Monday, September 22, 2008

The Givenchy Code by Julie Kenner

Yesterday I finished a fun piece of romantic trash called "The Givenchy Code" by Julie Kenner. The tagline is "Cryptography is the new new black." Consider this book a chick-lit spin of The Davinci Code with a New York locale and lots of fabulous designer names.

Kenner has created a fast based book full of wit, smarts, action and romance. The "sole" of the book appeared on page 80, when our protagonist, Mel, a Givenchy shoe-lover, allows her grief to overwhelm her. She is caught up in an all too-real game of cat-and-mouse in which she must figure out a series of codes, and an assassin who's hunting her, in order to survive. In the process, an ex-boyfriend is killed and Mel crumbles in front of Stryker, who plays the role of bodyguard. "I slumped off the chair and let him cradle me as I cried. I cried out of fear and frustration and grief. I cried for Todd and everything he'd lost. I cried for myself and everything I might lose. And I cried for this man, who, for whatever reason, has shown up to help me."

It's a fun book, as these books usually are. But I have two main gripes. I felt there was no real ending, as if the book was all window shopping but no purchase. And the author combines first and third person narrative, which does not always work. I enjoyed Mel's voice and the whole book could have been first person, or first person from Styker and the assassin's point of view. Smartly, Kenner addresses this issue in an 'interview" she conducts with herself at the book s end.

Would I recommend this? Yes, for beach reading and for those who enjoy puzzles and fashion.

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