Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella – Similar Formula, But Connecting In A Different Dimension

Yes, it is the new Sophie Kinsella book - Twenties Girl

Personally, I don’t think there is anything wrong per se for a dude like me to read books like “Twenties Girl”, though many friends often get a little shock when they learn that I am a fan of Sophie Kinsella.  Her books are fun read.  And I have read them all.  The only complain I have … erm … if I could put it that way, would be the book cover.  I mean, yes these are chick-lits.  But must the covers look so, girlie?  One time, I was carrying a complete stack of the Shopaholic series to the Times Bookstore counter, and there were people l-o-o-k-i-n-g.  Or at least that was how I imagined so.  The moment “Twenties Girl” was out, I was hitting our National Library’s website everyday trying to be amongst the first to place a reservation.  Bad news was, I was at queue number seventy-something.  Good news was, our library in Singapore has stocked up sixty over “Twenties Girl” in anticipation of the demand.  Well done NLB!

I remember vividly the day I collected the book from the library.  We had a Spanish examination in the afternoon.  During our late lunch celebration with some of the classmates, I have received an email on my N97 (the text message reminder came much later, while we were watching a movie at night).  Yes, the book was ready for collection.  Hooray!  The library was just opposite to where we had our lunch.  When I reached the counter, it was empty.  I secretly let out a sigh of relief.  But you know what life is like.  Just when you think everything is going OK, I saw a queue starting to form, as the librarian was trying to locate the book.  With a crisp clear, relatively loud voice given the fact that we were inside a library, she showed me the book cover and asked, “Is this the book you are looking for?”.  I swear I saw the queue of library visitors looked at me, then the book, then at me again.  Gosh!

The legendary Shopaholic series aside, I enjoy reading Sophie Kinsella’s standalone novels a lot.  Like “The Undomestic Goddess”, “Can You Keep A Secret”, and “Remember Me?”.  As for “Twenties Girl”, it is still a fun read.  I laughed-out-loud while reading the book in Starbucks, and at home.  The formula is similar: lots of dramas, centered to a girl.  And the lack of character development for the male species is still prevalence.  Maybe this is how girls see the world; maybe such is the genre of chick-lit.  What is different though is that the center character, Lara, is not as flawed as the rest of Sophie Kinsella’s heroines.  Also, the concept of the constant interaction with Lara’s great aunt’s ghost adds a new dimension to the story development.  “Twenties Girl” touches at the emotional level too.  It is less so on the triumph at the personal level, but rather a shift in a focus onto the linkage and importance of the family heritage.  It is also less as a predictable happy ending, but one that leaves a melancholy kind of after taste.

Certainly an entertaining book to read.  Could the storyline be tighter and tidier?  Perhaps.  But if you are already a fan, what are you waiting for?

39 thoughts on “Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella – Similar Formula, But Connecting In A Different Dimension”

  1. I actually stumbled across ur website. i like ur posts. I actually LOVE Sophie Kinsella! I’ve read The Undomestic Godess, Can You Keep a Secret..I find her books are entertaining and I’m not the kind of girl into chic lit…I usually read self improvement books lol….and I want to read the shopaholic series (without watching the movie…becoz i think it will change what i’ve imagined while I’ve read it…) I realli cant wait to go to the bookshop n see this book and see what this new book is all about 🙂

    1. Luisa – Hi, and thanks for dropping by! I also don’t usually read chic lit and Sophie Kinsella is the only author I Iread for this genre.

      The Shopoholic series is a fun read. Especially the first one. I read that the book is much better than the movie version and I haven’t watched the movie yet. Probably would, one day from the cable.

      Yes, yes, do check out “Twenties Girl”.

      1. Hey , yeah Kinokuniya is 20% off right now, til Sept 5th 2009! So i’m gonna go to Kinokuniya and see if there is any books i LIKE 🙂

        I tend to like reading more than watching movies, esp if the movies are made from the novels, e.g. Da Vinci Code, it was such a good read that I havent seen the movie b4…i couldnt put the book down!

        1. Luisa – Thanks for the heads up! I will certainly drop by Kino to stock up a few books. I wonder if my Kino card gives me further discount, hehehe.

          If you like Dan Brown’s Da Vinci, you may wanna check out the upcoming The Lost Symbol by the same author.

  2. Hmmm…I’ve never read (heard of) the Twenties Girl and Sophie Kinsella’s other novels. But I can definitely imagine myself reading them!

    It’s interesting to know that a big guy like you likes chic reads. Do take this comment from me as a compliment and I mean it! ;))

  3. Hey I forgot to you, i reside in Sydney.

    Where r u living? is it singapore atm?
    And is there a kinokuniya there?
    I would love to see the kinokuniya there 🙂

    1. Luisa – Ah! Yes, living in Singapore and there is also a Kinokuniya here … ha ha ha. It is very big. Sort of. Biggest bookstore in Singapore although I have seen bigger ones in UK.

      I have yet to visit Sydney. Maybe one day. I enjoy my visit to Melbourne though. The Koalas!

      1. Reali, i’ll be visiting Singapore for a few days late January 2010! So i cant wait to b there. Any tips for where I shouldnt be staying in Singapore? Or Which areas to stay away from? I’ll be travelling alone! So i’m kind of scared but excited at the same time!

        If u and ur partner ever come to Sydney, I’ll be happy to take both of you around and show you around 🙂 I think u’ll enjoy it tho i personally like Melbourne more becoz its a more “new” city i guess, and buildings, etc are much modern compared to Sydney. Sydney has lot more historical buildings. etc.

        1. Luisa – Hey, drop me an email for your requirement and I will try my best to recommend 🙂 I’ll try to recommend a few places for you to visit too. My email address is at the About Me page. You could also add me onto Facebook using that address too, if you are on that network.

          And sure thing. I will count on you for some local recommendation when we drop by Sydney next 🙂

  4. Haha even I find it weird to be carrying her books around sometimes, so I can understand how u imagine what others’ reactions would be like!

    my sis had read this book but i hadnt. i was more keen recently on reading this book: Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall, but so far i hadnt gotten hold of the book yet haha maybe i should drop by the library or bookstore soon (cos my office-NLB joint library services doesnt carry this book yet).

    oh by the way, the website and online magazine that i did for the company that my dad works at is ready! finally!

    1. Si Ying – I have just got onto the library website via my phone. I think some branches still have that book not on loan. Or you could make a reservation and have it delivered to a branch of your choice.

      Good to hear that your personal project for your dad has finally taken off. I am eager to see it 🙂

      so, you also find the chick-lit book cover a bit … girlie?

      1. Oh it does delivery to other branch, i didnt know that 🙂 a bit that it wouldnt be able to deliver it to my office haha I am alittle spoilt because i can borrow from a range of books and have them delivered to my office

        Yeah! Me too. Yday I jus purchased the domain name and its up and running 🙂

        Haha yes definitely! I feel that when I had the book in front of me the rest of the passengers are all giggling at it? hahaha

        1. Si Ying – Oh, I thought of the exact same thing: How nice if our library delivers the books to our doorsteps! And ya, you can specify where to collect the book, which I find it handy.

          You are fast! Wow, 66 pages of online magazine! Must have taken you a long time to do eh? OK, I have have this bizarre dream that I custom make the CD Rack at home like those in HMV. Now I know who to call!

          1. Yeah home delivery is good =) there isnt a library in Clementi 🙁 and the nearest to Suntec would be national library haha

            Oh I took around 4, 5 weeks of doing them up. It was alright after I sort of decided on the layout.

            Haha yeah any time in the future if u /ur friends need something, call my dad and “quote” my name haha! I do know you have alot of CDs at home!

  5. I am still waiting! cos it’s still so ex and i still have my current book to finish! i ought to hurry up! and Borders please give me a book coupon soon!

    1. JoV – Are you really into click-lit too?! Cynthia finds her books very irritating to read … ha ha ha. But I know many love Sophie Kinsella and would just about read everything she writes.

      1. Like Cynthia I hate chick lit. So… stereotyping and degrading to women! Like you I only read 2 or 3 of the shopaholic series and didn’t find it that fantastic, my friend J is the one who push me to read 20’s girl, which I kinda like it and then now you are saying “Undomesticated Goddess” deals with Corporate world, I love anything that deals with corporate world, so maybe I’ll read it. Other than that, you know that I have better things to read! I won’t read “everything” she writes.

        1. JoV – Wow, I think you and Cynthia would click well! She said the exact same thing.

          Come to think of it, your very friend J may not have push you hard enough as I to Cynthia … ha ha ha. She has to swallow up every Kinsella books that are out there! To quote her on Mini Shopaholic, “It is painful to read but I am reading it for my hubby.”

          Interestingly she enjoys reading “Undomesticated Goddess”. She even bought the Spanish version when we were holidaying in Spain. So, there is a slightly good chance that you may like that too!

          1. Ahh….. Cynthia and I should chat, ideally in Bahasa Indonesia so you cannot understand thoroughly! Haha….

            I will repeat again, Chick lit is degrading, it assumes every woman needs a man, waiting to get laid, cry over an unreturned phone call and don’t know how to manage her finance! How degrading is that?!!

            1. JoV – You know, I can’t give out names or hints here. But I do know quite a few girls around me who fit into that description. Personally, I don’t read it as a degrade.

              From my perspective, I enjoy reading Sophie’s book because I can, in a strange way, relate to the main character. I am really lousy at finance. I did get really upset if the girl I was dating didn’t want to return my calls. And etc. Lol.

    1. J – Those socks are jolly good ideas! I love them! Thanks for sharing the link.

      I agree with you, Twenties Girl reads differently from her the other two standalone novels. I know what you mean by ‘natural’, although literally, it is not quite natural when there is a ghost involved … hahaha.

      For me (and for you too I am pretty sure), I am so looking forward to her next book. I wonder what she would write about this time.

      1. Perhaps a pair of sock? a school bus? an island? 😛 Whatever it is, I have a feeling it will involve girls, just like all her stories go. Haha…as if I could read Sophie’s mind.

        Can’t wait for the Twenties Girl to be made into a movie though.

        Looking forward to most posts from you!

        1. J – An island! That would be a good backdrop for a change … hehehe. I would be very surprised if she writes a story with a male main character.

          If Twenties Girl does make into a film, I hope the casting is much better than the Shopaholic one. That movie was not as good as I would have hoped for.

          1. I agree with you about the Sophaholic movie. They haven’t spent enough time in expressing how crazy Becky is with shopping. It just doesn’t seem as funny as the book. I, too, hope they will use better casting for the Twenties Girl, otherwise it will not do the story ansd Sophie justice.


            1. J – You know, although I do like Isla Fisher as an actress, I think it would be more suited to find a true British actress with British accent and all. Somehow, Isla doesn’t seem to suit the character. I would have cast the film in a more alternative way, rather than having a Hollywood treatment. Make it funnier, make it very British.

              Happy Friday! And have a great weekend!

          2. Ahhh.. I see you and J is warming up on the topic of Kinsella. Birds of same feather can very well flock together now! LOL 😀

            oh and I’m waiting for J’s book sox coming over to my shores for Xmas gift. The only time I think I need a book sox would be if I read Out by Natsuo Kirino ( The book cover looks scary right? I don’t want people to think I’m a potential killer on the train! and I do agree they should choose a British Actresses (preferably with a classy Londoner’s accent) for the shopaholic movie, not that I care I didn’t even see it yet! :p

            1. JoV – Wow, that book cover looks really scary! But it is also very pretty at the same time. That eye!

              I would need a sox because I often read in the office, during lunch time. I don’t really wish to broadcast at work what I am reading to be honest.

              If you haven’t watched the Shopaholic movie, you haven’t missed much to be honest, ha ha ha.

  6. Wow Jo! You definitely need a sox for that book. I agree with you and Wilfrid on the British accent. Wilfrid got it spot on about the movie being too Hollywood too. Would it be nice if Keira Knightly can be on Twenties Girl. 😀

    1. J – I gave it some long thought about who would be suited for the role of Lara. I think you have made an excellent suggestion. Keira Knightly is very British, very likable. And she is one fine actress.

      I have been pondering on the co-actress, the ghost. What about the Irish actress Saoirse Ronan? Saoirese and Keira have starred together in Atonement. I can so totally see Saoirese throwing tantrum on the screen and etc. What do you think?

      1. Saoirse is not right for the part. You need someone older, sassy and mature. I’m thinking Susan Sarandon, Bette Midler, Jane Fonda (remember Monster in law? I think she is good), Meryl Streep is great in Comedies too and does throw a good tantrum! I don’t warm up to Keira, I find her unlikable. What about Emily Blunt? She is really funny in the Devil in Prada. Her accent is impeccable.

        Speaking of Book Sox, I do read in the office too. Book Sox will save me the trouble of reading my novels in the office toilet!

        J, Wilfrid, do read “Out” by Kirino, It is scary they say, but good. (It’s not horror, it’s crime thriller).

        1. JoV – I thought the ghost character in “Twenties Girl” is a really young girl? Someone who is as young, if not younger, than the main character Lara? The ghost got frozen in age. Although she is Lara’s “ancestor”, she got stuck in age when she died. Like 20 years old? How could Meryl Streep pull off playing a role of a 20 years old?! OK. Maybe she can.

          … office toilet …. ?!?!

          OK OK, I did check out “Out”. Crime is not quite my type of genre (and I don’t watch CSI etc. either). But Japanese is pretty good at writing crime and mystery stories. I may give it a try 🙂 By the way, at one point in time, I wanted to read “Grotesque”. I may one day. Sooner, if only the book does not look that mightily thick!

        2. I can imagine Saoirse Ronan as Sadie. She has this 20s look but I cannot imagine Emily Blunt as Lara.

          Jo, how about Rachel Weisz? She is more down to earth compared to Keira. 😀

          OK, any books beyond Sophie Kinsella’s are rocket science to me. 😛

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