Book Review: My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
In the latest Sophie Kinsella novel, Katie thinks sheâ€™s formed the path to a perfect life with the perfect job in the perfect city, but finds that perfection is fleeting and elusive.
My Not So Perfect Life is a fun book.
Katie aspires to the life of her rich and fabulous boss. In fact, Katie has an Instagram account where she posts (fake) photos of her (fake) excursions all over London. But in true Kinsella fashion, everything falls apart and Katie is forced to make drastic changes in her life and attitude.
Sophie Kinsella has formed a golden (though sometimes not so perfect) pattern she follows in most of her books:
A scrappy but still attractive girl yearns for more (often social status or the perfect boyfriend), but gets herself into a series of wacky hijinks, often the result of her own lies. Before you know it, sheâ€™s â€˜wackiedâ€™ her way into the middle of a mess and can only extricate herself once all of the things in her life come crashing down. But in the end, those trappings were crap anyway and she finds wild success and happiness in the ruins. Oh, and picks up a rich, powerful, and enviously handsome boyfriend along the way.
I say all of this with knowledge of the Sophie Kinsella pattern, but not contempt.
The formula works quite well, and perhaps gives Kinsella readers comfort knowing what to expect.
In some books, such as Iâ€™ve Got Your Number, Kinsellaâ€™s formula works quite nicely. Itâ€™s the perfect combination of funny and romantic.
In other books, such as Shopaholic Ties the Knot, Kinsellaâ€™s formula is stressful and painful to read. The dang shopaholic piles on lies and gets herself deeper and deeper in trouble, and I just want to throttle her.
My Not So Perfect Life gets it right. Luckily, the downfall and resulting catharsis happens early enough in the book that the stressful period of lies and deceit isnâ€™t too protracted.
The â€œbespokeâ€ activities are cringe-worthy, though. I wonder if the reader is supposed to feel vicarious revenge against the fabulous and rude people in their lives? Itâ€™s petty and rude on Katieâ€™s part. And they go on and on in so much excruciating detailâ€¦
Overall, the book is good fun. Go into it expecting an effective use of the formula, and youâ€™ll leave satisfied.
Many thanks to NetGaley for providing me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.