Monday, March 12, 2012
The Humorous Side of Chic Lit
Now, from the start, IGYN promised to live up to any SK work in both plot and character silliness. First of all the character - Poppy Wyatt, a Becky Bloomwood soul mate in flakiness, some naivete, and a gift for twisted logic and getting herself into trouble. Then there's the plot... I gave Dov's family the pleasure of a synopsis, which was greatly appreciated as a piece of unlikely farce - girl loses ring, then fire alarm rings, then phone is stolen, then she steals another phone... and then she strikes up a relationship with the phone's owner, all the while refusing to return him his property?! Only forgivable because in chic lit, implausibility cannot be allowed to stand in the way of good romance and maybe some funny moments along the way. So far, so silly... I could well understand H and C's lack of enthusiasm.
But, even with all the ridiculous setups, snort-worthy scenarios, and lack of common sense I couldn't stop noticing, I found myself laughing out loud once in a while. She does have great comic timing, Ms. Kinsella, no doubt about it. So she succeeds in at least part of her goal (what I assume is her goal), to write a book that keeps us laughing most of the time. At the beginning, I was doing less laughing though, and more worrying, as Poppy was (of course) being an idiot about dealing with the loss of the engagement ring (word of wisdom, it's ALWAYS better to tell). But then... it didn't spiral off into disaster after fiasco... about half-way through, it's actually resolved! Leaving us to concentrate on Sam (the phone owner's) problems, which are much more interesting, and also much less tense than our heroine's (last tense because they aren't our heroine's, strictly speaking he has lot more on the line). So we are left more free to enjoy both the funny stuff and the romance.
The romance is decent, nothing to rock the world, and I'd say in the background for the most part - but that's pretty typical SK, she's never all about them getting together. And it was there all the while, something to look forward to. And if its progression was fairly typical, I have to say there were a few surprises along the way for the plot in general. Nothing *major*, but I was definitely surprised at how certain things were resolved (the fiance's parents, Sam's Dad, Lucinda...) Impressively not what I'd expected, I'd say.
So the book was silly, no doubt about it. It wasn't the greatest romance ever written, without a question. But as a solid, funny, chic lit romp, I have to say, I was quite, quite pleasantly surprised! Less tense, less predictable, and quite a bit more funny than I would have thought. Not bad, Sophie K. Not bad.