Title: Twenties Girl
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Release Date: July 21, 2009
Publisher: The Dial Press
Genre: Mystery, Chick Lit
Source: Curled Up With a Good Book
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Lara Lington’s life is a bit of a mess. Her company, the one she poured her life savings into, is barely staying afloat. Her business partner, Natalie, has run off to India with her lover, leaving Lara in charge of a business she barely understands and isn’t quite sure how to run. It doesn’t help that her uncle is the famous coffee magnate Bill Lington – why couldn’t his business acumen rub off on her, just a little? What’s more, Lara’s beloved boyfriend Josh recently broke up with her for no reason, and with no explanation. But despite what others may think, she is NOT obsessed with him. So she texted him a few times, but she needed closure! She needed to know why he didn’t want to be with her anymore. He had NO REASON to call her parents informing them of her texts; now they all think she’s crazy. Even worse, Lara is afraid she actually is going crazy. She’s begun seeing ghosts.
Well, that isn’t entirely accurate – she isn’t seeing ghosts, she’s been seeing a ghost. Just one. After her great-aunt Sadie’s funeral (Lara didn’t even know she had a great-aunt Sadie), she begins seeing and hearing a young woman that no one else appears to be aware of. It’s the ghost of Sadie, albeit a young and beautiful version, and she has a last wish. She asks Lara to help her accomplish it, and Lara, thinking it a simple matter, agrees. Little does she know that it will lead her in directions she never suspected, and that Sadie has a mind of her own.
Twenties Girl is a fun, light summer read that has all the hallmarks of a classic Sophie Kinsella novel. Lara is loveable, but quirky. She doesn’t always make the best decisions for herself; there are times when the reader wants to reach into the books and shake some sense into her. At the beginning, Lara comes across as a ditz, but as the novel progresses, it is clear that she is cleverer than anyone has given her credit for. She feels a real sense of loyalty to Sadie, even when Sadie hasn’t treated her with due respect, and does her best to help her. Lara has to make some hard realizations over the course of the novel, and though sometimes she takes her time with them, once they hit home, she faces them with dignity. She shows real character development as Twenties Girl progresses.
Sadie was an entirely different story. There were times in the first 150 pages of the novel where I seriously contemplating putting Twenties Girl down because Sadie was so irritating. She was demanding, selfish, and had to have her way in every instance. I felt sorry for Lara because Sadie was pushing her around so much and there was absolutely nothing she could do about it. She was likely written this way in order to inject humor into the novel; while it did succeed on many occasions (some of Sadie’s and Lara’s antics had me laughing out loud), it was grating as well. As the novel progressed, Sadie’s annoying characteristics were toned down and she became a more likeable character.
The mystery in Twenties Girl is very well-written and engaging. While Kinsella’s other novels are enjoyable, I appreciated this departure from the standard chick lit fare. Kinsella had me guessing at every twist and turn, trying to figure out what happened to Sadie and how this tied into the other events occurring in the novel. The author obviously paid a lot of attention to writing a solid mystery that her readers would appreciate, rather than merely using it as a plot device thrown in as an afterthought. It was very well done.
Twenties Girl was a thoroughly enjoyable summer read that any fans of chick lit would enjoy. The added mystery might be enough to attract those who don’t normally read chick lit. It’s a funny novel that would make a great beach read!