Review: My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

Thursday, February 9, 2017
Title: My (Not So) Perfect Life
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Genre: contemporary, romance
Series: N/A
Pages: 448
Published: expected February 7 2017
Source: publishers via NetGalley
Rating: 4/5

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.

A cheeky, heartfelt return to form for longtime favorite and prolific author Sophie Kinsella! Her newest novel, My (Not So) Perfect Life, is an engaging, occasionally laugh-out-loud funny adult contemporary/romance novel that balances humor with themes like perception vs. reality, career, love, ambition, and family. With her signature keen wit, relate-able self-deprecation, and agile sense of humor, Kinsella once again crafts a multilayered story that hits on all emotions and genuinely entertains while doing so.

The main character is that of a up-and-coming career-driven young woman trying (and pretending) to live her dream London life. Katie/Cat Brenner is lively, familiar, and easily readable. She's funny and self-deprecating but she's also driven, smart, and aware of her own value. Katie has a strong voice and her narration is fresh, unique from the start; like a lot of Kinsella's heroines she's imminently engaging while being totally original. Katie's a strong character on her own but her easy but obvious chemistry with her love interest, Alex, is what really kicks the story into motion. The nature of their relationship is not predictable from the outset, and nor is it the only important relationship Katie makes in the course of My (Not So) Perfect Life.

Perception versus reality is a big focus in how Katie's personal and and professional life unwind early on in the book. Through her often hilarious and/or embarrassing ups and downs, she is constantly learning: about how she views herself, but also about those she admires and dislikes. Sophie Kinsella excels at developing her characters and even the secondary ones, from Katie's father and stepmom to Demeter her frustrating boss, benefit from adept characterization. My (Not So) Perfect Life is a fun contemporary book that has more than a few relevant points to make about modern life. The romance packs some heat, the characters are lively and individuals, and the story is full of entertainment and heart -- easily recommended for past, present and future Kinsella fans.



  1. You're quite right about Kinsella's excellent characterization. Even though Katie was totally the star of the show, the side characters never faded into the background. Love me some Kinsella. :) Great review!

    1. She's so much fun, right? Every once in a while, it's great to just read some Kinsella fluff :)


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