Friday, April 22, 2016

Sophie Kinsella - Twenties Girl

Lara has always had an overactive imagination. Now she wonders if she is losing her mind. Normal twenty-something girls just don't get visited by ghosts! But inexplicably, the spirit of Lara's great aunt Sadie - in the form of a bold, demanding Charleston-dancing girl - has appeared to make one last request: Lara must track down a missing necklace Sadie simply can't rest without.
Lara's got enough problems of her own. Her start-up company is floundering, her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, and she's just been dumped by the love of her life.
But as Lara spends time with Sadie, life becomes more glamorous and their treasure hunt turns into something intriguing and romantic. Could Sadie's ghost be the answer to Lara's problems and can two girls from different times end up learning something special from each other?

Comment: I bought this book along some others last year in a used books bookstore because despite my pet peeves with this author's work, I still appreciate the time I spend with her characters, so I added this one to my TBR list. This month I gave it a go.

This is the story of Lara Lington, a young woman who works at a job she doesn't understand, has a family she can't impress and at her grand-aunt's funeral she starts seeing ghosts, namely the young version of the deceased talking to her, asking about a necklace.
Lara can't help bust listen and that will put her in positions where others think she's weird and where she ends up making a fool out of herself... in trying to help Sadie, the ghost, and trying to get together with her ex, Lara also meets Ed and gets to know the history of a famous painting...somehow all this will be important to help Sadie. And what about the family secrets?
Will Lara be able to do something to make the past right?

This is quite the story, a woman helping the ghost of her great aunt so she can find peace and all in a comic sort of style. The author is known for her funny books, funny heroines and completely unlikely situations which somehow translates into a quirky book with a HEA at the end.
Usually I feel entertained enough by this author's books because there's always a certain spark of seriousness, of human emotions in a scene, a moment, which make me think and "feel" for while and that's the key points for me. But oh, to suffer through some of the silliest situations ever to get to that...

I understand it's probably the thing that appeals the most to readers. I mean, if one can't stand this anyway, the book wouldn't be read, but often, to me, it's too much.
Some situations are too unlikely, too exaggerated to be credible, even in a fictional/comic book. And the fact it happens so many times in one book...
Yes, this is the author's style and I expect it so, but at the same tie I keep hoping the next book will be more balanced, not as silly, with less caricatures of British seems difficult to accept people could actually behave like that in real life, even if in a controlled way.

The plot is interesting, although Sadie the ghost could be annoying at times. Lara is a good person and we get to understand her softer, more romantic side as the book moves along. I liked how she grew to realize it was important to Sadie to find a special necklace and from then on, the best part of the story developed, when Lara started to think seriously about it and the plot gained a new, more polished, life. Like I said, it is a good plot, even more so with the Lington family secrets arising as the book went towards it's finale, too bad about the ridiculous parts which never seem funny to me anyway.

Lara is trying to reconnect with her ex and she can't seem to "see" reality, and when she finally does, it's so quickly done...I mean, I know she had to, so she could be prepared later on to accept she could develop true feelings for someone else, but still...
The good romance is between Lara and Ed, someone she only goes after because Sadie thinks he's attractive. I liked their personalities and how calm they seemed to be together. Most times, in the single title books by the author, we get the notion they will have a HEA but there's never epilogues showing us that, so I liked it enough when things work out well and we can imagine how things could develop out of the page.

Lara is a special person. I liked her, especially in the end when she finds the truth behind a famous painting, its history, and also how that is connected to Sadie and her uncle Bill, who the world knows a  renowned coffee entrepreneur. There's a certain layer of interest int his book which gives it points and I liked that. Good was also how Lara realized some things and did what she could to make her life happier. This is the best message int he author's books: we have the tools to make out life happier but that may mean we have to overcome hurdles that aren't easy for us to deal with. But the result can be amazing, we just have to believe in ourselves. (And having someone believing with us helps too).

After finishing the book, I was glad I read it, I liked the romance, Lara, Sadie after all... but I can't put aside the ridiculous scenes and how totally unapproachable they are to relate to our real lives. It removes some of the appeal for me but I can understand why it meets expectations of many.
Grade: 7/10

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