I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella(4 out of 5)
If you wanted me to pick an ideal beach read, this one would be the one to win for this summer. I have liked and read Sophie Kinsella since the Shopaholic series(Becky, come back, I miss you!). Some of her individual stand-alone novels I have enjoyed, others not so much. This one was the first of hers in a few years that I enjoyed start to finish. Meaning once I started it, I didn’t put it down until I finished it- 8 hours total. That’s highly irregular with my reading patterns these days. Which means, in short, I really, really enjoyed the book.
Poppy Wyatt is deliriously happy- or is she? She’s marrying the man of her dreams(or is he?) Magnus. However, the route to that road to matrimony is fraught with issues. Namely, the fact that Poppy’s lost her engagement ring and is terrified to tell not only Magnus, but his imposing, domineering pseudo-brainiac family. Things go from bad to worse when she also loses her cell phone. Walking past a garbage bin, despairing of her rotten luck, Poppy spots a mobile phone amidst the trash. She fishes it out and ends up tampering with it, emailing the people who are emailing the rightful owner, and reading emails that are none of her business. Before long, the owner, Sam gets ahold of Poppy and tells her he wants the phone back. However, Poppy ends up saving his ass with a group of business people from Japan, and so he agrees to let her hold onto the phone until she receives a definitive answer about her ring(she’s given that mobile number to anyone searching for the missing ring, meaning half the universe). She in turn agrees to play his PA since his quit so abruptly(and tossed the phone, which is how Poppy comes to be in possession of it). Poppy ends up enjoying the wheeling and dealing involved with being Sam’s fill-in PA, even when it means she decides to be more friendly via email and use his name. She also ends up causing more than one problem with her email replies in his stead. It’s all fun and games, until someone plants phony memos and tries to overthrow the elderly head of the company that Sam works for. Poppy ends up being the unlikely hero, but she also ends up confronting hard truths that Sam gets her to see- namely, that she should not be marrying Magnus when he’s not the sharpest, most honest poker chip on the table. He also gets her to confront the fact that her self-confidence is suffering a crisis of conscience due to hanging out with Magnus’ bullying family and that some of her so-called friends really aren’t, espicially where Magnus is concerned. Poppy is thrilled to have Sam as an unlikely friend, and things get real complicated when she realizes she has feelings for Sam, but she’s engaged to another.
I love the book because Poppy is a fantastically sympathetic and human character. She’s very upfront about her shortcomings and her dream of fitting in fantastically with Magnus’ Superfamily. She’s also very conflicted about her feelings for Sam. Sam is a character who I really didn’t think was so super until almost the very end. I did enjoy the hell out of Poppy. I wish there had been more supporting female characters for Poppy to lean on. There’s an element of close feminine friendship missing in this book, and normally that’s not the case with Sophie Kinsella. I felt like Poppy was alone in her doubts throughout most of the book, and it seemed like Sam replaced the typical female best friend. But can’t you have both- a great female friend AND a guy you’re falling for? It didn’t feel so much here. That’s my only complaint, really. otherwise, I loved it. Great, great summer read.