Book Review: Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

Ten Word Summary: An amnesiac girl tries to get her old life back.

The summary may sound morbid, but if you know anything about Sophie Kinsella you would expect it to be chockful of blond humor. It has lots of those, but the amnesiac aspect of the story is a double edged sword that shows its good side mostly and rears its ugly side at inopportune times.

True to her other novels, Remember Me is quite a light read, making it ideal for a lazy summer afternoon. The English is plain and straightforward and the conversations seem quite “authenticly blond”, so to speak. So expect a lot of OMGs and over excited hormonal women jumping about.

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The story is, at its heart, simple and inherently funny. A young woman named Lexi bumps her head and wakes up three years later from her coma, slim and sexy, straight white teeth, lives in an extravagant loft and is married to a super multibillionaire hunk. And she remembers nothing of it.

The book takes you on a journey with the facade of memory recovery, but mostly on a journey of self discovery. Given the fact that Lexi doesn’t remember how she got to that point, she lives her personality prior to the bump three years ago, while facing the challenges of being “the new Lexi” and all that comes with it. Friends who became enemies, and new friends who are shallow and rich and have nothing better to do in life but buy expensive vases. So Lexi embarks on a journey to discover how she got to accept this new life of hers and faces the decision of either sticking with this life, or reverting to her humbler roots. Throw in an insane mother and a secret love affair she doesn’t even remember, and you got yourself a toss up.

The story is pretty much predictable and obviously made with a movie in mind – which is where the amnesia part comes in. The situations Lexi goes through are inherently funny because of the amnesia, and her monologues are entertaining if a bit too blond. But the author rather abused the amnesia in critical situations when the story starts to reach its climax. Difficult issues that have been building up for some chapters (or pop out of no where) are dealt with a sudden flashback – improvised or otherwise – to save the situation, or, worse, with the excuse of the lack of memory to solve the crisis. It becomes punishingly annoying when this is combined with an incredibly blond joke. For instance, in one part, Lexi is addressing her colleagues when her rival senses the lie that she recovered her memory. He puts her to the test and things tense up, when suddenly she is saved by her sister screaming about Jude Law being shirtless across the street and everyone in the room flies over to the window.

A more serious issue, which I can’t spoil here, near the end of the book is dealt with in such a ridiculous manner as well. In fact, most of the events and relationship issues near the end of the book are dealt with in a rush, as if the auther sensed she can’t fit in more details in a 1.5 hour flick. It’s too aggravating to forgive, especially when lots of the issues have been building up so slowly and hilariously and they all just end in a dumb manner.

In any case, the book intends to be a no-brainer, and Lexi is, in fact, quite a charming and likeable character. An extra two or three chapters though to slowly tie the loose ends instead of rushing through events would have made the book worth recommending. Unfortunately that, with the abundance of ads for Louis Vitton and other expensive brands (which makes movie sponsoring easy), I can’t recommend the book though the girls would probably enjoy the movie if it comes out. I can already imagine Sarah Jessica Parker for the role.

Bottom Line: It’s enjoyable if you’re reading it for what it is, but will disappoint you if you’re looking for more.

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