Thursday, 13 December 2012

I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Title : I've Got Your Number
Author : Sophie Kinsella
Publisher : Random House
Pages : 448
Genre : Chick Lit
My Rating : 9/10
Reviewed For : Random House India



I’ve lost it. :( The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day! Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. Stay positive :) !!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents . . . she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

My Review:

For Chick Lit buffs, Sophie Kinsella is a household name. For me, however, a Sophie Kinsella novel is like my favourite flavour of ice-cream, with which I can just sit back & treat myself to a pleasurable indulgence over & over again!! Kinsella (the pseudonym of British writer Madeleine Wickham) got famous with the best-selling Shopaholic series but apart from that, Sophie has written five stand alone novels, I’ve Got Your Number (IGYN) being the latest of them.
This book is pure, unadulterated chick-lit, starting from its cover to the last word. On the cover, standing out amongst the bright colours, is a Girl with a Cell phone in one hand & a ring above her!! There is also a mysterious guy with trail of alphabets between the girl & the guy. And well, that is really the gist of it.
Poppy Wyatt, our 29-year old protagonist is a free-spirited & charismatic physiotherapist albeit a bit clumsy. After a whirlwind romance of six months, Magnus (tall, handsome & a famous university lecturer) 1 goes down on the knee with his heirloom ring for Poppy. Poppy just cannot believe her luck that after being in the disaster zone as far as the dating scene went; she managed to bag an intellectual Greek God himself!! But then, what’s life if it’s entirely perfect??!! Catastrophe strikes twice as Poppy loses the emerald engagement ring at champagne & cupcakes party with her female friends and then her cell phone too! However she gets a lucky break when she stumbles upon another phone in a nearby trash bin. The phone belongs to the former assistant of Sam Roxton, a handsome & socially aloof executive at a consulting firm. Sam wants the phone back but Poppy convinces Sam to allow her to keep the phone until her ring is found whilst fervently promising to forward his emails & messages. And thence hilarious chaos reigns as Poppy & Sam share a single communication device & their lives get enmeshed.
In this age where high-tech gadgets have become almost a part of our anatomy, the loss of a phone can have disastrous consequences. Sophie Kinsella has used exactly this premise & developed the plot adding her usual trademark humour & wittiness which frankly, just makes this read unputdownable. The best part without doubt is the marathon exchange of texts between Poppy & Sam, the stark contrast between their text replies being inevitable. While Poppy’s texts are gushy with loads of hugs & kisses (xoxo), Sam really is a man of few words (literally!!)
Honestly speaking, when I first read the blurb for IGYN, I feared that Poppy would be a character similar to other Kinsella heroines. But as I read the book, I realised that apart from being endearingly predictable, she was rather different. Poppy is an appealing character, someone that you & I might turn out to be. Struggling with her own insecurities & driven by the need to be accepted by everyone, she turns out to be a people pleaser subconsciously. However, she is vivacious, has an affectionate personality and is extremely burbly whilst being whacky at times. In short, someone whom everyone ends up liking. Sam, on the other hand, is snippy, sharp, stoic & brutally honest!!  Needless to say, a volley of insane & rib-tickling events are triggered as a result of the interaction between Sam & Poppy. Plus, you cannot really blame Poppy for her inquisitiveness as she snoops around in Sam’s phone opening a Pandora’s Box!!
Kinsella has taken two diametrically opposite characters with strong personalities & has developed them as the plot progresses. Both gain a refreshing perspective from each other & realise their own flaws. From being strangers to having something undefined between Sam & Poppy, is the kind of build up that the readers will be rooting for & Kinsella gives them just that but with her own unique spin! The only downside is that a few of the instances seem unreal & a bit over the top but then, Kinsella is known to have heroines who are drama queens. On the whole, this is a light-hearted & warm romantic comedy that will liven up an otherwise drab day. So what are you waiting for??
1. Impressed by the footnotes in Magnus’s book, Poppy tries to include a lot of footnotes throughout the narration whilst her life is on a roller coaster ride. And well, I thought it is a fun concept so even I included one. J

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Untruly Yours by Smita Shetty

Title : Untruly Yours
Author : Smita Shetty
Publisher : Leadstart Publishing
Pages : 146
Genre : Chick Lit
My Rating ; 8/10
Reviewed For : Chicklit Club


To some Natasha Iyer has it all - Living the life of an affluent NRI, wife of a prominent Psychologist and mother to a cheeky 11 year old. However, behind closed doors, cracks are beginning to appear in her seemingly comfortable relationship with her professionally consumed husband, Rakesh. Although Rakesh seems content with his alpha neatness-fetish-melodramatic wife and bright son; Natasha yearns for romance, passion and excitement. Ironically, the Psychologist husband fails to read between the lines and Natasha is left to her own devices to deal with her unresolved emotions.

An unexpected call from India takes her through a journey of self-discovery with her devastatingly handsome work colleague, Steve. She uncovers in some aspects urban India has changed considerably but equally, deep-rooted social issues still prevail in the so called modern, educated, changing society. A chance encounter with her 'blast from the past' - Veer, adds to the emotional rollercoaster ride. Her one-man-woman status of many years has failed to equip her with vital tools to deal with the unanticipated surge of attention from Steve and Veer. As she attempts to master the finer points of courtship, flirtation and seduction; her life spirals out of control. Natasha is compelled to make tough decisions about her love, friendship, marriage and parenthood.

My Review:

On the first impression to any outsider, Natasha’s world seems picture perfect. Like those jumping out from a fairy tale but then as you move closer, you see the kinks in her otherwise impeccable world.
Natasha Iyer, an NRI & married to her college sweetheart is a free spirited soul who tries being a perfect wife, an ideal host & a caring mother. But trying to be everything at once, she feels her real self slipping away!! Engulfed by a wave of loneliness & frustration, she jumps at the first chance that comes her way to escape from the monotony of her marriage, life & other things in general to return to India.

Shuttling between Natasha’s past & present, the author acquaints us with a potpourri of characters in Natasha’s life – from a professionally consumed husband, the Godzilla mommy-in-law, the 11-year old son who is clearly too impertinent for his age to a smokin’ hot colleague at work, her family in India, her BFF – Priti plus not to forget the philandering flirt Veer. Along with keeping the main focus of Natasha, these characters have also been well developed by the author.

The much anticipated homecoming turns out to be a bittersweet journey for her. A part of her craves for stability & another feisty part of her is pulled towards the allure of infidelity. Obviously, juggling between the attentions of the devastatingly handsome males - Steve & Veer, Natasha finds it difficult to stay clear of trouble as she takes the road less travelled. Needless to say, she falters a lot but then as she does find her way round the maze.
This book without doubt gives an insight into an NRI’s musings about contemporary India. With the mommy-in-law still playing the baddie in one’s life to the menial strata of women in society to the simmering issues such as dowry, the author gives a colourful yet thought provoking illustration of life in modern India!!! The author has a writing style that is simplicity redefined. She has churned out a plot & cast that is entirely relatable & that is what makes this read refreshingly honest. The narration tickles your funny bone almost all through the read & yet leaves that thought lingering behind that prods our perspective. Pick it up on a weekend or a journey & you will breeze through the 146 pages of the book without even realising it. My only sorrow was that the author kept it slightly short. With that narration I could go on for another 100 pages!! Kudos to Smita on her debut effort....