Sophie Kinsella

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Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Shopoholic novel shot to fame after Isla Fisher played the role of Rebecca Bloomwood in the motion picture released in 2009. There is no doubt in my mind that the movie was fantastic. Hilarious. Isla Fisher was the perfect choice for the role, as were the supporting characters. I was excited to race out, buy the book that the movie was based on, and rip into it.

Sophia Kinsella - Confessions of a ShopaholicUnluckily for me, it was a waste of my time. In print, the characters were flat, and the scenes were dull. There was no life force in the novel that was bringing it to life in my imagination. I finished the book, as a book really has to be appalling to make me stop half way through. But I didn’t walk away with the buzz that finishing a good book usually gives you (or the sadness that comes with leaving an alternate reality behind). While there was nothing hugely wrong with the book – there were no grammatical errors or serious plot deficiencies – there was nothing outstanding.

For a long while, I attributed this to the novels’ being overshadowed by the movie. Surely, a book that was so well known that it spawned five sequels and was considered hugely popular must be good… Sophie Kinsella is a world-famous author!!

So, I read another of her books, The Undomestic Goddess. From the blurb, I was interested. Sure, it was a typical boy-meets-girl type novel (different setting, different names, different issues… you know how it is), but that is a tried and true formula for a good reason!

Sophia Kinsella - Undomestic GoddessMain character Samantha Sweeting is much more grounded and punchy than the wishy-washy Rebecca Bloomwood. Bonus points there. And I have always had a soft spot for transformation stories – and Sam’s metamorphosis from high-strung lawyer to domestic goddess definitely qualifies. More bonus points. However, the story still didn’t have the pizazz that I look for in a good chick novel. You see, what chick lit lacks in originality it is supposed to make up for with punch. This novel failed to do so.

After reading these two books, I’d have to say that Sophie Kinsella is relegated to ‘mediocre’ novelist in my mind. I won’t be re-reading these books anytime soon (although I’m sure I will be watching the movie again!), which isn’t a great sign.

Please, anyone who has jumped on the Kinsella bandwagon and found it to be the ride of their life, feel free to argue your point! And if you want to find out for yourself, you can find these books here and here.

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