The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

the undomestic goddess

Synopsis from Amazon:

The story of a girl who needs to slow down. To find herself. To fall in love. And to discover what an iron is for…Samantha is a high-powered lawyer in London. She works all hours, has no home life, and cares only about getting a partnership. She thrives on the pressure and adrenalin. Until one day…she makes a mistake. A mistake so huge, it’ll wreck her career. She walks right out of the office, gets on the first train she sees, and finds herself in the middle of nowhere. Asking for directions at a big, beautiful house, she is mistaken for the interviewee housekeeper and finds herself being offered the job. They have no idea they’ve hired a Cambridge-educated lawyer with an IQ of 158 – Samantha has no idea how to work the oven. Disaster ensues. It’s chaos as Samantha battles with the washing machine…the ironing board…and attempts to cook a cordon bleu dinner. But gradually, she falls in love with her new life in a wholly unexpected way. Will her employers ever discover the truth? Will Samantha’s old life ever catch up with her? And if it does…will she want it back?

Samantha is one of the best lawyers in England – then she discovers a memo on her desk that needed urgent attention a few weeks before. This is a £50 million mistake. When she realises what has happened, she flees. She jumps onto the first train and ends up in the countryside. When she stops at a house for help she is mistaken as a housekeeper. Not knowing what she is doing she accepts the job. Except she doesn’t even know how to use a toaster, how is she going to cope? And will London ever find her?

This was a fun book. This is easy chick-lit reading. I found it amusing and a quick read. It wasn’t particularly believable, but I was hooked anyway. Kinsella is great at this genre. She writes wonderful characters, amusing characters and ones you can easily fall in love with. I liked Nathaniel’s mother, a solid lady, happy to look out for her son and Samantha, and happy to help in every way.

I think you will only enjoy this if you like Kinsella’s work and if you like chick-lit. However, I loved it! It only took me a couple of days to finish it. Yes it was predictable and unrealistic, but thoroughly enjoyable.

9/10

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Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella

shopaholic-ties-the-note

Synopsis from Amazon:

Rebecca Bloomwood has the dream job. She’s a personal shopper, so is able to spend other people’s money all day instead of her own. And she gets paid for doing it. The perfect job, the perfect man – gorgeous Luke Brandon – and now…the perfect wedding. Yes, Luke has proposed and wedding bells are in sight. No excuses are needed to start the shopping trip of all time. And Becky’s parents are just assuming that the wedding will be at home – a marquee in the garden and Becky in her mum’s wedding dress, which she’s been saving specially for the occasion. But Luke’s mother has very different ideas – a huge affair in New York in a forest glade setting – or perhaps a Venetian Ball, or a fin de siecle extravagance? Now Becky’s getting confused. She doesn’t want to say ‘no’ to anyone. The plans are going ahead, and soon it will be too late to turn back – from either wedding…

This is the third book in the Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella. To be honest, this has been my least favourite so far. This book takes us through Becky’s struggles as she tries to decide where to get married, and how to get out of one of the already arranged weddings. We watch as Michael is taken ill and Luke has a mid-life crisis and Suze gets married and has a baby, and we see Becky getting wound tighter and tighter into her web of lies and confusion.

Although the other books are unrealistic and predictable, this book was the worst for that. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I have the others in the series. I found myself getting annoyed with Becky. In all the books she has been manipulative, but in the other stories I have felt for her, in this one I didn’t. I was intrigued, and finished the book, but wasn’t really drawn in and several times considered stopping.

There were people I did enjoy reading, such as Laurel, Michael and Suze. They made good reading – they were solid and honest, and many times Laurel and her grudges made me laugh. As always, Suze is a lovely friend and Michael is understanding and reliable. They make for enjoyable reading.

Overall, I wasn’t impressed by this book, I could take it or leave it. I really enjoyed Kinsella’s other works, but this to me was a let down.

6/10

Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

can-you-keep-a-secretSynopsis:

Emma is like every girl in the world. She has a few little secrets.

Secrets from her mother:
1.I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom to Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben Hur.

…From her boyfriend:
2. I’m a size twelve. Not a size eight, like Connor thinks.
3. I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken.

…From her colleagues:
4. When Artemis really annoys me, I feed her plant orange juice. (Which is pretty much every day)
5. It was me who jammed the copier that time. In fact, all the times.

…Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world:
6. My G string is hurting me.
7. I faked my Maths GCSE grade on my CV.
8. I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is…

…until she spills them all to a stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger…

This is another gem from Sophie Kinsella. This is pure chick-lit, a light, fun read, humorous and heart wrenching. Emma, the protagonist, is flying from Glasgow to London after a dreadful work meeting. She is a nervous flyer, who was upgraded to Business Class. When the plane hits turbulence she believes she is going to die, and that the handsome American stranger in the seat next to her is the last person she is ever going to see. So she tells him everything – all her secrets and innermost thoughts and feelings. And then they land safely and Emma thinks she will never see him again – until he turns out to be the founder of the company she works for, and he is checking out the London offices. The story follows Emma as she adjusts to having Jack around all the time, struggling with her family, facing unbearable humiliation, love, friendship and revenge.

As ever, Kinsella kept me gripped. Her writing is fluid and engaging. Her characters were similar to those in the Shopaholic Series but I still connected with them. I loved Emma and her brutal honesty on the plane, and how the poor girl had to suffer the consequences. I was willing the best for her, and felt her humiliation and pain with her. Her flat mate Lissy founded gorgeous – what a lovely person to have around. Her other flat mate, Jemima was a hilarious character, with a warped way of viewing the world, but hilarious all the same. There were some vicious characters who I didn’t like as well – which is important to a good story.

Kinsella looks at the use of secrets in relationships. Although this is predominantly a chick-lit book, we do what can happen if you keep secrets. Relationships fall apart, there is a lack of trust and people often get it wrong. Once someone has been hurt through secrets they can be tarnished forever, as was the case with Conner, who turned into a bit of a wet lettuce – insecure and paranoid. However, being a light read, most things turned out OK in the end.

I really enjoyed this book. I laughed and felt pain, I was emotionally connected to Emma and wanted the best for her, and I recommend this book if you like quick, fun reads. The only complaint I have is there was a fair amount of swearing. Apart from that, this is a good novel.

8/10

Shopaholic Abroad by Sophie Kinsella

shopaholic-abroad

This is also known as: Shopaholic Takes Manhattan

Synopsis:

Will travel broaden the mind…or just loosen the purse strings?

For Rebecca Bloomwood, life is peachy. She has a job on morning TV, her bank manager is actually being nice to her, and when it comes to spending money, her new motto is Buy Only What You Need – and she’s really (sort of) sticking to it. The icing on the brioche is that she’s been offered a chance to work in New York.

New York! The Museum of Modern Art! The Guggenheim! The Metropolitan Opera House! And Becky does mean to go to them all. Honestly. It’s just that it seems silly not to check out a few other places first. Like Saks. And Bloomingdales. And Barneys. And one of those fantastic sample sales where you can get a Prada dress for $10. Or was it $100? Is Becky too dazzled to care?

Shopaholic Abroad – for the biggest culture shop of your life.

This is the second installment of the Shopaholic Series, and just as fabulous as the first. However, it is very similar to the first book. Does that spoil the story? Not at all! Becky is taken to New York by Luke, and ends up spending a ton. She is in a whole heap of debt – and soon her secrets become known to everyone when the Daily World exposes her.

This story is full of all the usual antics – shopping, friends, Luke, embarrassment, love and debt. The storyline is similar to Confessions of a Shopaholic and how Becky spends too much shopping, and has to work her way out of debt. There is a lot of time spent in London too, which I was surprised about – in fact, most of the storyline was based in London, which is one of the downsides of this book. However, I love this series! Becky is self-obsessed and a bit irritating but I still didn’t want anything bad to happen to her and rallied behind her when horrid things happened to her. And I loved Suze – I want a flatmate like her! She is so lovely, looking out for Becky as well as pursueing her own career.

I enjoyed the story – it was fast-paced, predictible and fun. I love Kinsella’s writing, fluid and enjoyable. Yes it is chessy and very girly, but I loved it! This is an easy read – and I highly recommend it. And I love the ending! I am looking forward to the next installment!

9/10

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

This is also called:
“The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic”

confessions-of-a-shopaholic

Synopsis from Amazon:

Meet Rebecca Bloomwood. She’s a journalist. She spends her working life telling others how to manage their money. She spends her leisure time …shopping. Retail therapy is the answer to all her problems. She knows she should stop, but she can’t. She tries Cutting Back, she tries Making More Money. But neither seems to work. The stories she concocts become more and more fantastic as she tries to untangle her increasingly dire financial difficulties. Her only comfort is to buy herself something – just a little something…Can Becky ever escape from this dream world, find true love, and regain the use of her Switch card? “The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic”…the perfect pick me up for when it’s all hanging in the (bank) balance.

Well I loved this book! I was gripped from the word go. This is pure chick-lit – with a cheesy storyline, which was quite unbelievable and predictable, but did that effect the book? Nope. I was excited about reading it – I didn’t want to stop, I didn’t want the book to finish. We follow Becky through many spending sprees, many disasters and thoughtlessness and pain, and well, I loved it.

Yes, Becky was shallow, and manipulative, but I felt sorry for her and really wanted to know what was going to happen to her. I guess I secretly liked her character.The characters are all well written, and although I didn’t like some of them (the mean ones!) I liked how they were written; I could believe in them.

I laughed a lot through this book and was just thoroughly entertained. I think some people will dismiss this book as utter rubbish as it is a bit unbelievable and predictible, but I can’t help but give it the top rating because I felt so excited by the book, I didn’t want to stop reading, I was hooked, and actually I wasn’t disappointed at all.

10/10

Shopaholic and Sister by Sophie Kinsella

shopaholic-and-sister

Description from Amazon:

Becky Bloomwood is back! Becky thought being married to Luke Brandon would be one big Tiffany box of happiness. But to be honest, it’s not quite as dreamy as she’d hoped. The trouble started on honeymoon, when she told Luke the tiniest little fib, about the teeniest little purchase. Now she’s on a strict budget, she doesn’t have a job – and worst of all her beloved Suze has a new best friend. Then she receives some incredible news. She has a long-lost sister! Becky has never been more excited. Finally, a real sister! They’ll have so much in common! They can go shopping together…choose shoes together…have manicures together…Until she meets her – and gets the shock of her life. It can’t be true. Surely Becky Bloomwood’s long-lost sister can’t…hate shopping? A sister, a soulmate, a skinflint?

This was a quick, easy-to-read chick-lit book. The story follows Becky as she comes back from their honeymoon to discover she has s sister and that her bestfriend has a new bestfriend. The adventure takes her up to Cumbria and even up a mountain.

Many issues are casually looked at in this book – such as family, marriage, materialism and friendship. There was nothing insensitive about how Kinsella writes and it was interesting to see what materialism and shallowness can potentially do to relationships.

I found Becky shallow and materialist, however I was often empathising with her. I did want good things for her and some of her experiences, in regards to friends I think we can all relate too. That and we like to treat ourselves sometimes!

I wasn’t convinced by the storylines, there were a few events that I found incredibly unrealistic, however that did not spoil the story. I related to the characters, I laughed and at times could have cried. I read the majority of the book in one day. The story line took a little while to get going and I did consider putting the book down, but I can honestly say I am glad I didn’t. This is a fun, enjoyable chick-lit book.

7/10