Sophie Kinsella is one of my favorite chick lit authors, and God knows how many times I’ve stared at this book longingly at the bookstores, bemoaning the price tag on a brand new hardcover. When the mass market paperback came out recently, I refused to buy a copy, knowing I’d only end up “doing a Blooey” — in the Flips Flipping Pages /Bookmoochers Pilipinas lexicon, that phrase is equivalent to an irrational compulsion of mine — upgrading paperback copies into hardcovers.

I found it on BookMooch a couple of times, but both times I mooched it were unsuccessful and I resigned myself to getting a full-priced copy when I got the cash until one fateful day I stumbled upon a new listing posted by my good friends at Bookay Ukay (way to go guys!) and almost fell off my seat when I read that they had a hardcover copy, selling for less than half the bookstore price. Within seconds, I had reserved the book (*evil laugh*) and in a few days I finally had a copy (Squee!).
Remember Me is the story of Lexi Smart, who wakes up in a hospital room one day and finds out her life isn’t how she remembers it to be. Her once frizzy, mousy hair is now sleek and shiny; her “snaggletooth” smile is pearly white and perfectly aligned; and her frumpy figure and scaggy clothes are replaced by a lean, carb-free, and perfectly toned bod in La Perla underwear and designer clothes.
Apparently, she has been in a car crash and can’t remember the past three years of her life; and she has gone from corporate drudge to power executive leading a glamorous life and the perfect… marriage?!?

Lexi struggles to find her bearings and reconstruct the three-year memory gap, rediscovering the path her life has taken and reevaluating the choices she has made along the way.

Lexi’s bewilderment translates quite palpably throughout the text, as for most of the book, the reader joins Lexi in trying to piece together the missing chunks of her life, and it can get very confusing. The plot gets unwieldy at times, calling on a suspension of disbelief, but Kinsella keeps the connection with a skill she has mastered in her previous books: characters that come alive on the page. Whether it’s the protagonist, the love interest, the annoying “other guy”, the quirky mum, or even bit parts like the salesgirl from last Christmas, Kinsella knows how to write them and make them memorable and just wildly funny.

Readers can also look forward to Kinsella’s trademark comical situations (her heroines just can’t help getting into the craziest circumstances!): office hijinks, bedroom comedy, and other laugh-out-loud episodes only a Sophie Kinsella character can get into. The awww… moments are there too, especially when you discover the significance of the sunflower on the cover!

Remember Me? is more about self-discovery than romance, tackling themes such as the meaning of success, careerism, friendship, and family. It reminds me 0f the movie 13 going on 30 in some ways (the Mont Blanc scene = umbrella scene), although there is no time element in this book. It’s a quick and engaging read, but still manages to establish that a perfect life isn’t necessarily a happy one.

The Undomestic Goddess is still my favorite, by far.

***

My copy: hardcover with dustjacket, from Bookay Ukay

My rating: 3/5 stars

Book #39 for 2009