Sunday, 8 May 2016

Review: Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

Title: Can You Keep a Secret?
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Black Swan
Pages: 368
Genres: Romance, Contemporary

Can You Keep a Secret?
Nervous flyer Emma is sitting on a turbulent plane. She really thinks that this could be her last moment. So, naturally enough, she starts telling the man sitting next to her - quite a dishy American, but she's too frightened to notice - all her secrets. How she scans the backs of intellectual books and pretends she's read them. How she's not sure if she has a G-spot, and whether her boyfriend could find it anyway. How she feels like a fraud at work - everyone uses the word 'operational' all the time but she hasn't a clue what it means. How she once threw a troublesome client file in the bin. If ever there was a bare soul, it's hers.

She survives the flight, of course, and the next morning the famous founding boss of the whole mega corporation she works for is coming for a look at the UK branch. As he walks around, Emma looks up and realises...

It's the man from the plane.

What will he do with her secrets? He knows them all - but she doesn't know a single one of his. Or... does she?
This was the right book at the right time for me as lately I have been feeling like I am descending into a bit of a reading slump. The horror. Can You Keep a Secret? was surprisingly funny and had me chortling almost all the way through. The main character Emma is very relatable and the extremely embarrassing situations she goes through at work and home made me feel better about myself and my own embarrassing experiences. Emma takes the award for living through the most cringe worthy situations imaginable - but that is what made this book comedy gold.

It is foremost a contemporary romance and it is a typical example of chick-lit. The story is fast paced and silly - it is definitely a book to pick up when a quick and easy reading fix is in need. It certainly would not pass the Bechdel test but I didn't care because I liked the story for what it was. My only criticism of the book would be that it does reinforce unhealthy ideas of body image as Emma comments on her weight and dress size at times. It was as ridiculous as saying that she is a size 4 but she is actually a size 8... as if a size 8 was something to be shameful of. Emma also shames a character that she describes as 300 pounds which annoyed me but it was such a minor thing I don't feel like it hampered my enjoyment overall.

Overall Can You Keep a Secret? is a feel-good, humorous and fast read which is a great antidote to the dreaded reading slump.


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