Review: I Owe You One

Slogging through a recent political bestseller, I had a sudden yearning to read something that didn’t make me so angry, so when the opportunity came up to read and review Sophie Kinsella’s latest, I Owe You One, I jumped at the opportunity. Kinsella is, after all, the undisputed reigning Queen of Chick Lit. Her Shopaholic series alone has firmly established her title.

And so she carries on in the same vein with I Owe You One  which follows the story of Fixie Farr, a not-so-successful woman in her twenties who has a compulsion to set everything — and everyone — in her life straight. When family matters take an unexpected turn, Fixie is presented with her biggest challenge yet: taking over the family business. But can Fixie handle it without falling apart herself?

In the midst of her crisis, she meets Sebastian Marlowe, a mysterious stranger with his own issues. Fixie is compelled to help him, too, and this sets up a series of IOUs between them that prove to only further complicate Fixie’s life.

As often happens with Kinsella’s novels, the storyline is predictable and somewhat formulaic, but her characters are engaging and entertaining. You can’t help but root for Fixie as she struggles to grow a backbone and stand up for herself. Seb is a somewhat cardboard love interest – I wish Kinsella would flesh out her male characters a bit more than she does, but that’s a minor quibble.

The secondary characters in this book are more interesting than I usually find in Kinsella’s books; I was especially interested in the character development of Fixie’s siblings. I wish that their arcs had been dealt with in more depth, and for me that was the downfall of this book. I know that this was Fixie’s story, but the secondary stories wrapped up a little too neatly and for some reason, for me that took away from Fixie’s own growth. I simply wanted more for everyone involved.

I Owe You One was provided by Netgalley and The Dial Press and is scheduled for publication February 19, 2019.


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