so ridiculously unrealistic, they are outright unlikable.
I’ve Got Your Number is about Poppy Wyatt losing her emerald engagement ring and finding a cell phone in the garbage after someone steals hers. For the first 1/3 of the book she attempts to cover up the missing ring and make excuses for her new phone number in the same ridiculous manner in which Becky behaves in the Shopaholic series: annoyingly naïve and never able to see/do the simple solution, which is to just. Tell. The. Truth. Poppy develops an odd relationship with the owner of her new cell phone, Sam Roxton — he helps her buy a fake ring so her obnoxious in-laws don’t suspect anything, allows her to help him professionally by forwarding emails (the phone previously belonged to his assistant) and gives her advice about her personal relationships. It is obvious from, like, the fifth page that Poppy and Sam are going to fall in love, so that part is kind of cute, but the rest of the story was just a little too bizarre to enjoy.
It’s interesting that Kinsella highlights a romance developing almost entirely over text messages and emails. Poppy mentions several times how she prefers talking to Sam electronically instead of in person because she feels she can be more herself, but that’s a pretty dangerous way to feel, no? I’m not saying I’m not guilty of being on my phone all the time, but I try not to base all of my relationships on a 2″ x 5″ device. There’s still something to be said for in-person communication, you know? Another thing that bothered me about their relationship is how Poppy discovers her fiancé Magnus (who proposed to her after ONE MONTH of dating, come on now) has been sleeping with her wedding planner, who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend and someone he almost proposed to, and she is heartbroken. But what has she been doing with Sam this whole time? Certainly not having an appropriate relationship with a member of the opposite sex while engaged to another, so why is he wrong but she’s not? UGH, life is so complicated.
I am starting to prefer Sophie Kinsella when she is writing as Madeleine Wickham, whose characters are drastically less stupid, so perhaps I’ll just stick to her from now on.