I didn’t want to be too hard on this book, but sorry it worked my ever loving nerves. What started off as typical chick-lit turned into some hey we are all just the same Kumbaya circle thing that I just got tired of reading. The main character, Katie Brenner, should know enough at her age that no one’s life is perfect. I can’t get over she thought because people were rich that yes they must be happy and be just dancing in the fields singing. And I hated how Katie treated her female boss just because said boss may be involved with a guy she (Katie) had a freaking crush on who was also her boss.
Girl, he is not your boyfriend, lover, and you have not kissed, made out with, or even sent a do you like me, I like you note. Go sit down.
I tend to like Kinsella’s books (Shopaholic books other stories). This one honestly felt like a retread of “Can You Keep a Secret” to me. Woman in love with boss (check). Woman and boss keep having moments (check). Woman falls in love with boss and there’s something keeping them from each other (check). There is a different plot set-up, but the subordinate boss thing needs to stop. I honestly had to have a conversation with someone the other day about hey you do you, but I don’t recommend going out for drinks with someone who does your rating. Am I getting old? Am I a prude? Bah. Don’t care if I am. Dear women and men, don’t do this. Shitting where you eat will not end up like “2 Weeks Notice” with you and your boss declaring your love and running off to eat Chinese food in your parent’s small apartment.
Katie Brenner moves to London excited to finally have the life she has dreamed of since she was a girl. She is working at a branding/strategy company as a junior something. Just know that she’s at the bottom of the totem pole at work. Katie is not living a perfect life. She doesn’t really have any friends she can talk to. Her housemates are cold and gross in that order. Her coworkers seem nice, but aloof. And her boss, Demeter Farlowe can’t even remember her name. Katie (who keeps trying to go by Cath and wants others to call her that) thinks that all she needs is one big idea for Demeter to finally see how good she is. And then they will just run off into the sunset and be best friends.
Sorry, once again this book kills me. I am a boss/manager. I definitely care about developing people who work for me. And maybe some thing I have it so easy because I am always getting awards or being asked to trouble-shoot something. But being a boss is hard. You have to be firm, but fair. And you can’t have a freaking off day (like we see in this book) because you can get kicked out the window as fast as anyone else. It’s definitely a case of what have you done for me lately when you get to the top. Kinsella touches upon this towards the end of the book. But I honestly think it came rather late for me.
Katie meets her other boss, Alex, and after a couple of meet-cutes (they were rather cute) finds herself falling for him. However, after dealing with the company losing some clients, Katie is quickly on the chopping block and finds herself back home where she doesn’t want to be.
I think for me the book comes alive when Katie is back home. I honestly wish that Kinsella had done the book differently with Katie realizing success comes in different forms in life. And her being in London didn’t make her more successful than those who have jobs and families back in their hometowns. Especially because I thought Kinsella did a really neat thing for Katie and her family to get involved with. I honestly wanted more stories about Katie’s ex, the disgruntled cleaner, and her father’s mad schemes. It felt like we got a different book until Katie runs into Demeter and Alex again.
When the secrets are revealed about what went on etc. I had a hard time buying it. I won’t spoil it for other readers. You read and you let me know if it seems believable.
The writing was okay. Not great though. And maybe I am just a little tired of things right now, but I really wanted to yell at Katie about her choices. She has a scene where she goes out with a coworker and said coworker’s boyfriend doesn’t pay for her meal after she thought he would. Instead of her saying I brought my food, or saying never mind, she freaks, goes outside, sits down (outside the cafe) and tries to eat her sandwich. Gets caught, lies, throws out her sandwich, and gets weepy when she goes to retrieve it. She is also mistaken as homeless and gets $50 from a woman. I don’t know. I probably should have laughed instead of rolling my eyes.
I recall being broke as a joke when I first started working in DC. I was upfront about it. I would have so much money for drinks and that was all I spent. When I went out I never got food and didn’t mooch off of others food. I ate a lot of cup of noodles and commuted to work from VA because no one I knew at the time could afford to live on Capitol Hill. Katie’s whole thought process about being ashamed and embarrassed of her beginnings and state of her bank account doesn’t feel real to me in this day and age. But, I am a budget person (I still balance a check book and have spreadsheets tracking all expenses, assets, etc.) so maybe that’s why there’s a disconnect.
The setting of London actually doesn’t really come alive in this book. Due to Katie being poor, she doesn’t go anywhere besides work. She describes a London that sounds like something from Bridget Jones, her reality is definitely different from that.
The ending has everything work out. I wish that Kinsella had kept with the independent woman theme she kicked to towards the second half. But instead we get a ham-fisted HEA that didn’t work with what came before it.
On another note, I hated this cover.