Poppy Wyatt is a lucky woman. She’s got a career that she enjoys, a brilliant and sexy fiancé, and her wedding is only days away. Unfortunately, her luck seems to turn when she unexpectedly loses her antique, family-heirloom engagement ring and has her cell phone stolen–all in the same afternoon. In a fit of panic at the thought of being out-of-touch (could anything be more devastating for a modern woman than being without a mobile phone? Horrors!), Poppy sees a phone in the trash and scoops it up, claiming it for her own. She gives her new number to everyone and starts playing secretary to the former owner of the phone, a flaky PA to an important businessman, Sam Roxton.
When she and Sam finally meet face-to-face, Poppy promises to fill in for his missing PA by passing on any messages that arrive for him via the phone. Thus begins a relationship that will immerse Poppy in Sam’s world and vice-versa, as they begin to depend on each other for support, advice, friendship, and maybe more…
I’ve read most of Sophie Kinsella’s books, from her popular Shopaholic series to her stand-alone novels. I tend to prefer the latter, and this book was no exception. The writing is quick, fun, and full of humor. Kinsella creates a likeable heroine in Poppy, a quirky young woman with a good heart. You can’t help but shake your head at the problems she creates for herself by trying to manage Sam’s life, but she has hidden depths as well. She is insecure in her role as fiancée to an academic with an equally erudite family, and the loss of her own parents at a young age shows her vulnerability as well.
One thing I really like about Kinsella’s books is that she takes the time to develop the relationship between the two main romantic characters in a way that makes it believable. The characters may show some attraction from the beginning, but they get to know one another as people, too–both the good and the bad. The slow build of romantic tension makes the chemistry between the characters even stronger, and when they do get their happy ending, it feels deserved.
Two rather unique aspects that characterized the book were the use of texting and footnotes. Poppy loves her phone and text messages, and she and Sam get to know each other through their back and forth texting. It gives them a way to say things to each other that might not be possible in person. In a particularly memorable part of the book, Sam is outside a hotel at night, and he and Poppy text back and forth to find each other, and in the process confess how much they admire and appreciate one another–something that Poppy admits she never could have done to Sam’s face at that time.
The footnotes are used by Poppy to further explain or give details of particular points she makes as the narrator, and they are a tip of the hat to her fiancé’s academic background. I found it interesting that Kinsella chose to use such different methods of communication–one very modern and informal and the other quite archaic and formal–that to me highlighted the difference in her relationships with the two male characters of Magnus and Sam.
The one problem I had with the footnotes was due to the fact that I was reading a galley, e-book version of the text, and the footnotes didn’t match up to the pages on my Kindle. I kept having to page forward to find the footnoted text that corresponded to the number. This is something that I assume will be fixed by the official release of the book.
All in all, I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Kinsella, chick lit, or just well-written, fun romantic fiction.
Thanks so much to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group and The Dial Press for providing me with a review copy of this book.
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