Main character Fixie Farr may have frustrated me but I very much enjoyed Sophie Kinsella’s latest rom com. It’s funny, it’s sweet and reminded my just why I love this author’s books so much.
The irresistible new standalone from Sophie Kinsella is a story of love, empowerment and an IOU that changes everything . . .
Fixie Farr can’t help herself. Straightening a crooked object, removing a barely-there stain, helping out a friend . . . she just has to put things right. It’s how she got her nickname, after all.
So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees, she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank her, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, scribbles her an IOU – but of course Fixie never intends to call in the favour.
That is, until her teenage crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and needs her help – and Fixie turns to Seb. But things don’t go according to plan, and now Fixie owes Seb: big time.
Soon the pair are caught up in a series of IOUs – from small favours to life-changing debts – and Fixie is torn between the past she’s used to and the future she deserves.
Does she have the courage to fix things for herself and fight for the life, and love, she really wants?
Do you ever get so frustrated with the characters in a book you want to reach in and give them a shake. That’s pretty much the way I felt while reading I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella. This may sound like a bad thing, and for a lot of people it probably is, but for me becoming that invested in a character is a very good sign and I very much enjoyed this story. I mean it’s written by Kinsella so you know it’s probably going to be fantastic but this is for me was one of her best. Yes it’s frustrating but it’s also funny and sweet and just a pleasure to sink into.
I absolutely adored the meet cute at the start where both main characters are in a cafe when disaster strikes and Fixie’s rescue of Seb’s laptop means he feels he owes her a favour. In fact I loved the whole central concept of them constantly helping each other out in an escalating series of IOUs. They’re very cute together and with the chemistry between them it’s obvious they’re perfect for each other, if only they’d realize it.
I may have been driven nuts by Fixie but that was only because she was too darn nice, and there was a lot I could relate to. Not the need to fix everything (I’m quite happy with mess and chaos) but more her inability to assert herself and her feeling of not being good enough. What’s frustrating though is that she’s usually right, she’s good at what she does and she has good ideas, she just won’t stand up and insist others listen. I was desperate for her to take a stand and speak her mind but instead she lets everyone else walk all over her. If you want to know whether she does take a stand I’m afraid you’ll need to read the book but what I will say is I loved how her character developed.
As for romantic interest Seb, I have to admit I didn’t have any particularly strong feelings about him. He also seems nice (most of the time), he’s funny and sweet but it never really felt like we saw too far below the surface. I did however love all of his interactions with Fixie, they’re super cute together and he’s pretty much the only one who builds her up. I did want them to get together so badly.
The secondary characters were also very well done and I loved what an eclectic mix they were. I particularly loved some of the customers in the family store. They may only have appeared briefly but they certainly left an impression.
So with all of this combined with Kinsella’s always wonderful writing you may be wondering why this doesn’t get a full five stars, there are a couple of reasons. Firstly I didn’t like that Seb wasn’t single and I’m afraid I don’t like when one couple becoming involved breaks up another regardless of how horrible the girlfriend is.
The second issue was Fixie’s family. I loved that family and the family business was such a big part of the story. I loved the way the relationship between the siblings was portrayed and I loved how it developed and shifted. What bothered me was her mother whose actions didn’t really match up with the way Fixie described her. She’s absent for the majority of the book and never seems to give Fixie much credit or even to particularly appreciate her.
I can feel a rant brewing so I’d better leave it there, particularly as it’s such a small part of what is a fantastic read. Despite an unusual concept the story is a little on the predictable side but I enjoyed it so much I couldn’t stop reading and devoured it in one sitting.
If you’re a fan of Kinsella or if you just like a good romcom I would most certainly recommend this.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me an advance copy of this book. This has in no way influenced my review.