I needed a really good book to bring me out of my reading funk. Nothing too harsh, nothing too hectic, nothing too serious, nothing too fluffy. Sophia Kinsella’s MY NOT SO PERFECT LIFE fit the bill to a perfect “T”.
RELEASE DATE: February 2017
PUBLISHER: Bantam Press
DISCLAIMER: Novel sent via NetGallery in exchange for a honest review.
SYNOPSIS: Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed. Ok, so the real 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 new 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 with everything – have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems. And what’s wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway?
REVIEW: Sophia Kinsella can sometimes be hit or miss – either wonderfully delightful or sometimes childishly juvenile. This was the former – so amazing and fun, a delightful read.
Katie is at her ‘dream’ job location, trying to work her way up into the dynamic field of branding. She’s trying to make her life in London seem more glamourous than it is – through a fake Instagram account and through increasing denial to her best friend in NYC and her father back in her home town. When her super successful beautiful boss Dementer unceremoniously sacks Katie, she is shocked – her picture perfect life has collapsed in front of her and she doesn’t have a leg to bounce back on. Dredging back to her hometown, she reluctantly decides to help out at her father’s ‘glamping’ business, all while lying about her true motives – until that is, Dementer arrives at the glamping camp. Being forced to face the truth, Katie must come to terms with reality vs. illusion and why sometimes not everything is as perfect as it seems.
My favourite thing about this novel was that it seemed to be more subdued than Kinsella’s previous writing attempts, which showcases a maturity in the writer and the writing. The growth in Kinsella’s narrative, form, and writing is apparent here and it is all for the better. ‘Chick lit’ that doesn’t deserve the silly annotation that gets attached, it’s a delightful read from start to finish.
The character of Katie is particular a stand out and her progress from start to finish is wonderful. I loved watching her develop from a character who put rose coloured glasses on everything and essentially lied about her lie to someone who embraced the imperfections that life serves up by the dozen. A truly genuine growth that I can see many females who are living in the age of social media undergoing.
What I definitely loved was the moral that the majority of the pressure we receive on the daily, we put on ourselves. The pressure to succeed, the pressure to fit in, the pressure to change to conform to what society should want – this novel hits on all of these things without getting deeply serious. I loved it all.