I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella books are literally the same, just follow this recipe: take one clutzy protagonist who makes consistently bad choices and has a mess of a life (especially her career), add a bland white knight to save her from her self, and add a lazy POS boyfriend who she dumps early on and has awkward encounters with the rest of the book. That’s literally all of her books. This book was no exception, it was boring, followed her formula, and just plain ridiculous.

Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” But since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will? It’s simply not in her nature to say no to people.

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. Turns out the computer’s owner is an investment manager. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, Sebastian scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. But Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

Then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. She wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. And Seb agrees, until the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?

The plot was the same as the rest of the books in Sophia Kinsella’s bibliography. The story basically goes like this: the main character is in a dead end job and has generally been floundering in her life. She’s initially enamored by the wrong man until she gets into some hyjinx that leads her to meet and fall for the white knight who fixes her problems and constantly witnesses her many, many zany, awkward situations. It’s tired formula and given that this is the author’s second decade in publishing, I would have expected more from her. The story is predictable and not worth reading if you’ve ever read any of her other books (particularly Can You Keep a Secret? and I’ve Got Your Number).

The amount of misogynistic bullshit in this book is sky high. Fixie’s uncle is brought in to help manage the family business while her mom is on vacation. He’s an “old school” guy who believes he has incredible business prowess (while he’s really a bumbling idiot). He refuses to listen to Fixie who has the most hands on experience in the store, and only listens to her clueless older brother. Speaking of Fixie’s brother, he’s a social climber with a trophy wife who constantly verbally abuses the women in his life and talks down constantly. But, somehow, he’s not the most misogynistic man in this book. No, that title goes to Fixie’s old crush Ryan. He uses her for her connections and tricks her into thinking they’re in a relationship while he sleeps his way around London. He gaslights Fixie and continues to try to use her even after she realizes what he’s doing. The worst part about this book is that there are no real consequences for these men. They just keep continuing as they are an Fixie is the only character to really have any character growth.

Fixie is the worst of all the Sophia Kinsella protagonists that I’ve read. She’s a bumbling idiot who refuses to stand up for herself to any of the men in her life. She creates these awkward situations for herself that could just be resolved if she actually communicated with anyone in her life. It’s impossible to sympathize with her as she never stands up for herself or helps herself in any way. I wish she would have had a reckoning and realize that her loyalty to the business and her family was for naught and that she would have broken out on her own, but of course that didn’t happen.

Just skip this book. No matter how good the summary sounds, it’s the biggest story of white knighting and how a week female refused to stand up to some seriously ass-backwards male misogyny. All of this was attempted to be passed off as some cute love story. No thank you. 1/5

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  1. Dang! I’ve only read one book by her and it was boring. It was right on her brand same plot line different character name. Thank you for this honest review.

  2. Ohw it’s sad that you didn’t enjoy it! It’s been on my TBR for months but I’ve not been in the mood to read it. Reading your review, I might just skip it. Thanks for the review!

  3. Shucks – This is one of those authors I keep meaning to read, but maybe I won’t start with this one 😉

  4. Thank you for an honest review.
    Sometimes these reviews are hard to write because not everyone agrees, but that is okay. These are our opinions and sometimes we just don’t like a book.

  5. Such a bummer you didn’t enjoy it! I usually love Sophie Kinsella books, my fave is Can You Keep A Secret (the movie sucked BIGTIME) . I have to admit though, you are right about her books generally following the same type of plot. I didn’t like this one as much as her others, but I thought it was okay.

  6. I haven’t read her books in years as my tastes changed. I used to adore all the lovey dovey stuff, now not so much. I also don’t read another author because her books are written like this too. Great review.

  7. YIKES! So sorry to hear this one completely missed the mark. I’ve seen so much from this author!

  8. You summarized most chicklits perfectly, especially Kinsella’s. I am gonna pass this one as well.

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