I Owe You One | By Sophie Kinsella
About the Author
Sophie Kinsella is one of my most favorite writers. I love her style, her voice and undoubtedly the humor and the underlying serious tone of her stories. She is the author of several best-seller chic-lit novels, popularly known for the Shopaholic series. There is a movie adaptation combining the first two books of the series. “Confessions of a Shopaholic”.
Fixie Farr needs to fix things. She just can’t help herself which is how she got the name itself. Fixie has always followed her father’s motto – “Family First”. Which is why she started working at their family store after trying her hand at her own business. However, Fixie cannot fix one thing and that is standing up for herself, particularly, in front of her family. She can’t say no to her siblings ever.
Then comes a handsome stranger who asks her to look after his laptop when he goes out to take a call. Fixie ends up “saving” the laptop from a certain “accident”. That is how it all began – a series of events that starts as a simple gesture “I Owe You One”.
Soon Fixie and this mysterious man end up meeting at random circumstances and return their favors, some simple ones at first and then life changing ones too. In the course of these exchanges, Fixie realises that her own life needs some fixing.
Will Fixie find the courage to fix her own self? Read the book to know more.
I pre-ordered this book and waited for over a month to get my hands on it. Sophie Kinsella is one of my favourite authors. So, even if I wanted to be honest I might be biased subconsciously and I am not at all ashamed of it.
Narrative and plot
This is a typical Sophie Kinsella narrative with a vibrant female lead going through the entire plot. She is entertaining and charming that you breeze through the pages without even thinking about it. The laugh out loud moments are somewhere there, but less, compared to earlier Kinsella books. Nonetheless, this is a fun read.
The plot as you get from the synopsis is about Fixie and how she can’t help but fixing things. It definitely didn’t drag anywhere. It just went through swift and effortless. However it leaves you impatient at the lack of courage on the part of the main character and wishing she stood up to herself numerous times. It comes around in the end and everything falls in place.
Characters and Conflicts
Fixie’s conflict is that she can’t help fixing things. She is your protagonist. It is natural to want your main character to be more assertive and at some point stop being a doormat ( not my words, it is mentioned in the book itself) However what I like about Sophie’s ladies are they carry their flaw, acknowledge it but generally need a push to outgrow it. I find it believable and relateable on some level. You don’t normally solve your flaws overnight.
Fixie is no different. She thinks about standing up to her family but just cannot bring herself to do it. Families are something you cannot lose at any cost – not even standing up for yourself. Then again, if your family is shallow enough to walk away the moment you confront them. Are they worth it? Family is where one should be real in my humble opinion.
The supporting characters were equally distinct. The sweet one in Leila, the excessively self-focused Nicole, wannabe big shot Jake, worthless(?) Ryan and the staff at Farrs. They’re all quirky in their own ways and it added more colour to the story.
The romance in the book is endearing and sweet. I loved the game – IOU and the fact, that, at some point it got out of hand, is appreciated. It had to, right? However, the one issue I had was Fixie never focused on herself or her own problems. Yes, she fixed Seb, Jake and even Nicole but what about Fixie? She and Seb never had a confrontation and it bothered me somehow particularly how things went out of their hands and where they were by the end of the book.
You turn the next page and magically they’re together. Even if it is cliche and “chic-lity”, I wanted them to confront ( Like Poppy and Sam from I’ve got Your Number!! – I expected something like that) and sort it out themselves. After all Fixie fixes everything – except herself I guess. That is my one issue with the book.
Overall I enjoyed the book. Yes, it wasn’t perfect or extraordinary but I would happily re-read it if I had a chance. Go for it, if you’re into chic-lits/women’s fiction and a must-read for Sophie Kinsella fans.
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