24 June 2009

Book Review: Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

sophietwentiesgirlLara Lington is fairly happy with her life - she part-owns a (sort of) successful Recruitment business, and is determined to get ex-boyfriend Josh back. What she doesn't count on is the ghost of her recently deceased 105 year old Great Aunt Sadie to suddenly appear in her life and shake up everything Lara thought she knew.

Sadie can't help but interfere in Lara's life, and is determined that she won't disappear until Lara has found one of her old pieces of jewellery. Lara decides she has to find the jewellery if she is to get rid of Sadie asap, but she doesn't count on becoming quite fond of Sadie. Together the pair set off on a treasure hunt, but uncover a lot more than what they expected. But will Lara be able to let go of Sadie for good?

I was thrilled when a brand new hardback copy of  'Twenties Girl' dropped onto my doormat last week, so thank you ever so much to the publishers for sending it to me! I have been a fan of Sophie Kinsella's book since I read the Shopaholic series a few years ago, and I can't wait to see the movie "Confessions of a Shopaholic". Although I liked Kinsella's previous stand-alone releases Can You Keep A Secret? and Remember Me, I wasn't as keen on them as I was her Shopaholic books, so I hoped that this was going to be a great read and captivate me as Becky Bloomwood did!

When I began to read, I was a bit unsure about the whole idea of it being  a ghost story. This seemed to fit in with Cecelia Ahern's popularity with her fairy-tales for grown ups but since I love Kinsella's writing, I was determined to go into it with a broad mind. Luckily for me, although it was a slight slow-burner at the beginning, I was quickly hooked and couldn't put it down! Halfway through, the story suddenly picked up considerably and really grabbed me. The latter half of the book is infinitely better than the first half and was a very touching ending that I wasn't really expecting which was nice.

The heroine of this book is unlucky-in-love Lara Lington, and I loved her character. As with all Sophie's heroine's, she is likeable, funny and a great narrator of the book. Sophie has written this book in the first person and we get to see Lara's life from her perspective, as well as Sadie too which is interesting! The camaraderie the pair had was very funny and did make me laugh out loud a lot which was brilliant. You can see the relationship changing as the book progresses and the character development was excellent. I started off being a tad annoyed by Sadie but by the end I loved her and was so touched by hers and Lara's relationship. Lara's Uncle Bill was a funny character as well, and I liked the way the story turned out for him! American Ed was my other favourite, a real American hero and exactly what the gorgeous male lead should be like in a book!

The Twenties theme was also so well written throughout. I wasn't sure before reading the book how it was going to be weaved into the story, but the whole period of the 1920's is embraced by the creation of Great Aunt Sadie. The dresses that Kinsella describes are beautiful and clearly she has really researched the time. The music, the dancing, the terminology and the clothing - its all so fascinating to read about and Kinsella does it in such a way that it adds so much to the story, and we can see how it was for old Sadie back when she was in her twenties, and it is such a good idea for book, I loved reading all about it!

There was nothing about this book that I really didn't like. Yes, the start was slightly slow and peculiar but quickly it developed and really picked up pace from around halfway through. I enjoyed the more serious route the story took later on in the novel, and it was a joy to read Kinsella's descriptions of London, its sights and other small villages as well. It had a real charm about it that just made me want to keep reading and I was really gutted to turn the final page. This is definitely a book that will grab you from the first few pages -  a ghost-story for our modern times that is charming, brilliantly written and wonderful to read. It has all the humour of the Shopaholic books, the writing skill and wit of Sophie Kinsella, and huge readability - what more could you ask for?! A must-read for this summer!

Note: Sophie Kinsella is the pen-name of author Madeleine Wickham.

Rating: 5/5

My thanks go to the publishers Bantam Press for sending me a copy of this book to review!

Read Leah's review here.


  1. Jealous, jealous, jealous!!! ;)

    I have to admit I was a bit worried too when I heard that this was going to be a ghost story, but I expected Sophie to handle this well and I'm so glad to hear she did! It does sound like a fantastic read and I can't wait to get my hands on it!

    I was lucky enough to attend a private screening of Confessions of a Shopaholic back in February and I absolutely loved it!!! Yes, it's quite different from the books, but still hilarious! I'll probably buy it on DVD and watch it like a hundred more time, lol.

    I agree that Becky is a fantastic character (and don't even get me started on Luke, ooh!), but I think I enjoyed The Undomestic Goddess and Remember Me? even a tiny little bit more than the Shopaholic novels? Or maybe not, I don't know, it's impossible to choose with such a brilliant writer! Can You Keep a Secret was possibly my least favourite book by her, even though I enjoyed it immensly, but just not as much as the others.

    Anyway, as I always say, SOPHIE KINSELLA FOR PRESIDENT. Has she been officially crowned as the Queen of Chick Lit? If not, she damn well should be! ;)

    ps: Have I mentioned how very very very excited I am about Twenties Girl? :D

  2. Cannot believe you have read it!! sounds fab. ALSO JEALOUS!! X

  3. I am so excited about this book coming out, I can't wait!

  4. ps nice review and glad it lives up to the standard!

  5. After reading such a great review I have now decided to go and buy twenties girl. I have read every single book by Sophie Kinsella and they do not disappoint, although I was approaching this latest purchase with intrepidation. Thanks for changing my mind. :0)

  6. Just finished Twenties Girl - loved it - very different to other Sophie Kinsella books but as you said this book gripped the reader from the start - I read it is just over a day - couldn't put it down.

  7. I think this book is actually my least favourite of Sophie's works, but at the same time it was still a great book!

  8. I just finished Twenties Girl and really enjoyed it. I agree with everything in this review. The book started off slow but I loved the Shopaholic books, so I kept reading. The only funny thing I found about it was that Ed seemed to be a lot like Luke in the Shopaholic books. I never really got a full sense of his character to be genuinely different from Luke.

  9. I was a bit bored in the beginning as I'm not really a fan of ghost stories but I'll try to continue reading the book as I stopped for a bit as I was a bit bored and will let you know how I get on!

    Although I do love all the Shopaholic Series and can't wait for the release of the newest one - Mini Shopaholic :)

  10. I'd never heard of Sophie Kingsella before Twenties Girl, and picked the book up because the blurb excited me. It was very well written, the research into the 1920s era was so well done you almost forgot you were learning.
    I am now a fan of Sophie Kingsella, who had proved, in my eyes, that chicklit isn't full of shoes, nice clothes, vodka and women who can't live without a man.
    The actual love interest in this book was overshadowed by the "ghost" and Lara's relationship, which for me, was a good thing.