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Avis et critiques de livres (2 28 classement par étoiles
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    Fixing Farrs

    3.5 Stars I've not read much Sophie Kinsella (this is only my second novel by the author) and I will readily admit that I am still pretty much on the fence. This was an okay book, better than average certainly but not in a way that made me immediately want to go and read her back catalogue. Which is strange really when you consider that Ms Kinsella really does know how to construct a plot, how to weave disparate characters in to the story and come out with a relatively cohesive whole at the end. It is the characters I have issue with. In this book our lead character is one Fawn "Fixie" Farr and if you ever want a poster girl for being a doormat that's Fixie. Unfortunately, I didn't find her to be a likeable doormat. Fixie is definitely on the annoying spectrum and even when she starts to wise up a little tiny bit she still infuriated me. Then you have her airy-fairy sister Nicole and her pratt of a big brother, Jake. Throw in a generous dash of wastrel Ryan and smoothy Seb and everyone was beginning to get on my nerves by the end. For about 90% of the book everyone has a very narrow personality that has only a couple of traits and then in the last 10% everyone suddenly gets a shot of reality and develops another trait making them just about three dimensional. Fortunately, the plot does manage to salvage something from these people and I did find myself wanting things to turn out okay for the business. The romance side of things was less interesting for me, probably because I really didn't like anyone in the book. However, the tale of the independent Farrs struggling in a competitive world was interestingly wrought and the ups and downs of business were realised quite well. Unusually there were even references to the financial side of things with the roller coaster that can be. It did make me wish that every High Street had an Aladdin's Cave of a store like Farrs. So, this book gave me somewhat of a dilemma. The writing is very strong and the author made me care about the story but not the people in it. The romantic themes were a little odd with the whole coffee sleeve (strangely called a Zarf in reality) and it's promisory notes bringing two people together. It was a fun move away from more cliched meet ups but there are still the misunderstandings to go through before true love can be found (I think I'm feeling cynical at the time of writing). Family frictions are brought up well, especially the tension between siblings that never really seems to go away, no matter how old they get. So strong writing, a patchy plot and characters I just did not warm too - how do you come up with a rating on a star system for that? THIS IS AN HONEST AND UNBIASED REVIEW OF A FREE COPY OF THE BOOK RECEIVED VIA THE PIGEONHOLE
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    Good ending but spoiled by the TSTL heroine

    Three and a half stars. Fixie Farr works in her family's general houseware shop in Acton, West London. Her older brother Jake is a successful businessman who made his first fortune importing nude, seamless underwear. He has high aspirations for the shop, wanting it to appeal to a more upmarket clientele. Fixie's older sister Nicole is beautiful, she modelled for a short period (aka once) and is very into new age thinking like crystals etc. The store is managed by their mother with Fixie's assistance until her mother becomes unwell and goes to stay abroad with her sister to get better. Suddenly Fixie is combatting her brother's attempts to sell £95 olive oil and £1,000 watches and her sister's decision to hold yoga classes in the shop in the evenings. The only high spot is that Jake's BFF Ryan has returned from his successful career as a film producer in Hollywood, suddenly single and raising Fixie's hopes that their one-night stand several years ago might blossom into something more permanent. Then Fixie agrees to look after a stranger's laptop in a cafe while he takes a personal call, the ceiling collapses and only Fixie's quick reflexes save the stranger's laptop. The grateful stranger, Sebastian Marlowe is a local businessman, an ethical investment manager, he gives Fixie an IOU, written on a coffee sleeve, in recognition of her good deed. What ensues is a series of IOUs where Fixie and Seb exchange favours back and forth. But romantically who will Fixie choose? The new guy or the guy she's been in love with since she was a little girl? I have to say, for most of this book Fixie was so clueless about the behaviour of her siblings and Ryan that I wanted to shake her, she was infuriating and definitely fell into the too-stupid-to-live category. She was so ineffectual, so passive, so pathetic that I lost any empathy for her, she literally couldn't see what was in front of her eyes. By the end of the book Fixie had turned herself around but by then the damage (for me) had been done. So, I liked the ending but the start was slow. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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