When twenty-eight-year-old Lexi Smart wakes up in a London hospital, she’s in for a big surprise. Her teeth are perfect. Her body is toned. Her handbag is Vuitton. Having survived a car accident—in a Mercedes no less—Lexi has lost a big chunk of her memory, three years to be exact, and she’s about to find out just how much things have changed. Somehow Lexi went from a twenty-five-year-old working girl to a corporate big shot with a sleek new loft, a personal assistant, a carb-free diet, and a set of glamorous new friends. And who is this gorgeous husband—who also happens to be a multimillionaire? With her mind still stuck three years in reverse, Lexi greets this brave new world determined to be the person she…well, seems to be. That is, until an adorably disheveled architect drops the biggest bombshell of all. Suddenly Lexi is scrambling to catch her balance. Her new life, it turns out, comes complete with secrets, schemes, and intrigue. How on earth did all this happen? Will she ever remember? And what will happen when she does? (from Goodreads)
The problem with Sophie Kinsella’s books is that a lot of times the characters seem to be missing half their brains. Take the protagonist in Remember Me?, for instance. A LOT of her problems could have been solved if she’d just actually talked to people! Instead of, y’know, making shit up. Not lying so much would have helped, too.
I guess it’s more realistic– people with amnesia aren’t necessarily going to be making super-duper decisions– but it’s also very. annoying. I suppose they’re supposed to be “everyday heroines” or something, but does anyone actually LIKE reading about incompetent people doing things wrong all the time? It’s not even like Remember Me? is terrifically funny, which would have helped with Lexi’s missing-brain syndrome; with Sophie Kinsella’s other books, like the Shopaholic series, the protag’s incompetence is surround by slapstick/comedy or errors stuff, so you can laugh at them AND empathize at the same time. Not so with Remember Me?, which read like it wanted to be funny but couldn’t quite get there.
Another problem is, to be honest, the writing. The first few chapters where Lexi found out about her missing memories could have been either hilarious or heart-breaking and scary. Or both! It could have been fantastic! SK’s done that mix of tones before, and it’s worked out great. Instead, those chapters read like the first draft of a really bad Lifetime movie. (“I Stole My Own Body” or something.) The rest of the book gets better, but I couldn’t get over the terrible-ness that was those first chapters. It ruined my reading experience, tbh.
The second half of the book is WAY better than the first half, maybe because it reads more like a mystery than a pseudo-comedic romance? I wish the whole book had been like that! Actually, you know what, I wish Sophie Kinsella had written this as Madeleine Wickham instead. Her MW books tend to be more “serious” romances– they deal with depressing things (like divorce, for example) in a way that’s true to life but doesn’t drown the reader in a swamp of misery. Trying to slap a coat of humor onto a story like Remember Me?, which COULD have been a really good story about memory and personal development and romance, is what made me dislike the book so much.
So, basically: boo. Definitely avoid this one.
Read: September 3, 2013