Lara has always had an overactive imagination. Now she wonders if she is losing her mind. Normal twenty-something girls just don’t get visited by ghosts! But inexplicably, the spirit of Lara’s great aunt Sadie – in the form of a bold, demanding Charleston-dancing girl – has appeared to make one last request: Lara must track down a missing necklace Sadie simply can’t rest without. Lara’s got enough problems of her own. Her start-up company is floundering, her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, and she’s just been dumped by the love of her life. But as Lara spends time with Sadie, life becomes more glamorous and their treasure hunt turns into something intriguing and romantic. Could Sadie’s ghost be the answer to Lara’s problems and can two girls from different times end up learning something special from each other?

Lara’s life is going from bad to worse; her new business is a disaster since her partner failed to return from holiday, her love life is in tatters, and her parents think that she is in need of psychiatric help. Then Lara meets Sadie. At Sadie’s own funeral.

Sadie is Lara’s one hundred and five year old aunt who has just died and returns as a ghost in need of help. As Lara is the only person who can see Sadie, it looks like she’s the girl for the job and she finds herself wrapped up in trying to hunt down Sadie’s dragonfly necklace, without which Sadie cannot rest in peace.

Lara lands herself in some very funny situations during her endeavours, to the extent that her exploits had me snorting with laughter at some points – much to my husband’s amusement.

I would never normally choose a book with a ghost as one of the main characters as I prefer my books to have at least a slight element of realism in them; I actually only read this book because I have enjoyed all of Sophie Kinsella’s other books so much. Having said that, I’m very glad that I gave this a chance; it’s really original and Sadie is an absolutely wonderful character: so vivacious, funny and superbly annoying at times!

What I loved most about this book was the relationship which developed between Lara and Sadie. This really is the main focus of the novel, and a focus which makes it very different from most of the other chick lit books around. The downside to this was on first reading, I was left a little disappointed with Lara’s love interest, Ed; I think because he’s introduced relatively late in the story compared to other chick lit books, and because of the focus on Lara and Sadie’s relationship, he’s not as prominent a character as the reader would expect the ‘love interest’ to be. I felt a little let down by this, but on second reading, I liked his character far more than I did and appreciate that it must be Lara and Sadie’s relationship which is at the forefront; Lara’s relationship with Ed is perhaps more for her life after Sadie has gone.

This book really has got everything: lots of laughs, a proper villain, some romance and some really touching moments between Lara and Sadie.  All in all, I’d have to say it’s my favourite of Sophie Kinsella’s stand-alone novels to date.

4 stars

Twenties Girl is available from Waterstones HERE

Want more Sophie Kinsella? Check out our review for MINI SHOPAHOLIC