I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: The Dial Press
Publication Date: February 14, 2012
Page Count: 433
Source/Format: Library book!
Keywords: rom-com worthy, bad luck, digital communication, weddings
Poppy Wyatt has found herself suffering from a heavy handed stroke of bad luck. At an early afternoon hotel party, her engagement ring goes missing. Not just any engagement ring that can be replaced at the nearest jeweler, but an engagement ring that has been in her fiancé Magnus' family for three-generations. Oh, and his parents are coming into town that day, and most surely they will want to see the ring. But then, the fire alarm goes off and the ring search must be put on hold. And then, when the chaos of the alarm has settled down and she has given her cell number to everyone in the hotel in case they find it, her phone gets plucked out of her hands on the sidewalk. It almost seems like the universe is paying her back when she finds an abandoned cell phone in a trash bin. But the phone belongs to Sam Roxton, a well-known businessman, and he wants his phone back. Not willing to give the phone up that easy (she has already given the number out to everyone all over again), she cuts a deal with him: she will be the best temporary PA he has had if she can hold on to the phone. Poppy finds herself tangled up in Sam's communication wires, and her own life is getting just as tangled without her hardly even realizing.
I hate to enjoy books like this. I don't know why, I just do. Books like this are usually very fluffy, very cliche, and very predictable. Sometimes on a hot summer day, a girl just needs that kind of read, and this delivered while also proving me wrong! I've Got Your Number is predictable but not. There are some obvious things that you can guess is going to happen straight away. Instead of just making it happen, Kinsella takes an alternate route, making the path a lot more complicated and unexpected, which creates a bigger pay off for the characters. A lot of things happen in this novel that I couldn't see coming from a mile away. I don't know if that surprise was a good thing, or if it was abrupt planning on the author's end, but I appreciated the small twists and turns that kept me from trusting any of the characters too much. I was also not expecting the sort of political-esque drama that bubbles up in the middle. I'm not a businesswoman, so I can't say whether or not everything was handled appropriately, but it seemed naturally pulled off and was just as engaging as the rest of the story.
Perspective. I need to get perspective. It's not an earthquake or a crazed gunman or a nuclear meltdown, is it? On the scale of disasters, this is not huge. Not huge. One day I expect I'll look back at this moment and laugh and think, Ha-ha, how silly I was to worry--Stop, Poppy. Don't even try. I'm not laughing--in fact, I feel sick. I'm walking blindly around the hotel ballroom, my heart thudding, looking fruitlessly on the patterned blue carpet, behind gilt chairs, under discarded paper napkins, in places where it couldn't possibly be.
I've lost it. The only thing in the world I wasn't supposed to lose. My engagement ring.
Even though I enjoyed how the story played out, I didn't much like the character's that made the story happen. I think the only way that I could describe Poppy as was flimsy. She doesn't think things through properly before she acts. She's in her mid-twenties, works as a physiotherapist, and does not have a professional bone in her body. Part of Sam's problem with her is when she starts sending e-mails on his behalf. Sam is usually a very abrupt communicator, which drives Poppy nuts so she must change it. In one instance, an email comes in that a bouquet of flowers for a female coworker has been left in Sam's office for her. Poppy writes to this female coworker (as Sam of course) something along the lines of "there's a surprise in my office for you tomorrow. I think you'll like it. xxxxxxxx Sam.' Poppy is then GOBSMACKED at the idea that this could have been taken suggestively by his coworker. Uh? She is also very easily manipulated, and it isn't until just about the very end that we see her start to develop a spine. There is one moment in particular, with her fiancé, where she was so easily swayed I was actually disappointed.
I also did not like Poppy's fiancé Magnus whatsoever. Right away I got this kind of slimy impression of him and I knew I didn't like him. He's just as abrupt as Sam is in the way he talks to her, and he's always slinking off to research or help a student. However, for Poppy to be as easily manipulated by him as she was, I would've liked to see at least something that would have made him appealing to her. Y'know, raise the stakes a little to show what she has to lose.
And now that I've started, I can't stop. As the bus chugs along, I email the guy wanting to assess Sam's workstation for health and safety, set up a time, then email Jane to tell her to put it in the schedule. I email Sarah, who has been off with shingles, and ask her if she's better.
All those unanswered emails that have been nagging away at me. All those poor ignored people trying to get in touch with Sam. Why shouldn't I answer them? I'm doing him such a service! I feel like I'm repaying him for his favor with the ring. At least, when I hand this phone back, his in-box will have been dealt with.
In fact, what about a round-robin email telling everyone they're fab? Why not? Who can it hurt?
This book was very funny, but a lot of it sadly at Poppy's expense and how quickly she makes her decisions which often play out in the worst way possible. Actually part of the reason I rated this book so high was because I could not put it down. I had to keep reading to see what kinds of things Poppy was going to stir up next, and sometimes it got downright uncomfortable. At the end, when Poppy finally starts to develop a spine and stand up for herself, I felt rewarded and proud of her. I also enjoyed the way Sam's character grew. At first he seems cold and distant, strictly business. Eventually he starts to warm up, and some of Poppy's stupid decisions actually have a positive effect on him. In spite of her breezy thought processes, she was actually a fun narrator to read. Her quick banter with herself and the way her mind spirals out of control when things start to go awry made this book go by very quickly.
Even though I didn't like our narrator Poppy very much, I could not put I've Got Your Number down because I had to see what happened next. She was also a very witty narrator and very lively, which made this read go by very quickly. I was also pleasantly surprised by the little unexpected twists and turns that this story made to keep it from being too predictable.
Have you read this? What did you think?