Archive | 6:00 pm

Sophie Kinsella – “Remember Me?”

16 Feb

GENRE: Chick Lit
PUBLISHED: Black Swan, 2008

WHY THIS NOVEL: I got it from the library and the selection of English books there is small.

The back blurb:
“What if you woke up and your life was perfect?

Lexi wakes up in a hospital, thinking she’s twenty-five with crooked teeth and a disastrous love life. But, to her disbelief, she learns it’s three years later – she’s a supertoned twenty-eight-year-old, her teeth are straight, she’s the boss of her department – and she’s married! To a good-looking millionaire!
She can’t believe her luck – especially when she sees her stunning new loft apartment. And she’ll definitely have a fantastic marriage once she gets to know her husband again. He’s drawn up a ‘marriage manual’, which should help.
But soon she realizes her perfect life isn’t all it seems. Her old colleagues hate her. A rival is after her job. Then a dishevelled, sexy guy turns up … and lands a new bombshell.
What the *** happened to her? Will she ever remember? And what will happen if she does?”

The plot of Remember Me? is already summed up in the question of the back blurb: “What if you woke up and your life was perfect?” Like Can You Keep a Secret? (which plot can also be summed up in a question), Remember Me? concerns itself with identity, one of my favorite “issues” in a story. This time, it’s an identity the main character doesn’t recognize as hers, an identity she lost because of severe amnesia (just go with it).

Compared to Can You Keep a Secret?, Remember Me? is less laugh-out-loud funny because it doesn’t rely (so much) on hilarious scenes the main character gets into. Hilarious scenes only work so long for me so I really didn’t mind and Remember Me? made up for the less in fun with a deeper look at the question of identity. With the lost memory, it’s “darker” than Can You Keep a Secret? in which the main character kept things to herself so not to hurt others and then the secrets were confronted with reality and truth.

Remember Me? is written in the same humorous voice I liked in Can You Keep a Secret? I also think the plotting is tighter than in Can You Keep a Secret?, and I really enjoyed matching the hints other characters gave to Lexi to trigger her memory with what actually happened. One of my favorites is the sun flower hint and when Lexi finally realizes what sun flowers mean – oh my!

I have one quibble with this novel and it has to do with my preference for romance and so the quibble is totally subjective. There is a romance in Remember Me? But because of Lexi’s memory loss, I only get bits and pieces of it and they are so intriguing, I wanted more. I really wanted to read about how those two fell in love and not just the poignant reminders and hints and allusions to it. These two really seemed to get each other despite the distractions and obstacles they faced and that’s something I love to read about.

Which is my way of saying that I thought the hinted at romance story more interesting and intriguing than the questions the story raised about identity even though I actually find them rather thought-provoking on their own. But when I caught a whiff of the romance I wouldn’t get to read about because of the memory loss, all else paled.

‘We’ve had five whole nights together in eight months.” He’s silent for a moment. ‘Eric’s had 235.’

Verdict: I’m tempted to go with a higher grade because I’m still rather caught up in the drama of the (mostly not told) romance but it’s only during the last chapters that it actually takes center stage in the story, and I remember some slow times, especially in the beginning, so I’ll go with 4/5.

fun: I wanted to tone down on my book buying with reading books from the library and now I’m actually thinking about buying this one for myself.

My comment about Can You Keep a Secret?