I'VE GOT YOUR NUMBER
(Chic-lit secret read #8)
- Sophie Kinsella -
Again my theory on Kinsella proves true. This book sat on satire and now has to run home and change! It's that bad...er, good. It is a powerful look at how deep cell phones (mobile phones for you English Englanders) have invaded our lives, how much control they have over people's behaviours, and even how they effect love lives!
There are many lines in the book that really drive home how personal cell phones are to some people. When Poppy loses her phone she says something along the lines of, "I feel like I've lost my life". Later on in the novel when she has the phone, with all her contacts and messages, she says the feeling of it in her hand is 'comforting'. Another example is when a computer tech realizes two people have been 'sharing' a phone he is shocked and calls them 'sick'. Wow, for a person such as myself that does not even own a cell phone I feel like I am missing out on a whole new world. I bet it is the same for those who are blogless, and do not know the rush of seeing your hit count rise or the ultimate enjoyment of seeing comments!
Back to the book now. The story really begins when Poppy loses her cell phone. She is so desperate to remain in contact with the world, for a variety of reasons mostly to do with her upcoming wedding and a missing engagement ring, that she ends up using a phone she finds in a garbage can. Yes, I realize this sounds outrageous and a too far fetched even for chick-lit, but, Kinsella's writing (and slightly crazed characters) make this seem believable.
It turns out this phone is from the personal assistant of a rich, extremely successful, slightly handsome, emotionally fraught, guy named Sam. Sam is one of those people who is so busy, from all his success, that he leaves most of his life with his personal assistant. Therefore, the phone is chock-full-o-info on this guys life.
Poppy ends up making a deal with Sam that allows her to use this phone for just a couple of days and in exchange she is to forward all messages and emails onto Sam. After a day or two Poppy becomes deeply involved in Sam's life, both his personal life and professional life, thanks to all of the messages on this phone...which she was not supposed to read, but, did to burn time while riding the Tube. Since she doesn't know the entire story, or Sam on any sort of real life level, she starts to make assumptions and acts on them - replying to messages, setting up appointments...trying in her own way to be helpful. Of course these all backfire and make for some good laughs.
As you may well predict, one of those unspoken lovey dovey relationships starts to build. One that can't work because Sam is emotionless and Poppy is engaged. The difference with this one is that it climaxes over text messages. How modern eh?
I will not ruin the ending, but, will only say there are a few twists that make it interesting.
I really enjoyed the use of text messages in this book - Short. Right to the point. Smiley Face :) conversations gave the book a unique feeling. Near the end of the book the phone needed to be wiped clean, and the tech guys managed to print up all the messages that were sent. When a novel sized stack of paper showing all of the messages Poppy and Sam exchanged it was as if their own personal love story were made into a paperback. Neat idea...and in a satirical way, showed the extreme overuse of text messaging by heavy users.
I listened to the audiobook of this and was very happy with the reader - Jayne Entwistle. Her voice matched the character of Poppy perfectly. Her voice was very chipper and you could just see her reading into a microphone with a great big smile plastered across her face. I was surprised to find out she was Canadian (or at least lived in Canada for a good chunk of her life) because, she narrated the book with a heavy British accent.