Friday, July 18, 2008

Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella and Holy heck -- a very close call -- plus, Booking through Thursday

Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
Copyright 2008
The Dial Press/Fiction
389 pages

This is going to be a quickie review because Sophie Kinsella books never really vary dramatically, at least in style. Remember Me? is the story of Alexia Smart, aka "Lexi", a young woman who suffers from amnesia due to an accident. After she's bonked on the head, Lexi wakes up to find that she has forgotten three years of her life. And, during the time her memory doesn't cover, there have been some major changes. Much like Jennifer Garner's character in 13 Going on 30, Lexi finds that she has a great job, but she's become a totally different person; and, she's not nice. What happened to Lexi that made her so different? Why do her former friends shy away from her? And, how on earth did she end up with those great teeth and that terrific body?

Remember Me? is written in Sophie Kinsella's trademark light, sweet style. I whipped through it in a few hours (partly because the library due-date was looming) and enjoyed it immensely. As in the Shopaholic books, Lexi eventually figures things out and comes up with a clever solution to the many dilemmas her loss of memory has created.

5/5 - A cheery, quick read that would be terrific for poolside, beach or plane fare. Apart from a predictable ending (which is part of the joy of her books, in my opinion), I can't think of anything to criticize. Just don't grab it if you're in a deep-thinking mood.

On to the almost-huge oops:

The Insect Murderer was here when hubby arrived home from work and we have a narrow driveway, which said Poison Dude's vehicle was blocking, so Huzzybuns parked the Toyota in the street. It's a stick shift. We live on a street that looks like a rollercoaster. And, he forgot to put on the emergency brake. Thank heavens I went outside to greet him. Husband was about halfway across the yard when he noticed my eyes boggling. I started waving and shouting at him to run back and put on the brake. The car was inching backwards -- slowly, but we're on a fairly steep incline and it wouldn't have taken long for the car to gain some serious momentum. He didn't understand a word I said (great -- I scream, "The brake! Put on the brake!" and my husband turns around expecting to see a giant spider) but he did figure out the problem. So, you know, big thanks to the Guardian Angel on duty, here.

Still reading:

Washington's Lady by Nancy Moser -- about Martha Washington. So far, I'm really enjoying it -- don't let the fact that I'm reading slowly fool you. Moser has a writing style I like; I'm pretty sure I'll be reading more by this author.

What if . . . ? by Steve N. Lee -- Also very well-written. I'm about halfway into the book and I think the philosophy is a little heavy-handed, but I'm reserving judgment on that till I find out where it ends up. The author is particularly good at dangling the facts just enough to keep the pages turning. It's very suspenseful.

Just arrived:

Quick & Healthy Recipes and Ideas by Brenda J. Ponichtera -- a spiral-bound cookbook that has tips for losing weight and includes shopping lists, quick-fix recipes and weekly menus. Looks good, just from randomly flipping through and reading a few recipes/tips, etc. More on that when I've played in the kitchen.

It's not Thursday, but I like the Booking Through Thursday question, inspired by the destruction of Bunch of Grapes on Martha's Vineyard, which burned on the Fourth of July.

Do you buy books while on vacation/holiday?
Do you have favorite bookstores that you only get to visit while away on a trip?
What/Where are they?

We don't have a regular vacation spot that we repeatedly visit, but on road trips home to Oklahoma we always make at least one stop at a Hasting's store -- usually, the one in Conway, Arkansas. We consider it the most important of our leg-stretching breaks and seldom emerge without something. In Tulsa, I love Gardner's Used Books -- a warehouse-sized used bookstore. And, in Ponca City (my hometown), Brace Books & More is a favorite. Anywhere else . . . we always seek out bookstores, no matter where we go. I always drag home at least one book, usually more. It's an incurable malady. I've recently taken to buying a book or two about the region or written by local authors. Regional books have become one of our souvenirs of choice.

Two years of book blogging and that was my first Booking Through Thursday post!

It's hot enough to fry an egg on the driveway, this week (no, I haven't tried that one, yet). I want to be here:

Happy weekend!

Bookfool, hot and tired and fussy -- next time I'll try to be fresher when I post.


  1. I am so glad your husband was able to put the brake on before the car sped down the incline. Now you can laugh about that scary moment. :-)

    I really enjoyed the Shopaholic books I read by Kinsella and am looking forward to reading Remember Me? Thank you for the great review.

  2. Good thing you were there with the car. That happened to me once in high school, forgetting the break. It ran into a street light, but it was only a few feet. So there was no damage to the car or the pole.

    Beautiful picture, too!

  3. What if . . . ? by Steve N. Lee
    I'm also about halfway through this one. Interesting, huh?

  4. Well, thank goodness the man and his vehicle were unharmed! Why won't they listen to us, I ask you. It's a guy thing.

    I enjoy Sophie Kinsella, but she doesn't turn my crank a whole lot. I'm intrigued by the Martha Washington book and look forward to your review.

    Here's to not being tired, hot or cranky, although if I were none of those things, my family would not recognize me. At all.

  5. Anonymous8:04 AM

    This blog is truly refreshing as scenery provided within this blog can refreshes ones mind if he or she looks at it once. Have a good day.

  6. Thanks for the review. I can't believe I haven't read any of Kinsella books. I'll remember her when I need a quick, light read. I'm glad you managed to avoid any accidents with your car. Too scary!

  7. Glad your car didn't roll away!!!

    Oh I so want to be there too. Snow! It looks so refreshing! I'm hot, tired and fussy too. I think the heat has fried my brain as I'm finding it hard to concentrate on much of anything. Blah!

  8. Whoa...a big fat "WHEW!" on the car! Bet it took a bit for your heart to go back to its normal rhythm, huh?

  9. Wendy,

    Thanks! It's a relief that he was able to catch up with the car before it gained speed, that's for sure. You're right that we can laugh about it, now, although when I sit back and think about what could have happened I'm frankly horrified. I'd better not think. LOL

    If you like the Shopaholic books, I'm sure you'll love Remember Me? I don't read chick lit as often as I used to, but Kinsella's books are always a pleasant change of pace. :)


    I'm glad your experience wasn't a bad one! Had our car not been stopped, I have no doubt it would have been a disaster. We both stood on the lawn, gazing down at the bottom of the hill, for a time. When we give people directions to our house, we say we're "the fourth house up from the dip". So, four houses worth of momentum to the low point. Whew! Close call!

    Thanks, I took that photo in Alaska. It's in the 60's in Alaska. Soooo envious of Alaskans, right now. :)


    Yes, it's very interesting! I'm on about page 220. I have no idea where it's headed!

  10. Cupcake,

    Now, see, that's just what I always say. "Why don't you listen to me? I'm always right!" Honestly, it's like living with a 2-year-old.

    If I ever finish Washington's Lady, you'll get to hear all about it! I keep setting it aside. It's really nicely written, but there are always review books at the head of the queue, so it's my "on the side" book, so to speak.

    Really, I just need a vacation someplace cool. Then, I'll be much less cranky (for about 2 weeks, but it's better than nothing, right?).


    Wow, thank you! I'm glad you find my blog refreshing! What a total upper!! :)


    I really like Sophie Kinsella's books. I've been sitting here thinking about the Shopaholic books -- Becky (the Shopaholic) annoys me because she gets herself into trouble by going overboard buying designer items, but she's a sweet character who always redeems herself in the end. I think that's what I really love. Kinsella's characters have big hearts. You should definitely give her a try! :)

    As to the car . . . thanks! I'm trying hard not to think about it because it's too easy to visualize twisted metal at the bottom of that big hill! My husband's getting a good razzing about it, though.

  11. Nat,

    Thanks, me too! It's a big hill we're on, here. I'm so glad I walked out at just the right moment.

    You and me both on the heat. It's not as bad as last year, in our area, but still . . . I'm just hibernating and I'd be so much happier in a cool place. That foggy-brained summer sluggishness is so irritating. Snow is the ultimate in wishful thinking, right now! :)

  12. Debi,

    "Whew!" is right! LOL Yes, in fact, it did take a few minutes for my heartbeat to return to normal. And, I'm having trouble getting rid of the mental image of what could have been the end result. Probably just need to bury myself in a book. That should help. :)

  13. Wow! That was a close one.

    Welcome to BTT! I like to buy regional books as souvenirs too.

  14. Chris,

    It was way too close for comfort. :)

    Thank you! I don't know why I haven't joined in on BTT sooner!!

  15. Anonymous9:44 PM

    Oh, that's what he did! And to be fair - "The brake! The brake!" does really sound like 'Giant Attacking Spider'. In husband hearing.

    I like Sophie Kinsella books. I haven'r read one since she married her off, but I'll undoubtedly pick them all up one of these days.

    So what's What if....? about? (Never mind. Amazon will tell me.)

  16. The funny thing about the spider comment is this . . . post near car disaster:

    (Me to Husband) If I'm warning you that there's a giant spider behind you, why would you turn around and walk right back into it, dear?
    (Husband) I had to turn around to see what you were waving about. Whatever it was, you were freaked.
    (Me) If there's ever a giant spider behind you, I'm not worried. If you're about to walk into one, I'll do this (holding up palm and mouthing the word "STOP!").
    (Husband makes goofy grin face)

    Shopaholic books have to be spaced out, but good old Becky never really changes. They go on a honeymoon and she sends home a zillion trinkets. They have a baby and she buys enough equipment for a baby army. They're fun.

    Oh, okay. Go to Amazon. Fine. Wait! It's about a healer who has big plans to change the world, but some people definitely do not like his ideas.

  17. Wow, definitely a big WAHOO that the brake situation wasn't a catastrophe. A friend told me a pretty horrifying story about a Prius and a cliff recently, and I have noticed the little bugger has a tendency to roll on steep inclines, so I'm a parking brake addict as of late.

  18. Anonymous11:54 AM

    thanks for pointing out a new kinsella book :) between "seriuos" books, I often like to read an easy and funny novel. Kinsella writes just this kind of books :)

  19. Andi,

    Yep, it was a big wahoo, all right. A Prius and a cliff? That sounds like a definite horror story. I've reminded the husband about that bit we learned in driver's ed -- how to turn the wheels on a hill, so that if you do happen to forget the brake the car just rolls back into the curb and stops. Are there steep inclines in Dallas? I haven't been there in a few years. I have visions of flatness. LOL

    Booktamer Ama,

    That's exactly what I do. Now and then, you just need a light read injected in between the heavier books and Sophie Kinsella's are always perfect for a brain break. Lexi is really a sweet character. I hope you enjoy Remember Me? as much as I did!

  20. Great review. I have not read any of this athor's books. I will have to check them out

  21. Cheryl,

    They're loads of fun. I think the only thing that bothers me is that Kinsella's characters always end up filthy rich. But, they're all so sweet that you can't help but root for them. :)

  22. Your Poison Dude story had me in hysterics. Glad to hear there was not harm (well, I guess the insects aren't so lucky, but at least your car didn't off on its own adventure)

  23. Poison Dude - love that. Anyway glad your husband got to the car on time!
    Can you believe I've not read a Kinsella book? I keep hearing that they are really fun and I need to just settle down with one and enjoy it! Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

  24. Nyssaneala,

    The insects are free to thrive outdoors, but if they come inside they're goners. LOL I'm glad you enjoyed that story about the car. We seem to have a few too many close calls, around here. When my husband left for the airport, this afternoon, I reminded him to use the brake, please, when he parked the car. He said he thinks he's learned that lesson. :)

  25. I'm so stinkin' hot I can hardly stand it. Hopefully just another month and a half left of the heat before we get lovely fall. I've never read a Kinsella novel (and honestly haven't really wanted to), but it sounds like a cute premise. Maybe for the next read-a-thon...

  26. Iliana,

    Our former Poison Dude thought that was a funny name. He said, "Most people just call me the Bug Guy." And, I said, "But you don't bring bugs, you poison them." He just shrugged. And, then he fixed my vacuum cleaner. I miss that one. LOL

    We were so lucky with the car. It could have been a major disaster and it was too, too close for comfort!

    No, not surprised you haven't read Kinsella! You and I tend to read very different books. I'd love to hear what you think. She writes fluff, but I love her characters. :)


    I know; I feel like a pancake. The heat makes you just melt all over the place, doesn't it? I can't wait for fall. But, I think we've probably got a good two months to go, here. Sometimes fall doesn't arrive till November. I'm praying this will not be one of those years.

    Iliana just said the same thing! Kinsella isn't for everyone, but I find her books an injection of sweetness and light -- great for reading when you need a break from heavier reads or, yeah, she'd be great for a readathon, definitely! :)

  27. Sophie Kinsella is just great fun, isn't she! There is certainly some skill involved in making readers laugh out loud, and no matter how irritating her characters can sometimes be, I'm always rooting for them. Glad you enjoyed her latest, I did too.

  28. What is it about men and parking brakes?? I've never met a man who uses one on a regular basis. Aren't they there for a reason??

    We had a similar incident happen with a VW bug. It was many years ago and at this point I honestly don't remember if it was my fault or my husband's, but I came away from that learning that you always want to put your car in first gear (not neutral) when parking on an incline. Who knew?! ;) Lucky for us, the car just rolled out of the driveway and across the street where it stopped against the curb. Thankfully, there were not children (or adults) in its path! Phew!

    I will not complain about the heat. I will not complain about the heat.
    I will not complain about the heat. :)

  29. Tara,

    Absolutely. I think Sophie Kinsella has a great style and her characters are so goofy and nice that you can't help but love them. You're so right that it takes skill to make people laugh! I'm glad you enjoyed Remember Me?, too!


    Is it a guy thing? Because, honestly, my husband is such an airhead. I couldn't count the number of times he's stacked things on the stove and then accidentally turned on a burner. It's insane. I think seeing the car lurch backwards was a good object lesson for the old guy. LOL

    I always put the car in first gear, but we do have a bit of a slant to our driveway, as well, so I've probably learned that lesson from drifting backwards at some point (prior to pulling on the emergency brake -- at least one of us puts on the brake habitually!).

    You're not allowed to complain about the heat because you don't have it long enough. I'd have to swat you if you complained. Virtual swat, of course. Okay, go ahead. Nobody likes it this hot, right?

  30. Glad to see you didn't have a huge accident!! I'm still laughing over the whole "Insect Murderer" thing!!

    I've read some of Sophie Kinsella's work. Cute and light. Fun to read. I think I actually like her Madeline Wickham stuff better though.

  31. Stephanie,

    Thanks, me too on the car thing!

    I've only read one of her Madeline Wickham books and I kind of hated it. I can't remember why, though. It's been a few years. I used to order books from "across the pond" but I'm over that. LOL

  32. Anonymous12:43 PM

    Glad to hear disaster was averted! I haven't read anything by Kinsella but glad to know I can recommend this one to my patrons. thanks!

  33. Thanks, Lesley. :)

    I've read quite a few Kinsella books and I think Remember Me? has just become one of my top 2, along with Can You Keep a Secret? Both are sweet, funny and light.

  34. Anonymous7:32 PM

    Glad the accident was averted. Phew!

    I always seek out local bookstores (do my homework before I go actually). I visit my family in Hong Kong every year so I would go the same bookstores and browse for additional reading ideas. I also like to see what they have that I cannot find here. Most of the fiction titles are UK editions so I look for the trade paperbacks that are yet to be available in the US. Books on local interests can be very fun and informative as well.

  35. Matt,

    Phew is right! Thanks. :)

    You're much more organized than I am. I just bungle around when I go on vacation. Books and bookstores magically appear, wherever I go, though (sometimes with the help of a phone book). I've really come to love the "local interest" sections of bookstores, when I vacation. The words "fun and informative" are a perfect description! We've found some lovely little local spots or (in the case of Alaska) musicians by locating the right books.


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