Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sophie Kinsella - Can You Keep a Secret?

Emma is like every girl in the world. She has a few little secrets.
Secrets from her mother:
1. I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom to Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben Hur.
...From her boyfriend:
2. I'm a size twelve. Not a size eight, like Connor thinks.
3. I've always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken.
...From her colleagues:
4. When Artemis really annoys me, I feed her plant orange juice. (Which is pretty much every day)
5. It was me who jammed the copier that time. In fact, all the times.
...Secrets she wouldn't share with anyone in the world:
6. My G string is hurting me.
7. I faked my Maths GCSE grade on my CV.
8. I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is...
...until she spills them all to a stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger...

Comment: I've had this book in the pile for some time and this month I finally picked it and wanted to read something light. In fact, it was so easy to read this book, even despite the not so interesting details about it, that I've read it all in one day.
Isn't there any sort of unfairness in having to spend time waiting for a book to arrive, then letting it wait even longer in the TBR pile and then when one finally gets to it, it's over in one day? Humm...
So, this is Emma Corrigan's story. She was sent to Scotland to close a deal but she makes a mistake and the company that was signing the deal is even quicker in saying no. Emma gets home to London in a turbulent flight and she can't shut her mouth, so she tells a stranger all her secrets. All of them. from the silly to the important ones.
Back in her job, Emma is thinking about how to explain things when the company she works for gets the visit of their founder and boss, someone who hasn't been in the spotlight after the death of a co-founder. And, suddenly there he is...the stranger from the plane, someone who knows all about Emma, who recognizes Emma, who is her boss...
I had fun with this book, well, some of it. I know this author writes silly, light stories focused on the comic side of life and about how things can be seen through a different lens, it's not full of drama even if some situations seem to be perfect for it, and of course, there's a HEA.
However, I think the situations that could introduce more dramatic effects are lost in the silliness. I get why, but I still wish that sometimes things could be a bit more serious, more balanced at least. It didn't have to lose all the fun and comic scenes! It's just that some things just can't be put aside as easily as that, I would think.
The HEA happens, yes, but then I don't feel the couple's connection is that powerful or strong if they spent so much time joking around or not focused on each other. In this novel they go through some interesting and personal situations that helped them get closer in a way, but I still feel the HEA wasn't as great as it could be. I also would have loved an epilogue or something, jut to let me see how they're doing.
Of course the more funny situations are the key points in the book. I especially liked Emma's replies to some things but she doesn't seem someone very focused on being aware of things around her. Emma is a good person and I really felt for her when she felt down because of how her cousin treated her, how she felt she couldn't measure up and how she felt when she and Connor, her boyfriend of two years, broke up. I liked her and I liked she got an HEA at the end, but I also felt frustrated by her lack of interest in news, in finding strategies to work less, in controlling her actions a bit more... I know it's meant to focus on her "change" to someone more decisive and with a better attitude, but still...
Jack is the hero and he has reasons to be mysterious but sincerely, despite liking him with Emma, and understanding his reservations, I got the feeling I never knew him that well...
The plot is funny because Emma gets herself in all this situations any "normal" person would deal with more gracefully, but she is quite genuine and that's the appeal. In the end, she is just a girl trying to prove her skills, trying to have a better life, trying to show to who matters that she can do it. Of course I liked this aspect of hers.
The book has several silly scenes that obviously are meant to entertain and I did laugh here and there.
My favorite part was knowing what print Emma had on her
I think the talk Emma and Jack had about her secrets, and his for that matter, wasn't as profound as the subject required. That's my biggest issue with the author's novels. the serious part isn't balanced properly and it always looks like the situations get solved rather lightly for their importance.
All in all, it was still a good read, I read it so fast I can't say I didn't have a good time. I would change some things but I think any reader does that, there's always something else we can adjust to our preferences. Still, if one likes the style, the author, the type of book, this one is very entertaining.
Grade: 7/10

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