The Party Crasher, a review by Joanna

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The Party Crasher

Sophie Kinsella

368 pages

Bantam Press

Published 2021


This is a contemporary English family dramedy published in 2021, about a young woman facing the loss of her childhood home after her parents divorce. I would normally find this author – best known for the Shopoholic novels, too chick-litty for me, but was given the paperback it by a friend and was in the mood for something funny. I liked the way it covered some serious topics in a light-hearted way, and that the romance was just a background to the main plot.

Effie Talbot is devastated when her parents announce that their marriage is over, and then her father and his gold-digging new girlfriend Krista decide to sell the family home and move to Portugal. Effie has no intention of attending the elaborate “house-cooling” party Krista has organised, to the dismay of her older sister Bean, but then remembers a favourite childhood possession is still hidden in the house, and this may be her only chance to retrieve it. Unwilling to face Krista, she hatches a plan to sneak in during the party, but then gets trapped there. Luckily Bean, and Effie’s old flame Joe, are on hand to help out…
I gave up on this kind of silly rom-com years ago, but found this a fun easy read with believably bonkers characters, and enjoyed the farcical situations Effie gets herself into. Sure the romance is completely predictable, but I didn’t know how the family situation would work out. It’s certainly not “hilarious” or “laugh-out-loud” funny and the first person present tense was annoying, so am rounding down from 3.5.

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