Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

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  • Fiction
  • Contemporary romance
  • Humor
  • Paperback
  • 496 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 3.84

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Life is like an escalator. You see, it carries you on regardless. And you might as well enjoy the view and seize every opportunity while you’re passing. Otherwise, it’ll be too late.”

Sophie Kinsella, Twenties Girl

While Lara Lington is attending her great-aunt Sadie’s funeral, she is visited by Sadie’s ghost in the form a demanding girl in a 1920’s flapper dress. Sadie demands that Lara finds a necklace that had been in Sadies possession for seventy-five years, but was lost when she died. Lara refuses at first, being busy enough with her own troubles, having just been dumped by the love of her life and trying to keep her head above water as co-owner of her headhunting agency. Sadie keeps pestering Lara until she finally agrees on finding the necklace, uncovering some ugly secrets in the process.

This is the second Sophie Kinsella book I read. It’s also still one of my favourites (if not, THE favourite). The first Kinsella book I read is “Finding Audrey”, which is absolutely beautiful, but meant for a younger audience. I’ll write a review on that one soon.

Even though this book is 500 pages long, I literally devoured it. I love Kinsella, because her books are always light and easy to read. They really pull you into the story. She has a talent for making you feel like you’re really there. She doesn’t dwell on irrelevant things like the exact colour of a tree (which can absolutely be beautiful and relevant in a different kind of novel, obviously).

I loved the friendship between Sadie and Lara that evolved throughout the book. Lara started off being really annoyed by Sadie and naturally, I was really annoyed by Sadie as well, but Kinsella did an excellent job peeling off the layers of Sadie’s personality. Every time you learn something new, you start loving her a little more. The dynamic between Sadie and Lara is amazing. It’s enemies to friends, but Sadie also takes a role as a mentor. Being 105 years-old, she has a lot to teach Lara, though some of it is a little outdated…

“If a love affair is one-sided, then it’s only ever a question, never an answer. You can’t live your life waiting for an answer.”

Sophie Kinsella, Twenties Girl

There’s one theme that keeps coming back throughout the novel and that’s unanswered love. It wasn’t that obvious to me while I was reading the book and I really don’t remember it being featured so prominently. I only just noticed while looking up the quotes for this review. Nearly all of the quotes on Goodreads are about unanswered love. It’s Sadie telling Lara to stop waiting for her ex to start loving her back, that it’s not possible to make someone love you. She tells her to stop trailing after her ex. I didn’t mind the theme so much in this novel, but Kinsella does have a habit of making some of her main characters annoyingly dependent on men.

“Honestly, it’s so easy to get what you want from people if they think you’re a psycho.”

Sophie Kinsella, Twenties Girl

If you’ve never read anything by Sophie Kinsella before, consider this a sign to pick up Twenties Girl at your nearest bookstore and dive in. If you’re not really a fan of the paranormal element in this novel, I would recommend starting with “My Not so Perfect Life”. I’ll do a review on that gem soon.

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Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given – book review

Book review: Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given

Rating: 3 out of 5.
  • Feminism/Gender studies
  • LGBT
  • Activism
  • Published in 2020
  • Goodreads rating: 3.90
  • Hardcover Edition
  • 224 pages
  • TW: rape, sexual assault

Disclaimer: I use the word “queer” in this review, because that’s the word that Florence Given uses in her book. Please do not take offense if that’s not the term that you prefer or think should be used.

I picked up this book quite a while ago in an American bookshop in Amsterdam (The American Book Center). It is Florence Given’s, a London based artist, writer and activist, debut novel. In 21 chapters, she gives an accessible introduction into feminism, self love, being queer, privilege, sex, ghosting, gaslighting, pros and cons of social media and many other related subjects. All of the art in the book is made by Given herself.

“Stop breaking yourself down into bite-size pieces. Stay whole and let them choke.”

Florence Given, Women don’t owe you pretty

I initially gave this book 4 stars, but in retrospect I decided to lower it to 3 stars. Mainly because I looked at the back cover and the blurb said: “The game-changing book that every woman needs” and well, it’s really not… Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pretty good read. I went through it fairly easily and I definitely learned some new things every now and then, but it’s really more of a summary of the basics of feminism and it focuses A LOT on being queer, which I am not. If you are and you’re struggling with what that means to you and your femininity, I would recommend reading this book, because it does give a lot of useful advice in that department. However, if you’re a straight cis woman, a few of the chapters will not apply to you.

“There is enough room for all women to be whole without tearing each other down.”

Florence Given, Women Don’t Owe You Pretty

I really liked chapter 20: Check Your Privilege. It gives a very clear definition of privilege and then does a privilege check on white privilege, cisgender privilege, male (passing) privilege, straight privilege, non-disabled privilege and class/financial privilege. It made me realise that I’ve always been really aware of male privilege, because I’m a “victim”, but I actually have lots of different kinds of privilege as well that I’ve been blind to.

I really liked the artwork in the book. It’s colourful and original and it’s a nice break from the heaps of information you’re given. The quotes also make it very understandable and easy to retain what you’ve learned.

I would recommend this book if:

  • You like reading about feminism or are interested in feminism;
  • You’re looking for a smooth introduction into feminism;
  • You’re LGBTQ+ and you’re struggling with femininity
  • You want to read about a queer girl’s struggle with feminism.

Side note: I’ve been seeing a lot of comments and reviews about this book saying that the whole concept of this book is stolen from Chidera Eggerue’s “What a Time to Be Alone”. I haven’t read it, so I’m afraid I can’t really shine a light on this matter. Reading the summary of “What a Time to Be Alone”, I do see some similarities in the topic, but no signs of plagiarism so far. I’ll put it on my TBR and see if I can do a post some day that compares these two books.