Book reviews, new books, publishing news, book giveaways, and author interviews

Book Review: Ive Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

 Book Review: Ive Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

When my phone was stolen on the subway in Buenos Aires I awarded myself some travel cred points. After all, Ive travelled through all sorts of dodgy places unscathed (except for a terrible bout of food poisoning in Vietnam and a weird foot infection in Malaysia), so it was about time I had a woe-is-me travel experience to make myself appear well-travelled and worldly.

My phone wasnt a fancy one, and I was due for a replacement, but I realised quite quickly what I had lost: my watch, my alarm clock, and hundreds and hundreds of contacts. And although my husband hooked me up with a temporary replacement, it wasnt right. It wasnt my phone.

In fact, it was his mothers phone, so it was full of strange contacts (most of them called Mei, oddly enough), and frequently received paranoid email forwards from her Malaysian friends. (FWD: Dont use the ATM or someone will follow you home and kidnap your children! FWD: Dont eat at this restaurant in KL because its meat comes from dogs! FWD: If you dont forward this to ten people you will never have a grandson!)

So when I read about poor'Poppy Wyatt having her mobile phone stolen in the opening pages of Sophie Kinsellas'Ive Got Your Number'I could immediate sympathise. And when mobile phone junkie Poppy immediately begins hitting up strangers for a quick go at their phone, I could feel her pain. And when she resorts to scrabbling about in bins in the hopes of finding some sort of communication device, well, I could understand. Addiction is a terrible thing.

But while my replacement telephone only offers up advice about herbal remedies for colon cancer or dire warnings about life factors that might decrease your likelihood of having a male grandchild, Poppys new phone, which she does indeed find during the aforementioned bin-scrounging, brings with it'actual intrigue. And also a spunky man.

The phone, you see, turns out to have belonged to the PA of Sam Roxton, fancy-pants businessman and rather eligible bachelor. And since Poppy has no intention of giving up her social lifeline, she inadvertently becomes Sams stand-in PA. Everyones happy, or at least for a bit. Its not long before their perfunctory texts and business-like emails begin to become quitefriendly. Not to mention the fact that Poppy, who quite likes stomping all over personal boundaries, begins meddling in Sams email account, sending out company-wide emails that result in poor Sam being signed up for fun-runs, charity trips to South America and awful reunions with old school chums hes been assiduously avoiding.

But Poppys gradual touch-typed intrusion into Sams life isnt one-sided. Soon enough, Poppy finds herself being awaiting Sams texts and emails and hanging on to their every text-based encounter. But this is a no-no for one key reason: Poppy is getting married in a weeks time. To the, er, man of her dreams. Right. Right?

Ive Got Your Number is exactly the frivolously light read I was expecting, and no one can accuse Kinsella of not being entertaining. The ridiculous situations in which Poppy finds herself (and usually as the result of her own boundary over-stepping) make for plenty of laughs and giggles, and the narrative rattles along at a merry place. Theres nothing at all subtle about the plot and the way that things eventually play out, but theres a keenness to Kinsellas of social observations thats hard to miss and which adds a welcome layer to the book.

The use of a hapless, clueless protagonist allows a wide-eyed, innocent explication of the competitiveness and territoriality of the business world, not to mention family and class politics, the latter which is now so often demarcated through certain markers of learnedness. Poppys well-meaning but bumbling demeanour can be frustrating at times, but at the same time it allows for'plenty of opportunities to illustrate inequalities, assumptions and questionable normsits an approach thats certainly been well-trodden in the comedic world.

The use of the mobile phone as the central part of our social worlds is also fascinating: Poppys phone is key in sharing news, and building and maintaining relationships, and its interesting to see how much weve come to rely on technology as a way of communicating on the fly, and how our communication habits have changed accordingly. The phone as a record of communication (eg of Poppys texts and emails) is also touched onand is something that resonated with me, as I was strangely saddened when I realised that along with my phone Id lost the very first text that my husband had ever sent me.

The idea of privacy is teased out in a number of ways in the book, and Kinsellas illustration of how the boundaries of our private lives have become increasingly blurred is quite insightful. Sam, for example, is mortified that Poppy has been reading his emails, but Poppy quite rightly points out that much of what shes read is public information that can be easily found on the internet. The frustration of private telephone numbers in a a public world is also touched on, and the appalled reaction of various characters about the idea of sharing a phone offers food for thought as well. The very fact that so much of someones life is stored on a piece of technology that can be so easily be passed on to someone else is quite sobering, and I wont deny that the thought of someone in Buenos Aires surfing through the electronic artefacts of my life gives me the heebies.

In terms of the romance, I have to admit that I quite liked the odd mix of the brusque Sam and the over-sharing Poppy, and of course, Sams character is made all the more desirable by the comparison of him with Poppys dolt of a fiance, while Poppy looks all the more pleasant when compared with Sams vicious ex.'The push-and-pull between the two is nicely done, with each challenging the other to confront their demons (yes, the books title does have a double meaning). Sam frequently pushes Poppy to believe in herself and put herself first, while Poppy endlessly points out that Sam needs to reach out to others.

Its not all smooth sailing: the initial set-up of the book feels off, and sometimes Kinsella pushes the comedic elements too far (not to mention that I loathed those annoying little footnotes pepped throughout), but in all, I found this a fun introduction to work of this best-selling author. Not to mention a handy reminder to sync my hand-me-down phone with my Google account.'

Rating: star Book Review: Ive Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsellastar Book Review: Ive Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsellastar Book Review: Ive Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsellahalfstar Book Review: Ive Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsellablankstar Book Review: Ive Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella (very good)

With thanks to Random House Australia for the review copy

Support Read in a Single Sitting by purchasing'Ive Got Your Number from

Amazon | Book Depository UK | Book Depository USA | Booktopia | The Nile

Sophie Kinsella discusses Ive Got Your Number:

Other books by Sophie Kinsella:

 Book Review: Ive Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella Book Review: Ive Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella Book Review: Ive Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella Book Review: Ive Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

white 15 Book Review: Ive Got Your Number by Sophie KinsellaSend to Kindle


  1. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out /

    Great review Stephanie, This may not be a subtle book but a fun read nonetheless :)

    • Stephanie /

      I really enjoyed this one, actually. It was a bit of a surprise, tooI havent received any chick lit for review in months, so I was interested to see whether the genre was still alive and kicking!

  2. Fantastic review of this one! Hehe, Id forgotten about those footnotes by the time I wrote my review, and a good thing too. I detest footnotes in this kind of book, and it really drove me nuts the entire time reading. Loved your personal story relating to this one though! It IS sobering how much of ones personal life can be embedded in a device and so easily passed on to someone else. Ideas of privacy and communication are certainly changing with technology, and it almost takes a constant mental adjustment to keep up with it all.

    • Stephanie /

      Thanks for visiting, Heidi! Footnotes are tough to do well in fiction, I think. Ive read a few books where the footnotes themselves tell a sort of secondary story, or are used for filling in backstory, and I think the conceit worked better in those books than in this one, where the footnotes were so brief that they might as well have just been included in the text itself.

      I completely agree with you about how much of our lives can be tied up in technologyIm a bit lost without my phone. If I lost my laptop or my email was shut down or something, however, Id be in dire straits!

  3. So sorry you lost your cell phone! That would not be fun at all. Ive saved the best of my text messages that I frequently refer to for a quite smile or a laugh. This book sounds interesting and fun. Ive never picked up a book by Kinsella, but now I may have to. :D

    • Stephanie /

      I loved my little text message collection, tooit was such a shame to lose all those little moments and landmarks. Sigh!

      It is a fun read. Oddly enough, Ive had barely any chick lit to review recently, so Kinsella may be one of the few left writing in this genre!

  4. Its so true how much we rely on technology and i would be devastated to lose my phone too photos/ contacts/ notes. how exposing! Sounds like you had a very entertaining replacement for your phone though lol

    After reading yours and Shelleyraes review for this book i think id like to pick it up and give Kinsella a go.

    • Stephanie /

      Im glad I did, Jayne. Kinsellas such a huge name in chick lit, and Im glad I finally got to fill in this gap in my reading!

  5. Great review! I love it how you connect issues in the book with real-life issues. The book is very good in that respect. I did find Poppy a little too silly though and the whole story was too unbelievable for me. Sometimes I can step over that, but not in this book. Still, it was an entertaining read.

    • Stephanie /

      Thanks, Judith!

      I do agree with you about Poppy, and Im certainly glad that shes not a friend or colleague of mineshed drive me nuts! Youre right that the book is very over the topMagnus and his family are certainly caricatures, and so is Sams crazy ex, but Im okay with a bit of zaniness in this genre.

  6. I enjoyed this book, Sophie is always entertaining. My favourite book of hers though would have to be Twenties Girl, that was so much fun! :)

    • Stephanie /

      Ive had a few recommendations for Twenties Girl now, Juliet, and really should try to find a copy!

  7. Take a look at what @readinasitting thought of I'VE GOT YOUR NUMBER Have you read it yet?

Add us to your Google reader: Add to Google

Follow us on Blog Lovin' Follow on Bloglovin