Review: Can You Keep a Secret?

by 1:49 AM 2 comments

Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
Rating: 1 Star
Reviewed on February 27, 2015

Book Blurb

Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets:

Secrets from her mother:
I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur.
Sammy the goldfish in my parents’ kitchen is not the same goldfish that Mum gave me to look after when she and Dad were in Egypt.

Secrets from her boyfriend:
I weigh one hundred and twenty-eight pounds. Not one eighteen, like Connor thinks.
I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken.

From her colleagues:
When Artemis really annoys me, I feed her plant orange juice. (Which is pretty much every day.) It was me who jammed the copier that time. In fact, all the times.

Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world:
My G-string is hurting me.
I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is.

Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger.

But come Monday morning, Emma’s office is abuzz about the arrival of Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO. Suddenly Emma is face-to-face with the stranger from
the plane, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her. Things couldn’t possibly get worse—Until they do.


Please refrain from reading. This might be one of my worst reviews in history. Review contains spoilers.

DNF @ 94%

That’s right. I didn’t finish because this is how much I hate this book.

Fuck it. Just fuck it.

Say hello to little miss sunshine. Emma knows the world doesn’t revolve around but she wants it to. The pressure of being “perfect” and “ideal” caves down on her every day and she tries too hard to impress everyone around her. She’s desperate to impress her bosses at work because she needs her family’s approval of her. She wants to be the best, or at least better than her successful and happy cousin, who her parents never fails to dote on. She lies to her boyfriend and pretends to be into activities she doesn’t care about because she wants to be the picture-perfect girl and couple. She practically lies to everyone and doesn’t know how to be herself. She’s so busy trying to get people to like her that she lost sight of whom she was or who she can be.

Bottom line: she’s way too hard on herself.

Honestly, at first I didn’t mind that Emma was so pathetic, naïve, and obnoxious, but enough was enough!


She’s not a woman. No. She acts, talks, and thinks like an immature and timid fucking teenager and needs to get her shit straight. She's one of the most melodramatic and boring characters I've ever encountered.

There is not a single moment of peace in her life. I’m dead serious. She spends the ENTIRE book either panicking, feeling mortified, or wanting to cry when something doesn’t go her way.

“I feel like crying with disappointment. I just don’t understand it. It was going so well.”

“I almost want to cry. My beautiful flattering dress is lying in a calico bag, ready for the collection at the end of the day.”

“Suddenly I want to burst into tears. I want to sink down on the pavement and bury my head in my hands and sob.”

“I was so totally mortified. I never told anyone. Especially not Mum and Dad.”

"I have never felt so mortified in my entire life. Ever."

"I can barely talk. I am beyond embarrassment. I just want to disappear into the rug and never be seen again."

"Every time anyone walks into the department I feel a little spasm of panic."

"A wave of panic overcomes me."

"I look up and down the street, trying not to panic."

"Outwardly, I’m still quite calm. But inside I’m starting to panic."

"I all but run down the stairs, and only begin to relax when I’m safely on the other side of the big glass doors."

"Shit. He's coming down the stairs. There's nowhere to hide! Without thinking twice I almost run to the glass doors, push them open, and hurry out of the building. I scuttle down the steps, run about a hundred yards down the road and stop, panting. This is not going well."

"Without quite meaning to, I find myself running back down the steps and along the street again."

". . . that I’m really sorry, that basically I want to die . . ."

"I want to die. I want to die right here, right now."

"OK, now I want to die. Someone please kill me."

"I don't know why I'm in such a jumpy, irritable mood. Because although I nearly died of embarrassment yesterday, things are pretty good."

"I finish, and look around the gob smacked picnic rug, breathing hard. I have a horrible feeling I might burst into tears, any moment."

Oh, I'm not nearly done yet.

"'Please promote me,' I say desperately. 'Please. I have to get a promotion to impress my family. It's the only thing I want in the whole world, and I'll work so hard, I promise, I'll come in at weekends, and I'll - I'll wear smart suits.'”

Fucking boohoo. Go ahead and cry and beg and kick and scream and pout, Emma, because you are one fucking sore loser. You boring, insecure, shallow, clueless excuse of a woman who thinks she knows what hard work is. Your pathetic self can't evoke any sympathy from me.

At first, Emma's thoughts were funny, but they got old really quick. (Not to mention: the stupid first person pretense sense.)

The upside: I almost stopped at 59% but good thing I kept going to see Emma (final-fucking-ly) tell Kerry (her cousin) off. She finally did something right. Technically, it was the second reasonable action she took. The first was when she broke up with Connor. All outsiders ever said about this couple was “You two seemed so perfect.”

Not “You two seemed so happy.”

But “perfect.”

Connor is stupid.

Emma is stupid.

Everybody in this book is stupid and I don’t have the energy to rampage their characters.

Another thing! After Emma was “betrayed” on TV, she forgets the lesson (the one she was taught mere hours earlier) about not revealing her secrets and inner thoughts to strangers because what does she do?
She goes on crying in the streets and blabbers her feelings to some guy she hardly knows!

Yeah, way to go, Emma. You don't fucking make a lick of sense.

And you pick your friends so well. Not. Your flatmate is a man-eater.

The only thing I can appreciate about Emma's character is she starts to be more honest with her colleagues, friends, and family. That's about it.

Oh, and Jack, don't think I forgot about you.


Go to your room and stay there.

Can You Keep a Secret? is one of the worst chick lit I’ve ever read. Take my fucking one star and show it to the whole world. It’s not a secret.

Because of how specially stupid this book is, I created a new shelf on Goodreads: "bloody hell you're all bonkers."

Nancy Her


Cee named The Mistress Case after Sherlock (BBC with Benedict) and Supernatural (Dean, baby). She writes mainly book reviews. On occasions, movies and TV shows. She reads and reviews in many genres, including fantasy, historical, contemporary, romance, erotica, mystery, etc. She personally rains more love on fantasy and historical romance and hopes you won't hold it against her. Caoi.


  1. LOL, DNF at 94%?? That's awesome!!! I've done that too. This sounds pretty bad. So sad.

    1. Lol. It is sad. I didn't realize I was capable of such a thing. I mean, I've seen people stopped reading when they were nearly at the end, and now I understand the torture.