Thursday, February 23, 2017

Review: My Not So Perfect Life

My Not So Perfect Life
By Sophie Kinsella
Published: February 7, 2017

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. 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 truth.

My review:

Unlike Becky Bloomwood (from Kinsella's Shopaholic series) who is a financial trainwreck,  Katie (or Cat as she prefers to be known in London) is actually good at her job and financially responsible even if she is struggling and doesn't get the credit she deserves. I liked her and felt bad for her when she lost her job. Katie bounces back though as she helps her dad and stepmom start up their new glamping business, creating a website and advising them on what to buy and activities to offer to make the place marketable. Then Demeter arrives and Katie (who hasn't told her family she lost her job) is terrified that they'll find out. Katie comes up with a disguise to fool Demeter since she has facial recognition issues anyway and Katie even has the opportunity to get a little creative revenge but eventually she'll have to face the music. On top of that, she hasn't found a new job and the guy she likes also suddenly turns up.

Something else I liked about this book was the focus on other things besides romance. Katie's career aspirations, her desire for friendship and her family relationships took center stage. Katie's family is wonderfully supportive though they have reservations over her living in London. Her dad keeps hoping she'll move back home and that is part of the reason she keeps her job loss a secret. Demeter is an unexpected character. She may appear to be like the boss in The Devil Wears Prada at first but there is much more to her than meets the eye. The romance actually wasn't as compelling for me and I could have done without it. The love interest doesn't seem like the right guy for her. 

Katie falls victim to the faux happiness of Instagram and other social media that allows people to show their best selves to the world so she has this idea that other people are leading glamorous and exciting lives and her own Instagram feed gives off that impression as well. Her boss assumes she has money as Katie is always talking about expensive trendy restaurants even though she can't afford to eat there and just reads the reviews. As she returns home she finally is able to let go of that and part of me kind of wished she'd stay at the farm and keep working there because it was so much more peaceful but Katie's dream was London and I also wanted her to find career success.

Like Kinsella's other books, there are plenty of laugh out loud moments such as Katie's "bespoke"  farm activities that she creates for Demeter during her glamping trip. I think readers who are looking for a fun and lighthearted story would enjoy this. It would make a great beach read. Too bad I read it in the middle of winter! While I've been disappointed by the more recent Shopaholic books, I was surprisingly pleased with My Not So Perfect Life and very glad I gave it a chance. I hope Sophie Kinsella creates more characters as likable as Katie.

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss


  1. I never read her Shopaholic series but I did enjoy the movie. I haven't read any of her books, but maybe I should start with this one. Great review!

  2. I love the sound of this and have read the first book in the Shopaholic series and thought it was fun. I'm glad this one is even better. I will have to pick up a copy to read this summer -- I love that you said it's the perfect beach read. Great review!

  3. This sounds like such a fun book! I love that it featuring glamping. I love camping, so I can't wait to read about that. Great review!


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