Sunday, April 14, 2013

Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella

Skeptic scale: ♥♥
Story about a girl who is woefully maladapted to keeping secrets - we hear them all within 6 pages and please believe me when I say they are all extremely dumb. 

SK is a good writer - no doubt about that. The book is a quick, light read and there were a few bright moments where I thought I was in for a really great time. Unfortunately, I found the whole thing so tiresome and cliched it was hard to work up any real enthusiasm for the HEA.

He: American CEO of the Company where the h works. He comes to the UK office for some important business and that's where the story is set.

She: Low-ish level, secret-keeping, somewhat immature employee of the company 

Conflict: I'm at a loss to describe what exactly is keeping the two characters apart - maybe because she's a space-cadet with a lot of trouble sticking to reality, or perhaps it's because the H sort of disappears periodically on some secret mission of his own. I couldn't tell you.

The story began strong - she's on a plane sitting next to him (she doesn't yet know he's the CEO of the company) and when they hit turbulence she panics and spills her guts, telling him every secret she's ever kept. Cheesy, but still ok. The story sort of just plods along from there, with her getting caught in sillier and sillier deceptions and him just sort of coolly raising an eyebrow and apparently falling for her air-headedness. 

Issues I had with this book:

1) WHY does the guy fall for her? This is the whole "Bridget Jones" thing again, but unlike the romp-iness of BJ, this h doesn't have the same charm. We're supposed to believe that a with-it, rich and fabulous dude just falls for a manic, fluttery, professionally unsuccessful woman with a myriad issues with the truth? I see why he would flirt with her (can't remember from the description but I assume she was cute)... but why fall for her?

2) No physical chemistry. Like, at all.

3) Emphasis on the "secrets" which are not secrets at all. Oh, she lies about her weight does she? She has a Barbie bedspread? She can't stand one of her co-workers. Why are people even embarrassed about sh!t like that? And H's secret is stupid and adds nothing to the story except to show that unlike her, he can keep a secret.

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