Published by The Dial Press on February 7th 2017
Also by this author: Finding Audrey
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository
Part love story, part workplace dramedy, part witty critique of the false judgments we make in a social-media-obsessed world, this is New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella’s most timely and sharply observed novel yet.
Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle—from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. The final, demeaning straw comes when Demeter makes Katie dye her roots in the office. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she’s desperate to make her dad proud.
Then, just as she’s finding her feet—not to mention a possible new romance—the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away—until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.
Sophie Kinsella is celebrated for her vibrant, relatable characters and her great storytelling gifts. Now she returns with all of the wit, warmth, and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her bestsellers to spin this fresh, modern story about presenting the perfect life when the reality is far from the image.
This book was quite fabulous to say the least! I’ve only read two Sophie Kinsella book in the past, one was a YA book and the other was an adult one. The premise of My Not So Perfect Life immediately sucked me in, and I could barely put it down once I began reading it. I felt like the humor, the characters, the romance, the plot, and everything else about this book was incredibly fascinating and fun. My only complaint was that it did feel a bit too long, but it didn’t totally drag to me. Anyway, this was such an interesting and fairly light read and I’m glad that I picked it up!
Katie was seriously my girl. I know I tend to say this about the protagonist if I enjoyed them, but I actually mean it here! Yes, she was frustrating at times, and I wanted to slap her insecurities about where she came from right out of her. But she was very very easy to relate to for me. She doesn’t have a glamorous life, and that fills her with serious envy for people like her boss who seem to have it all. I like how Kinsella made Katie’s life so imperfect. She’s got a long and inconvenient commute to work every day, weird flatmates, and a difficult job where she receives no credit for the work that she does. She doesn’t have her life together, and at the same time, she knows that she wants more out of her life than what she currently has. I loved that she knew exactly what she wanted out of life, the only unknown thing was how she was going to get there.
I feel like the romance plays a pretty limited role in the plot as a whole, but it was still rather cute when it did happen. I’m not going to say much about it since I wasn’t 100% sure who the love interest was going to be for a good portion of the book so I don’t want to reveal too much. I’ll just leave it at that it’s sweet and I loved the build up that went down between them. Next to nothing sexy is really elaborated in the book, but there’s still tons of sexual tension that Kinsella wrote pretty perfectly in my opinion. It wasn’t my favorite romance since there wasn’t all THAT much focus on it, but I’m happy that it existed at all honestly.
So most of the focus of this book is on Katie’s work life. Her boss Demeter has the perfect life, aside from her entire staff hating her guts. Katie longs to have a life as perfect and downright glamorous as what Demeter has. Once Demeter fires Katie, she winds back out in the country with her father and the closest thing she has to a mother. Living out on the country is everything that she’s been trying so desperately to run away from, but now she finds herself right back where she started. Once Demeter and her family stay there, Katie thinks that this is the perfect opportunity for her to get revenge on her. The scenes that follow this are downright hilarious and awkward. Demeter is easily one of my favorite characters, after Katie of course. She just has so much personal growth that I feel like Kinsella developed extremely well.
My Not So Perfect Life was such a compelling read. I honestly can’t believe that I haven’t read more from her in the past. She has exactly what I typically look for in books: strong heroines, compelling plots, and a side of romance for good measure. I know that there PLENTY of readers out there who have known about this author for ages now, and I think they’ll be super pleased with her latest work. Her newer readers like me will also be drawn into these worlds and characters that she creates with such a natural ease. Yes, it was probably longer than it needed to be, but that didn’t bother me too much. You should definitely pick this one up!