Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Random House (UK - Bantam Press, USA - Dial Press)
Released: July 2009
Genre: Chick Lit, Comedy
Lara Lington is a mess. She hasn't gotten over being dumped by her boyfriend, Josh, her business is failing as her partner has disappeared on a long vacation, and her concerned parents make keeping up appearances quite difficult. And then, at her great-aunt Sadie's funeral (which is not very well-attended, considering Sadie spent the last part of her life in a nursing home with no visitors, not even her family), Sadie herself appears to Lara in the form of a very demanding, party-girl ghost! Sadie does not want to be cremated without her precious dragonfly necklace, which has gone missing, and she enlists Lara to stop the funeral and start searching for the necklace. Along the way, Sadie tries to have one last fling before she goes (though, as Lara keeps pointing out, she technically has gone already), and Lara indirectly learns a few lessons from Sadie.
The flap of the book praises its "charm and humor." Me, I call it its craziness and zaniness! I love how Lara does the most ridiculous things, and her life doesn't come crashing down around her. From stopping a funeral by crying murder to barging into a conference and asking out a man she's never seen before, Sadie makes Lara do the craziest things and somehow everything always works out in the end.
Lara is easy to sympathize with, even though she is totally obsessed over someone who obviously doesn't care about her and besides sounds like a "nothing" sort of guy for the first large part of the story. She's funny and plucky (OK, yes, this is a British book, and I find myself thinking British-ly) and she rolls with the punches. Sadie is a great character too - completely different personality than Lara, and it's hysterical to see how the two of them get along.
Ed is absolutely delicious. At first, because Josh seemed to be Lara's love interest, I thought that the book might be falling into the trap of fully characterizing the girl and giving her a flat boyfriend. But the second Ed entered the scene, I realized that Sophie Kinsella knows exactly what she's doing. Josh is supposed to be flat, because there is nothing to him, but Ed - Ed is full of character, and you can see it from his very first introductory lines! Besides, he's like the perfect boyfriend. I loved going out with him (so I was like Sadie, counting on Lara to get me dates with him!).
I love this book. Its snappy dialogue, its madcap humor, its complex and fascinating characters... I laughed and loved all the way through it.