I Owe You One: A Novel

I Owe You One: A Novel

by Sophie Kinsella

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524799014
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 136
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series as well as the novels Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number, Wedding Night, My Not So Perfect Life, and, most recently, Surprise Me. She lives in the UK with her family.

Hometown:

London, England

Date of Birth:

December 12, 1969

Place of Birth:

London, England

Education:

B.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Oxford University, 1990; M.Mus., King's College, London, 1992

Read an Excerpt

One

The trouble with me is, I can’t let things go. They bug me. I see problems and I want to fix them, right here, right now. My nickname isn’t Fixie for nothing.

I mean, this can be a good thing. For example, at my best friend Hannah’s wedding, I got to the reception and instantly saw that only half the tables had flowers. I ran around sorting it before the rest of the guests arrived, and in her speech, Hannah thanked me for dealing with “Flowergate.” So that was OK.

On the other hand, there was the time I brushed a piece of fluff off the leg of a woman sitting next to me by the pool at a spa day. I was just trying to be helpful. Only it turned out it wasn’t a piece of fluff; it was a pubic hair growing halfway down her thigh. And then I made things worse by saying, “Sorry! I thought that was a piece of fluff,” and she went kind of purple, and two nearby women turned to look. . . .

I shouldn’t have said anything. I see that now.

Anyway. So this is my quirk. This is my flaw. Things bug me. And right now the thing that’s bugging me is a Coke can. It’s been left on the top shelf of the leisure section of our shop, in front of a chessboard propped up for display. Not only that, the chessboard is covered with a brown stain. Obviously someone’s opened the can or dumped it down too hard and it’s splattered everywhere and they haven’t cleared it up. Who?

As I look around the shop with narrowed eyes, I fully suspect Greg, our senior assistant. Greg drinks some kind of beverage all day long. If he’s not clutching a can, it’s noxious filter coffee in an insulated cup decorated with camouflage and webbing, as though he’s in the army, not working in a household store in Acton. He’s always leaving it about the place, or even thrusting it at customers and saying, “Hold this a mo,” while he gets a saucepan down off the display for them. I’ve told him not to.

Anyway. Not the time for recriminations. Whoever dumped that Coke can (Greg, definitely Greg), it’s caused a nasty stain, just when our important visitors are about to arrive.

And, yes, I know it’s on a high shelf. I know it’s not obvious. I know most people would shrug it off. They’d say: “It’s not a big deal. Let’s get some perspective.”

I’ve never been great at perspective.

I’m trying hard not to look at it but to focus instead on the rest of the shop, which looks gleamingly clean. A little shambolic, maybe, but then, that’s the style of our all-purpose family shop. (Family-owned since 1985, it says on our window.) We stock a lot of different items, from knives to aprons to candlesticks, and they all need to go somewhere.

I suddenly catch sight of an old man in a mac in the kitchen section. He’s reaching with a shaking hand for a plain white mug, and I hurry over to get it for him.

“Here you are,” I say with a friendly smile. “I can take that to the till for you. Do you need any more mugs? Or can I help you with anything else?”

“No, thank you, love,” he says in a quavering voice. “I only need the one mug.”

“Is white your favorite color?” I gently press, because there’s something so poignant about buying one plain white mug that I can’t bear it.

“Well.” His gaze roams doubtfully over the display. “I do like a brown mug.”

“This one maybe?” I retrieve a brown earthenware mug that he probably discounted because it was too far out of reach. It’s solid, with a nice big handle. It looks like a cozy fireside mug.

The man’s eyes light up, and I think, I knew it. When your life is restricted, something like a mug choice becomes huge.

“It’s a pound more expensive,” I tell him. “It’s £4.99. Is that OK?”

Because you never take anything for granted. You never assume. Dad taught me that.

“That’s fine, love.” He smiles back. “That’s fine.”

“Great! Well, come this way. . . .”

I lead him carefully down the narrow aisle, keeping my eyes fixed on danger points. Which isn’t quite the selfless gesture it might seem—this man is a knocker-overer. You can tell as soon as you lay eyes on him. Trembling hands, uncertain gaze, shabby old trolley that he’s pulling behind him . . . all the signs of a classic knocker-overer. And the last thing I need is a floor full of smashed crockery. Not with Jake’s visitors arriving any moment.

I smile brightly at the man, hiding my innermost thoughts, although the very word Jake passing through my brain has made my stomach clench with nerves. It always happens. I think Jake and my stomach clenches. I’m used to it by now, although I don’t know if it’s normal. I don’t know how other people feel about their siblings. My best friend, Hannah, hasn’t got any, and it’s not the kind of question you ask random people, is it? “How do your siblings make you feel? Kind of gnawed-up and anxious and wary?” But that’s definitely how my brother, Jake, makes me feel. Nicole doesn’t make me feel anxious, but she does make me feel gnawed-up and, quite often, like hitting something.

To sum up, neither of them makes me feel good.

Maybe it’s because both of them are older than me and were tough acts to follow. When I started at secondary school, aged eleven, Jake was sixteen and the star of the football team. Nicole was fifteen, stunningly beautiful, and had been scouted as a model. Everyone in the school wanted to be her friend. People would say to me, in awed tones, “Is Jake Farr your brother? Is Nicole Farr your sister?”

Nicole was as drifty and vague then as she is now, but Jake dominated everything. He was focused. Bright-eyed. Quick to anger. I’ll always remember the time he got in a row with Mum and went and kicked a can around the street outside, shouting swear words into the night sky. I watched him from an upstairs window, gripped and a bit terrified. I’m twenty-seven now, but you never really leave your inner eleven-year-old, do you?

And of course there are other reasons for me to feel rubbish around Jake. Tangible reasons. Financial reasons.

Which I will not think about now. Instead, I smile at the old man, trying to make him feel that I have all the time in the world. Like Dad would have done.

Morag rings up the price and the man gets out an old leather coin purse.

“Fifty . . .” I hear him saying as he peers at a coin. “Is that a fifty-pence piece?”

“Let’s have a look, love,” says Morag in her reassuring way. Morag’s been with us for seven years. She was a customer first and applied when she saw an ad pinned up on a noticeboard. Now she’s assistant manager and does all the buying for greeting cards—she has a brilliant eye. “No, that’s a ten-pence,” she says kindly to the old man. “Have you got another pound coin in there?”

My eyes swivel up to the Coke can and stained chessboard again. It doesn’t matter, I tell myself. There isn’t time to sort it now. And the visitors won’t notice it. They’re coming to show us their range of olive oils, not inspect the place. Just ignore it, Fixie.

Ignore it.

Oh God, but I can’t. It’s driving me nuts.

My eye keeps flicking upward to it. My fingers are doing that thing they do whenever I’m desperate to fix something, when some situation or other is driving me mad. They drum each other feverishly. And my feet do a weird stepping motion: forward-across-back, forward-across-back.

I’ve been like this since I was a little kid. It’s bigger than me. I know it would be mad to drag a ladder out, get a bucket and water, and clean the stain up, when the visitors might arrive at any moment. I know this.

“Greg!” As he appears from behind the glassware section, my voice shoots out before I can stop it. “Quick! Get a stepladder. I need to clean up that stain.”

Greg looks up to where I’m pointing and gives a guilty jump as he sees the Coke can.

“That wasn’t me,” he says at once. “It definitely wasn’t me.” Then he pauses before adding, “I mean, if it was, I didn’t notice.”

The thing about Greg is, he’s very loyal to the shop and he works really long hours, so I forgive him quite a lot.

“Doesn’t matter who it was,” I say briskly. “Let’s just get rid of it.”

“OK,” Greg says, as though digesting this. “Yeah. But aren’t those people about to arrive?”

“Yes, which is why we need to be quick. We need to hurry.”

“OK,” says Greg again, not moving a muscle. “Yeah. Got you. Where’s Jake?”

This is a very good question. Jake is the one who met these olive-oil people in the first place. In a bar, apparently. He’s the one who set up this meeting. And here he isn’t.

But family loyalty keeps me from saying any of this aloud. Family loyalty is a big thing in my life. Maybe the biggest thing. Some people hear the Lord Jesus guiding them; I hear my dad, before he died, saying in his East End accent: Family is it, Fixie. Family is what drives us. Family is everything.

Family loyalty is basically our religion.

“He’s always landing you in it, Jake is,” Greg mutters. “You never know when he’s going to turn up. Can’t rely on him. We’re short-staffed today too, what with your mum taking the day off.”

All of this might be true, but I can hear Dad’s voice in my head again: Family first, Fixie. Protect the family in public. Have it out with them later, in private.

“Jake does his own hours,” I remind Greg. “It’s all agreed.”

All of us Farrs work in the shop—Mum, me, Jake, and Nicole—but only Mum and I are full-time. Jake calls himself our “consultant.” He has another business of his own and he’s doing an MBA online, and he pops in when he can. And Nicole is doing a yoga-instructor course Monday to Friday, so she can only come in at weekends. Which she does sometimes.

“I expect he’s on his way,” I add briskly. “Anyway, we’ve just got to deal with it. Come on! Ladder!”

As Greg drags a stepladder across the shop floor, I hurry to our back room and run some hot water into a bucket. I just need to dash up the ladder, wipe the stain away, grab the can, jump down, and clear everything before the visitors arrive. Easy.

The leisure section is a bit incongruous, surrounded as it is by tea towels and jam-making kits. But it was Dad who set it up that way, so we’ve never changed it. Dad loved a good board game. He always said board games are as essential to a household as spoons. Customers would come in for a kettle and leave with Monopoly too.

And ever since he died, nine years ago now, we’ve tried to keep the shop just as he created it. We still sell licorice allsorts. We still have a tiny hardware section. And we still stock the leisure section with games, balls, and water guns.

The thing about Dad was, he could sell anything to anyone. He was a charmer. But not a flashy, dishonest charmer; a genuine charmer. He believed in every product he sold. He wanted to make people happy. He did make people happy. He created a community in this little corner of West London (he called himself an “immigrant,” being East End born), and it’s still going. Even if the customers who really knew Dad are fewer every year.

“OK,” I say, hurrying out to the shop floor with the bucket. “This won’t take a sec.”

I dash up the steps of the ladder and start scrubbing at the brown stain. I can see Morag below me, demonstrating a paring knife to a customer, and I resist the urge to join in the conversation. I know about knives; I’ve done chef training. But you can’t be everywhere at once, and—

“They’re here,” announces Greg. “There’s a car pulling into the parking space.”

It was Jake who insisted we reserve our only parking spot for these olive-oil people. They’ll have asked, “Do you have parking?” and he won’t have wanted to say, “Only one space,” because he’s pretentious that way, so he’ll have said airily, “Of course!” as though we’ve got an underground vault.

“No problem,” I say breathlessly. “I’m done. All good.”

I dump the cloth and the Coke can into the bucket and swiftly start descending. There. That took no time, and now it won’t bug me and—

“Careful on that ladder.”

I hear Greg’s voice below, but he’s always regaling us with stupid health-and-safety rules he’s read online, so I don’t alter my step or my pace until he shouts, “Stop!” sounding genuinely alarmed.

“Fixie!” Stacey yells from the till. She’s another of our sales assistants and you can’t miss her piercing nasal voice. “Look out!”

As my head whips round, it takes me a moment to comprehend what I’ve done. I’ve snagged my sleeve on a netball hoop, which has caught on the handle of a massive tub of bouncy balls. And now it’s tipping off the shelf . . . there’s nothing I can do to stop it, shit . . .

“Oh my God!”

I lift my spare hand to protect myself from a deluge of little rubber balls. They’re bouncing on my head, my shoulders, all over the shop. How come we have so many of the bloody things, anyway?

As I reach the bottom of the ladder, I look around in horror. It’s a miracle that nothing’s been smashed. Even so, the floor is a carpet of bouncy balls.

“Quick!” I instruct Greg and Stacey. “Teamwork! Pick them up! I’ll go and head off the visitors.”

As I hurry toward the door, Greg and Stacey don’t look anything like a team—in fact, they look like an anti-team. They keep bumping into each other and cursing. Greg is hastily stuffing balls down his shirtfront and in his trouser pockets and I yell, “Put them back in the tub!”

“I didn’t even notice that Coke stain,” volunteers Stacey as I pass, with one of her shrugs. “You should have left it.”

“Is that helpful?” I want to retort. But I don’t. For a start, Stacey’s a good worker and worth keeping on side. You just have to deal with what Mum and I call the SIMs (Stacey’s Inappropriate Moments).

But of course the real reason I say nothing is that she’s right. I should have left it. I just can’t help fixing things. It’s my flaw. It’s who I am.

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I Owe You One: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
KMorgan73 8 days ago
My Not So Perfect Life was the first book from Kinsella that I read. And very minor issues aside I loved it. Then along came Surprise Me, which I didn't love. Now there's I Owe You One which falls somewhere in between. While the book wasn't close to perfect it wasn't horrible either. Fixie Farr is a fixer. If anyone has a problem or there's something she see's as a problem she's there to fix it. I guess this is a good quality to have but at times it seemed as if Fixie just went too far or was just too oblivious to the fact that you can't fix everything. Name in point: Ryan. This character was an absolute jerk and I'm not sure why nobody could see this. I was sick of this character soon after he made his appearance and couldn't wait for him to be done with. On the other hand, I liked Seb and liked the chemistry between him and Fixie from the beginning. I liked how their relationship progressed and how genuine he was. He seemed the most genuine and normal person in the book. As to the story itself I found myself liking it from the start and didn't want to put it down. Then I found it a bit tedious to read. The actions of Jake and Nichole, Fixie's siblings, got on my nerves and I didn't really feel connected to them at all. This made the story a bit boring at times and sometimes the dialogue seemed to border on rambling. The premise of the story seemed to be a good one but in my opinion the book could have been edited down a lot and been just as good, if not better. So with three Kinsella novels on my "read" list, I've decided she's a hit-or-miss author for me. If you've never read anything by her don't start with this book, it's not her best. Grab a copy of My Not So Perfect Life. You may even find that you owe me one. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.
dkrmwiz 1 days ago
Received an ARC from Netgalley for an honest review of this book. This one sure has the mixed up everything! I really like Fixie (horrible name, but better than her given one), she just needed to stand up for herself. The brother and sister are perfectly horrible and self centered, totally useless to her. I like her mom, and wish I could have known the dad as he seemed like an awesome guy. I don't like to give spoilers when I write reviews, I think it's tacky. With that said, this is a really fun book. I was happy with all of the parts and people in it, and while I wanted more at the end, I know it has to end somewhere. If you want a quick, fun read, then pick this up when it comes out. I really enjoyed it!
LulusReviews 2 days ago
I loved meeting Fixie, the main character in I Owe You One by @KinsellaSophie - a quirky former caterer working in her family's shop, Fixie's life takes a sharp turn when she rescues the laptop of a coffee shop patron, who had stepped outside to take a call, just in time from being drenched from a burst pipe in the ceiling. He repays her with a favor, which she cashes in on a job offer for her long time family friend and secret crush, Ryan. I smiled and laughed out loud - if you are looking for your next light read, this is it! Thanks to #NetGalley for the opportunity to preview #IOweYouOne by Sophie Kinsella!
LisaMDay 4 days ago
Oh this book! I loved it and kinda hated it at the same time. It made me so frustrated but I also couldn’t put it down and I couldn’t wait to see how it ended. Fixie’s siblings were so self-absorbed and selfish that I had a very strong emotional response to the mess they made of everything and how they walked all over Fixie. I was cheering for Fixie to grow a back bone through the whole book and stand up for herself and make things right! I was so happy with the way it ended. My love for the book definitely out weighs the anger I had at it :) Thanks to NetGallery and the publisher for an advanced copy in return of my honest and unbiased feedback.
catherinemarie 4 days ago
I have a love/hate relationship with the characters — although I have to admit that most of that hate comes from the fact that I am, in many ways, just like Fixie (minus the incredible naive side of her personality). Many times throughout the book, I found myself wanting to step into the storyline and either shake some sense into her or simply to give her a hug. The whole process of exchanging their IOUs is cute and frustrating at the same time. On one hand, it brings certain comfort and security. Fixie knows that if something goes wrong, Seb will fix it because he owes her. On the other hand, his feelings are a mystery to her — are his actions driven by love or obligation? I really appreciate Sophie’s take on family matters as well. Fixie’s mom and siblings are very important to her, yet, they are the main source of all her troubles. Yes, blood is thicker than water … but it can also be very slippery! Though not my most favourite of Sophie’s books, I really enjoyed reading I Owe You One. It’s a perfect read for those cold, rainy days ahead of us. Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion!
JChris 5 days ago
Fixie is a person that cannot let things be if she sees something that needs to be done. This is a complex personality trait that is both a blessing to others and often a disability to herself. At first, I thought her family nicknamed her Fixie as a negative thing, but as the story unfolds I found out that Fixie prefers this to her real name and it definitely suits her more. This is a bit of a Cinderella story. She is the workhorse of her family’s business taking the model of her parents and is happy in that role. Her siblings take advantage of her and she lets it go, since that is her personality. She voices her feelings to herself and does not often let them out. She is often a doormat and lets things go without speaking up for herself. Fixie has been head over heels in “love” with her brother’s friend Ryan since she was 10 years old and he was 15. This plays into the story. Ryan is another person in her life that accepts Fixie’s gift of wanting to make everything wonderful for her family and friends. She is in a coffee shop and is asked to watch the laptop of a person at a nearby table while he goes outside to take a phone call. She notices water dripping from the ceiling and senses that danger is on the horizon. She jumps into action and saves the laptop from a flood of water coming down from the ceiling as it collapses. Once again being a “fixer” for someone else, and not caring what position that leads her in. She saved the laptop and was then soaked with dirty water from the downpour. The grateful owner, Sebastian, give her an “I Owe You” that he writes on a coffee sleeve. While Fixie is still blindly attracted to Ryan and lets him guide her to do things she doesn’t want to, a friendship develops with Sebastian (Seb), who has an awful girlfriend (sad for Seb, great for Fixie!). The story flowed so easily, was heartwarming and realistic. The characters are expertly developed. I loved most of them and of disliked a few, which shows how well they were formed for the book. My heart was attached to Fixie almost immediately. I have that same tendency to want to fix everything also, so I felt a connection to her in the first paragraph. I also wanted to pull her out the book and try to talk some sense into her at quite a few points in the story. This was a fantastic story! I enjoyed the journey of Fixie becoming the person she was meant to be. I love that she grew but never lost any of her core personality and goodness. I high recommend reading this book! I want to thank NetGalley.com and the publisher, Random House for allowing me to read the advanced reader's copy. I am happy to post my review freely and it is totally my true opinion.
Coffee_in_the_Mountains 6 days ago
I know it is cliche (and I promise I don't normally say this about any book) but I could not put this book down! I found myself squeezing in a few extra pages anywhere I could- 5 minutes before work; 10 minutes until my husband gets home; etc. I love the bits of outlandish comedy thrown in- not too much of it- just a bit to make you smile or laugh out loud. This book was a great mood booster as it never gets too glum. It's a bit long at ~400 pages, but in a GOOD WAY- you don't want to let go of these characters! I was about half way through and thought "Wow, I'm glad I still have a bit to go!" I received an advance reader's copy from the publisher through Goodreads but these thoughts and feelings are entirely my own.
3900980 7 days ago
Let me first say although I had heard of author Sophie Kinsella, I had never read one of her books. But I am here to tell you better late than never! I Owe You One is the charming, funny story of Fixie Farr the "fixer" of all her family's problems. Family is very important to Fixie and more so since her dad died. She is everyone's caretaker. The book begins as Fixie is in a coffee shop and saves the computer of Sebastian, the very handsome owner of an investment firm from serious damage. He is so appreciative that he writes her out an IOU to be used if she ever needs anything. On the family front, Fixie's family owns a cooking store named Farrs. After their dad's passing their mom took over the store, but due to a health scare she decides to go on an extended vacation and leaves the three children Fixie, Jake and Nicole, along with their Uncle to run things. They all seem to have different ideas as to the future of the store. And their personalities are oil and vinegar...and Nicole...oh my goodness...the dialogue had me laughing out loud! To add to the confusion, Fixie's old crush Ryan returns from the United States, jobless and fixing to fix his sights on Fixie... Add the IOU and the very dashing Sebastian and chaos ensues. Lessons are learned, especially by Fixie whose main purpose in life had always been just to make her family proud. I Owe You One is a sweet story with snappy dialogue. I didn't want the book to end! It was such a happy, very humorous story! And rest assured I have already ordered a few more Sophie Kinsella books!
bookluvr35SL 8 days ago
Fixie got her nickname when she was just a toddler and she went around wanting to fix things. She still fits the name, but right now she has a plethora of things she wants to fix but can't. Her older brother Jake is trying to turn the family business into something it is not, her older sister Nicole is flaky and self-absorbed and absolutely no help with the store, and their mom had a health crisis on her birthday and has gone abroad for a few months to rest. When she left, she made everyone promise to keep the family business running and profitable and to stay close as a family. When it feels like everyone is working against her, how is Fixie supposed to fix this? I really enjoyed this book. It was a captivating story, and there were both characters to root for and characters to hate. It was a very fun book, and as always there was a romance thrown in. I recommend this to anyone who likes chick lit or just general fiction.
Bosco2579 8 days ago
#partner Thank you Dial Press, Random House and Sophie Kinsella for the finished copy of I Owe You One. I loved this book. I wanted the main character Fixie to be my best friend. Fixie like so many of Kinsella's characters was quirky in a good way. She lacked a little confidence, tried to help everyone over herself and she was all about family. I just wanted to wrap up Fixie in a giant hug and tell her that guy sucks and believe in yourself. Kinsella knew how to throw tuff subjects into her book but still keep it lite. She will always keep you laughing with her timely jokes and quirky characters. I know I have said this already but Kinsella created a character in Fixie that made me want to be her best friend. She also created a store in Farr's that I want to visit every day. I love a hometown store with character. Pick up I Owe You One. You will laugh and maybe even cry a little. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous 8 days ago
I love anything by Sophie Kinsella. She is one of the best at quirky rom coms. This book is no different. Fixie is aptly named, as she always feels she has to fix everything. Her family is used to that and seem to take advantage of this fact. A lost romance from the past and a possible new romance keeps Fixie on her toes, as well as taking care of her parent's shop. I enjoyed this book and if you love British chick lit (which I adore), then this book is for you.
tiffsbooktreats 9 days ago
SYNOPSIS: Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” And 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 Fixie’s nature to say no to people. So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, she not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, an investment manager, scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she? But then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life, and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. As always, she wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. No sooner has Seb agreed than 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? This book took me a little while to get invested in. I didn't love Fixie, the main character, which is not uncommon for me and Sophie Kinsella's main characters. But I also found I didn't really like any of the characters in this book. The story line wasn't cute or different, but I did want to know what eventually would happen. This is a fun read, but I would only recommend it to people who enjoy Sophie Kinsella. Her characters are kind of known to be a certain way and if you're wanting a strong independent female read, this won't be it.
AnnaBastos 10 days ago
Fixie was raised to think of her family first even when her sister has crazy ideas and her brother won't stop spending, also neither will help at the family shop. When their mother needs to take some time off and the three become in charge, she'll reflect on what it means to keep her family first. To make things more problematic the love of her life is back in town and his behavior isn't much different. The only good thing going for her was being able to help a stranger and getting an IOU back, even if she would never want to claim. This is hard to rate. I really loved part of the book, I could see Kinsella tried to make it a bit closer to the types of stories I like from her. But it was as if she went through some crisis in which she wanted to write the story I like but the moment she wasn't paying attention, all my issues with her books would surface. In other words, I loved some parts, I got bored of others. Even though I remember feeling more excited while reading Surprise Me, I think this is my favorite book by her in the last few years. Her exchange with the IOU guy reminded me of I've Got Your Number, as well as her crazy siblings and good-for-nothing initial romantic interest. Also, I think it's a book you can read quite fast, although it is a bit on the long side. But there are some parts that dragged. All of Fixie's conflicts brought back what I like the least in Kinsella's books. Yes, they happen, I identified a lot with her issues, but it had a serious, almost dramatic tone I don't want in chic-lit. I prefer how Poppy and Becky reacted in their books. So while this was better than at least her two previous books, it's still not one of the best by Kinsella. I do recommend if you're a fan of both her styles because this book was actually a mix of them. Also, the romance is cute, I guarantee that part. Honest review based on an ARC provided by Netgalley. Many thanks to the publisher for this opportunity.
Anonymous 10 days ago
Fixie Farr, age 27, works in her family’s store called Farrs with her mother, brother, Jake, and sister, Nicole. Their father had started the business but passed away several years ago. Fixie takes her job very seriously and always wants to things to be perfect, i.e., the nickname of Fixie. Fixie had tried to open a catering business but it failed. She feels very guilty about losing the money that her parents had given her to open the business. Fixie’s brother, Jake, appears to be the one who shines in the business. He dresses well and talks big saying he’s got lots of deals in the works. Nicole is married to Drew who is working overseas. She is not sure she wants to go with him because it’s so hot there. Nicole is a very self-centered person concerned with her yoga and well-being. Years ago, Fixie had been in love with Ryan, a friend of hers and her siblings. He had moved to Los Angeles to be a movie producer and written saying he was rubbing elbows with millionaires and living the high life. Now, Ryan is back and Fixie wants to be with him. Before going home from work, Fixie stops at a cafe for a break and a tea. She sees a handsome man across the room working on his computer and chatting on the phone, When he steps outside to take a call, he asks her to watch his computer. Just as the leaking roof starts to cave in, she grabs the computer and saves it. Grateful to her, the man introduces himself as Sebastian, the head of a business, and tells her he owes her one. Will she find a need to “cash in” that IOU? I have read lots of Sophie Kinsella’s novels over the years and have enjoyed many of them. For me, this book was difficult to get into. In the beginning, Fixie tends to be a wimp and lets people walk over her. That and the fact that the book is simply too long, made my frustration grow with it. There are well-written characters in the story. Some of them you want to hug and some of them you want to kick in the butt. However, I think that the author is trying to show readers that even though people are flawed, they are still worthwhile and can be redeemed. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Anonymous 11 days ago
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.
Valerian70 11 days ago
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
AnnieMcDonnell 12 days ago
I fell in love with this story right away! Fixie Farr is such an endearing character that you cannot help but fall in love with. I mean she is literally a hero from the beginning of the story saving Sebastian’s laptop from water damage, hence the beginning of the “I Owe you One” story! This was the story of Fixie becoming the woman she was meant to be. She was working at her family business, living at home with her Mother, Single; in love with her first crush and shy to speak up around her own brother. As this story unfolds, Fixies learns that she must believe in her own strengths to find her own destiny. The question is what is that destiny? I often could not put the book down. I had never read a Sophie Kinsella story until this one and I am very excited for my next!
CynB 12 days ago
I Owe You Won by Sophie Kinsella is a story of a woman so self-effacing that she is willing to sacrifice anything in service of others. Her family and “boyfriend” are all too-ready to take advantage of Fixie’s inclination to transform herself from a smart, capable and creative individual to a well-worn doormat. The first half of the book was difficult, almost painful reading, and readers might be tempted to give up. Don’t do it! The second half of the book is Fixie’s path forward to taking hold of her own life. It is fun, and more than once, laugh-out-loud hilarious. I confess that I was not persuaded in the miracles that Fixie apparently wrought in the people around her. Nonetheless, I won’t be surprised to see this story on screen, and I expect I will enjoy it. Pick this book if you are looking for a light read that will divert and amuse. Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the electronic ARC and the opportunity to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.
GiaT 12 days ago
I read this in one sitting. I loved it. Meet Fixie, who ‘fixes’ everything. The sibling everyone walks all over. The child the mother always expects to be the go-to girl. Did I ever dislike her siblings. Oh yeah. Ryan, her childhood crush, rotten. Things take an interesting turn when one random day, Fixie meets Seb in a coffee shop and she saves his laptop from being destroyed. He is so grateful and insists that he ‘owes her one’. From that fateful moment on, their lives are entwined forever. I will never look at a coffee sleeve the same way again! A definite must-read. I am grateful to have received a copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group – Random House The Dial Press through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in my review are my very own. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group – Random House The Dial Press, for the read of Sophie Kinsella’s, I Owe You One. I read this in one sitting. I loved it. Meet Fixie, who ‘fixes’ everything. The sibling everyone walks all over. The child the mother always expects to be the go-to girl. Did I ever dislike her siblings. Oh yeah. Ryan, her childhood crush, rotten. Things take an interesting turn when one random day, Fixie meets Seb in a coffee shop and she saves his laptop from being destroyed. He is so grateful and insists that he ‘owes her one’. From that fateful moment on, their lives are entwined forever. I will never look at a coffee sleeve the same way again! A definite must-read. I am grateful to have received a copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group – Random House The Dial Press through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in my review are my very own. https://giascribes.wixsite.com/website
Renwarsreads 12 days ago
This is the first Sophie Kinsella book that I've ever read. I really enjoyed the Farr family. Being a part of Fixie's life when she was desperately trying to come into her own, leave her past failures behind her, stand up for herself and really say what she wanted to, to make a life for herself had me holding my breath to see what would happen next. She was doing all of that while also trying to hold her family together and find her voice with them. Her siblings were so used to her doing what ever they tell her to that she has been lost. Nice light story that makes you chuckle while rooting for the heroine to have her happily ever after!!
literarymuseVC 12 days ago
In Fixie Farr’s world, everything must be just so. She and her family run a housewares shop that sells low-priced, practical goods. The reality is that her mother makes all the decisions about the store, since Fixie’s father had recently passed away. A brother, Jake, and a sister, Nicole occasionally help but that’s not really too much as Nicole is “into herself” through yoga and affirmations and Jake lives like a millionaire without the millions to go with it. One afternoon while having a drink at a nearby café, Fixie rescues a laptop from a nearby table when the ceiling collapses and a flood ensues. It’s owner, Sebastian, insists he owes her one and he really means that as he hands her his card with that message written on it, “I owe you one.” Soon thereafter Fixie’s Mom has a heart attack and Fixie’s old romance, Ryan, shows up and pours out his pitiful story. Fixie is always trying to make things better, doomed to trying so hard that she misses the forest for the trees. So now that Mom is moving away to get some mandatory “rest,” Fixie’s problems increase between her siblings’ ineptness or obstructive ways and the control of her Uncle who hasn’t got a clue as to what’s going on. Uncle Ned just reminds everyone of how much he’s done for them. Fixie will finally have enough and get to truly getting rid of the losers, even after she trusts Ryan to Sebastian’s care. That almost turns disastrous! I Owe You One… is a light-hearted chic lit book that makes for some pleasant reading, even if the characters are seriously lacking in responsibility. That includes Fixie who has too much of the opposite. All in all, though a lovely romance builds with an airy, pleasant end that Sophie Kinsella fans will love. Enjoy! Thank you to Penguin/Random House Publishing Group and Netgalley for providing this novel for a review!
Robindpdx 12 days ago
This was a fun, well-written book. Fixie Farr is sweet, loving and always loyal to her family and friends. She meets a stranger, Seb, in a coffee shop and both their lives take turns they were not expecting. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more books by this author.
taramichelle 12 days ago
Sophie Kinsella is one of my favorite writers! Whenever I need a book to cheer me up, I always gravitate toward her books. Her last book was also one of the first books that I ever reviewed on this account. So I was incredibly excited to get a chance to read I Owe You One early. I really enjoyed this one! I think Kinsella just keeps getting better with each book. It was fantastic to see the main character come into her own, particularly toward the end. But you’ll be rooting for Fixie from page one! Plus the romance was so cute! There was bad timing, mistakes, and an absolutely adorable meet-cute. The characters were all multi-dimensional and the plot was highly engaging. There were a few moments where there was a bit much going on and there was one moment toward the end where I wanted Fixie to have a bit more agency. Anyway, I’d recommend I Owe You One to Kinsella fans or anyone looking for a fun, cute romance. *I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Shelley-S-Reviewer 12 days ago
3.5 Stars 3 1/2 Stars This book is not great literature, it won't win the Pulitzer or the Nobel Prize for Literature, it is a piece of fluff. And I enjoyed every minute of it, it was fun. It was a nice change from all the mysteries and thrillers I have been reading lately. I loved Kinsella's Shopaholic series, I read them years ago. I don't know why I havent read anything by this author since. Maybe I became a book snob? I did enjoyed this book. It was funny and endearing, and well-written. Not a sophisticated book, but good fun nontheless. Some of the storylines came a little too easily for the characters but I overlooked this point because the rest was so good - and entertaining. You really emphathise with the main character, Fixie, and the plot keeps you turning the pages. This was an endearing read. The main character, Fixie, is down-to-earth and always means well. Sophie Kinsella has a warm and highly addictive way with words, I also love how the main character did have to suffer some - it made the story more realistic. At first I suspected this might be just another mushy, romantic type novel. I was grateful to find out that it is really much better than that. The author manages to squeeze quite a bit of stuff in there, ultimately, one woman's choice between two men. While the reader will likely be able to develop a good idea of what is really going on, Kinsella manages to keep the reader turning the pages to find out if they are correct in their assumptions. Overall, an enjoyable and engaging read. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Kinsella, in the future.
MeganLeprich 13 days ago
I received a copy of this book from Random House Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Gosh where do I even start with this review? I loved this book so so much. I love that Sophie Kinsella doesn't only write books about Becky Bloomwood in her Shopaholic series, I love that she branches off and does independent books about other characters that are just as great as the rest of them. This book is about Fixie, who if you couldn't figure out by the name always has to fix things and has a major case of OCD. Fixie works in her family-run business of selling quality products at value prices and never actually says what's on her mind in fear of hurting anyone's feelings or starting a drift within her family. When her crush of 17 years unexpectedly moves back she takes it as a sign that her wild dreams are coming true and she'll finally be happy. But a chance encounter at a coffee shop and a collapsing ceiling and Fixie meets someone that will completely change her outlook on life. I loved the character of Fixie. I love how she went from a mousy twenty-seven year old just looking to fall in love with the rude, cocky, inconsiderate guy and changed herself into a confident woman that is no longer afraid to say exactly what's on her mind. She was my favorite character by far in the novel and honestly I wanted to reach in my iPad screen and throttle both Ryan and Jake. And then there was certain times I wanted to throttle Fixie with how much she put up with Ryan and from her siblings. I also loved all the family dynamics in this book. I loved how each character was so different from each other and each had their own set of problems that all got solved in the end. I myself don't have any siblings that I've ever had to bicker or disagree with but I love reading stories like this and I love how different this book was from her other books. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I haven't enjoyed every book she's written but I love how none of her stand alone novels are similar to each other. Anyone that knows me knows how much I absolutely love Sophie Kinsella. I honestly can't remember how or when I read my first book by her which was Can You Keep A Secret but I've been hooked since then. I was so excited when I saw that she had a new novel coming out and I am so thankful to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for sending me a copy!