Saturday, May 14, 2011

Let's Do...A Book Review: Twenties Girl

Hello, dear readers,

I'm at it again, quite soon, with another book review. On Wednesday night, I reviewed Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen. I so enjoyed writing a book review that I thought I'd do another. Who knows? Maybe I'll write a book review for every book I read this summer. That would be jolly good fun.

I finished Twenties Girl, by Sophie Kinsella, author of the well-known Shopaholic series, in two days flat. It's somewhere around 400 pages, and I'm a rather slow reader, so that says a bit about how much I liked it. But first, the synopsis from Kinsella's website:

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?

I have to say, straight off, that I much prefer Kinsella's stand-alone novels to her famous series. I quite enjoyed Twenties Girl because it was about much more than Lara looking for a man to complete her. Along the way, Lara befriends Sadie and uncovers much about her past that affects her living family's future. Now, I don't actually like anything to do with the supernatural, and was quite skeptical of a chick lit book incorporating a ghost, but this is a fun, flirty ghost with a penchant for changing Lara's style and helping her be more carefree.

Girl and ghost learn a lot from each other about true love, the importance of family, and moving onward with life. Of course there is a love story throughout; it's chick lit, therefore that's the law, and I certainly don't begrudge it one. The real backbone of the story, though, doesn't seem to be the love story so much as learning what love is as well as what it isn't

The initial plot sets off when Sadie tells Lara to recover her special dragonfly necklace, but the importance of it is unclear until towards the very end of the novel, when things get quite interesting. Details of a long life that Sadie mentions in passing become extremely important towards the end of the novel, integral, in fact. The dynamic between Sadie and Lara is sarcastic and rude on the outside, but quite touchingly loving on the inside. Lara learns to relax and discovers who she can trust, while Sadie learns to open up emotionally. 

The most difficult part of this novel is the mere fact that Sadie is a ghost and Lara must pretend she's constantly on the phone. It could have gotten annoying that Lara talks to a ghost whom no one else can hear, and never tries to explain it, but it doesn't. Often I am left feeling unsatisfied when things are left unresolved in novels, but I think it is appropriate that Kinsella leaves the reader to imagine the other characters' reactions when they find out about the ghost.

Intertwined throughout the novel is the dynamic between Lara's immediate family and the family of their famous Uncle Bill Lington of Lingtons Coffee. It's really interesting to discover with Lara and her family the betrayals and broken loyalties in their family history. Really, it's quite a fun and light read, but with a bit of a deeper message than most chick lit novels. This one is warmer and with a bit more heart to it, but with the same Kinsella humor and her recurrent theme of heroines in crap jobs trying to work their way up in the world.

All in all, I'd say this is definitely worth a read if you like chick lit with a little more substance hidden between the lines. It doesn't feel deep while you read it, really, but the messages within are worth reflection when you've finished. Even if you don't like the Shopaholic series, and I must admit I never could quite finish it [the main character got too annoying for my taste], you may find yourself loving this book.

That's it for my review today. I realize these have been quite scattered and stream of consciousness, or maybe that's in my imagination, but I'll work on them. If you'd like to see more, let me know. If not, I'll probably do them anyway [muahahahahaha!]!

I'm currently juggling four books, one of which I'm unable to get out of the library right now: The Other Boleyn Girl, by Phillipa Gregory; The Color of Magic, by Terry Pratchett; The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman; Harry Potter y la orden del fĂ©nix, by JK Rowling; I can't remember who translated it, but that's the one I can't get out from the library at the moment. I think it's actually physically and mentally impossible for me to read one book at a time. I've found myself reading four to five books during middle school, and possibly even elementary school. It's not even an attention problem; I just like books so much that if I get to a point where I want to put down one book I need to have another at hand, and so on. It's so pleasant to go back and forth, like revisiting an old friend and prolonging the stay. I quite like that simile, actually.

Time for me to go to sleep.

Good night/morning/afternoon wherever you are in the world, dear readers!


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