I’ve Got Your Number
Random House AU
Copy courtesy of the publisher
Poppy Wyatt is in big trouble – she’s lost the one thing she was not supposed to lose. Her engagement ring. And to make matters worse it’s a family heirloom and her fiancé’s parents (who already make her feel inferior enough) are flying in – the wedding is almost here. The hotel where she was when she lost it all have her phone number – but that phone has been stolen. When Poppy spots a phone lying abandoned in a rubbish bin in the hotel lobby, it’s like fate. She needs a phone so she can be contacted by the hotel. There’s a phone right there. And possession is nine tenths of the law, right? Even if she doesn’t really know what that means.
The phone that Poppy picks up happens to have belonged to the Personal Assistant of businessman Sam Roxton but she has jacked in her job, tossed the phone and disappeared. Poppy now faces a very irate Sam on the phone demanding it back as it is company property. Poppy ends up having to do Sam a favour and in return she negotiates usage of the phone until her ring is found, swearing that she will forward on all correspondence, both email and text message that is meant for Sam.
Sam doesn’t want Poppy to read the correspondence, just forward it but Poppy can’t help taking some sneak peeks. Soon she and Sam are trading messages back and forth, about everything. Poppy keeps finding excuses to keep the phone and she and Sam are becoming more and more involved in each other’s lives, both through messages and also in person. Faced with news about her fiancé that could change everything, Poppy will have to decide just what it is she really wants.
What I love about Sophie Kinsella is that I know what I’m going to get pretty much every time I pick up one of her books. I’m an avid fan of her Shopaholic series and I’ve liked a few of her stand alone novels so when I was offered a chance to review this one – I couldn’t reply quick enough! And for me, I’ve Got Your Number delivered on every level.
Kinsella specialises in quirky, fun, slightly catastrophic heroines in that they’re always finding themselves in scrapes and digging themselves deeper before they begin to climb out. Poppy’s scrape is obvious from the first page – she’s lost her engagement ring. Her fiancé’s parents are gifted academics who can barely have a conversation without turning it into a debate worthy of a Ph.D and they already make Poppy feel unintelligent. She can’t face the humiliation of them knowing that she has lost her engagement ring when they already seem to think her entire existence is mostly useless anyway. So she comes up with plan after plan in order to stall the inevitable. I loved Poppy! Kinsella’s heroines can often make me frustrated, even when I’m liking them, but Poppy didn’t at all. I found her funny and warm and yes a bit of a stickybeak but in her situation, with tonnes of emails and texts at her fingertips, who wouldn’t take a peek? Honestly I’d have found it odder if she didn’t snoop around in the phone! She can’t help herself trying to make a few ‘improvements’ for Sam – most of which backfire!
I thought it would be hard to top the love I have for Luke Brandon, but I think Sam comes quite close. In his own brusque way Sam pries into Poppy’s life just as much as she does into his and he tries to help her with the feelings of inadequacy that she has regarding her fiancé Magnus and his overachieving family. Poppy is a perennial people pleaser, almost incapable of asserting herself especially in a situation where she feels uncomfortable and insecure, such as dinner with Magnus’s family. Sam doesn’t lack this talent and he tries to push Poppy to value herself, because it’s quite clear that he values her. She has erupted into his life like a whirlwind and sought to change his life as he seeks to change hers (signing his emails with kisses, volunteering him for a fun run and also calling for company employees to make suggestions on how they think things could be improved), and the relationship that they have nurtured through mostly texts, emails and phone calls becomes more intimate than the one Poppy has with her fiancé. It showcases just how much times are changing in this digital era where it’s utterly possible to conduct communication using a phone and still end up developing a meaningful relationship with someone and perhaps even falling in love with them.
I’ve Got Your Number was the sort of novel that had me laughing out loud on numerous occasions and emotionally invested in the story of Poppy and Sam the whole way through. I loved the way in which Kinsella brought them together and built the foundations of their friendship. I’ve read a few reviews that mention not liking the footnotes but I actually found them quite entertaining – I almost found them like a little voice in my head, Poppy specifically adding in details to the story as an aside, much in the way someone would when relating a long, involved and funny story. They didn’t pull me out of the story at all and I think they were quite relevant to the story given Poppy’s comments on Magnus and his family’s work and also the speech she makes at the end.
If you enjoy Kinsella’s humour then I can highly recommend this one. It’s pacy, well written and just lots of fun.
Book #122 of 2012
Here’s a little clip of Kinsella talking about the book: