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My Not So Perfect Life: A Novel Paperback – 17 July 2017
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Life doesn’t get much better than a free Sunday afternoon, some chocolate and stem ginger biccies and a new Sophie Kinsella novel and this standalone looks at what really goes on behind our perfect social media feeds, Sarra Manning, Red magazine
What an absolute treat - sheer joy from start to finish., Lucy Diamond
Pesky boss, sexy man and plenty of laughs, and you’ve got rom-com excellence. This will be huge in 2017., Heat
Sure to make you laugh out loud... this book can't fail to lift your mood., Closer
From the Publisher
My Not So Perfect Life
Katie Brenner has the perfect life : A flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed.
OK, so the truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn’t really hers.
But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren’t they?
Until her not-so-perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. All Katie’s hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his glamping business.
Then Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams - or try to get her job back? Does Demeter – the woman who has everything – actually have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems.
About the auther
Sophie Kinsella is an international bestselling writer. She is the author of many number one of the bestsellers, including the hugely popular Shopaholic series.
She has also written seven one of the bestselling novels as Madeleine Wickham.
She lives in London with her husband and family and avoids surprises at all costs.
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The story starts off hilariously when Katie (a.k.a. Cat) finds herself in an embarrassing situation on a crowded train and it takes off from there. Her boss, Demeter, has the perfect life, which Katie envies. However, she is a complete nightmare to work for - a total, selfish nightmare! (Think Devil Wears Prada scale!) Life might be great through a social media lens but the fact is reality bites and the truth of the matter is Katie lives in a tiny apartment with roommates she doesn’t like and is trying to prove to her dad that she was meant for city life. After her job tanks (literally), she finds herself in a new situation which she actually is surprised at how easily she adapts... it's here she gets the chance to see Demeter in a whole new light... and have some serious fun along the way! I don't want to give away too much because it will spoil things for you - but trust me there is alot of hilarity and the antics really dial up and she certainly opened up my eyes to glamping! Through the many comic scenes in the book, I spent a large amount of time reading it with a huge smile on my face.
So, while there is nothing earth shattering or particularly new, it was a very enjoyable read with great energy and charm, with of course Sophie Kinsella's trademark humour and great writing. In fact, the writing was so good I got a real sense of the characters and of place - I loved how half the book was set in London and half in Somerset. If you are looking for a relaxing, easy read, this is a great book to one click buy.
The good thing is that after a 10 year hiatus from reading it has gotten me into reading again.
Top international reviews
When Demeter scuppers Katie’s career ambitions ... and along with them, her budding office romance ... Katie finds herself forced to return to the family farm in Somerset, a far cry from the bright lights of her precious London. Can she recover from this humiliating setback and get back on track to her ‘perfect life’?
I’ve read Sophie Kinsella since her early Shopaholic days and have enjoyed watching her novels evolve from straight, laugh-out-loud - but essentially superficial - romcom into more layered writing that encompasses serious themes, albeit in a lighthearted way. For me, her books just get better and better.
My Perfect Life is very funny in places, as you would expect from Kinsella, but it also delves subtly into a weighty topical issue: the ramifications of the modern obsession with social media and the false reality it creates. I personally enjoyed the interplay between the comedic and the serious, which is well balanced and adds extra depth to the narrative.
Both Katie and Demeter are convincing characters; stereotypes, perhaps, but women a lot of readers will relate to, and I think this always makes for an enjoyable read. The story doesn’t hold any surprises; you know from the beginning pretty much how it’s going to end up. I don’t consider that a failing, though, as the getting there is so much fun.
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This was such a delicious story, I genuinely struggled to put it down to get on with real life. This surprised me as the settings and the character exploits all feel a little surreal and overly contrived, plus there are no real surprises contained in the story at all. The real joy comes from the wit and the warmth of the writing which pulls you in and simply refuses to let you go; no matter how peculiar Katie's life seems if you try and analyse it as a rational person you find that you really don't care.
Katie is from deepest, darkest Somerset and has always wanted to live and work in London. Her chosen field is advertising and she ends up, via Birmingham, working for a branding agency that involves the boss from hades and an 80 minute commute. Trying to rebrand herself to fit in with the life she thinks she should be living she changes from Katie to Cat, gets a disastrous fringe and becomes a bit of a doormat (if we're being honest). Katie envies almost everyone in the office and thinks that every Instagram post is genuine, even though she lies in her own. When her father and stepmother decide to turn the dairy farm of her childhood in to a Glamping site Katie gets on board with the promotion and takes a sabbatical from London. Unfortunately, this is yet another book where a new business venture is an instant triumph (becoming a bit of a bone of contention with me is this one). Can Katie be lured back to London? Is Demeter (the demonic boss) really evil? Is Alex the man of Katie's dreams or, as she fears, just a ship passing in the night?
Character development is generally good in the book. This is particularly true for Katie and Demeter. Unfortunately Alex is pretty much a cardboard cut out and the women in the office are every "Karen" the memes warned you about. The book also has some gentle reminders that online existence is very different to the reality of the poster's life and not to believe the hype. It's also a cautionary tale in people's perceptions of you.
Enjoyable escapism of the highest order!
Will be looking at other books by this author
Brilliant book and would recommend it
I went off her tbh after reading the last Shopaholic book where I found I disliked Becky immensely.
However I thought I'd give this a go and wasn't disappointed. It was well written and funny. By funny I mean proper laugh out loud snorting!
Brilliant for lovers of women's fiction and romantic comedy.
This book didn't disappoint and I finished it in about 3 days.
A very funny & enjoyable read with a few laugh out loud moments, and very relatable. Highly recommended.