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Review: My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

on February 16, 2017

my-not-so-perfect-lifeMy Not So Perfect Life
Sophie Kinsella
Bantam Press
2017, 390p
Copy courtesy Penguin Random House AUS

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

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 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 who has everything – actually have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems.

And what’s wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway?

I really enjoy Sophie Kinsella’s books. I’ve read quite a few and most of them are just those perfect sort of books for a fun break, something that makes you laugh and you can zip through it.

I think a lot people will be able to relate to Katie Brenner. She’s a country girl, grew up on a dairy farm but her dream has been to live and work in London for as long as she can remember. And now she’s doing it, but it’s not quite what she expected. She works in “branding” and in a way she’s trying to rebrand herself from Katie into Cat. Except it’s not going quite as smoothly as she would’ve liked…she keeps stumbling over what her name is when asked and sometimes she takes a little too long to respond to being called Cat. Her job involves mostly admin or data entry stuff, not pitching any of her great ideas and her boss even has her do things like dye the roots of her hair. Her commute to work is hideous and she shares a tiny, cramped flat with two other people.

Who hasn’t want to “glamourise” their life a bit? I think that there’s a bit of a trend at times for this on Instagram where it’s really easy to portray only a tiny part of your life….a beautiful brunch in a cafe, a fun night out with friends, a stunning sunset. The life that Katie posts on Instagram is filled with awesome things, but she’s not the one actually doing/experiencing them and no one is any the wiser to the fact that she’s got her budget down to such an art that even one meal out could ruin it for the week. She doesn’t really have any friends and she just doesn’t know how to progress at work.

Things get even worse when she is let go from her job in a very humiliating way. She can’t tell her father that she’s been fired because there has been some strain in their relationship about London and he’s very protective of her. However it does free up some time for her to help her father and stepmother in their new business venture, which is something that plays to her strengths and when her former boss books in with her family for a holiday, Katie sees opportunity….for revenge.

I have to admit, I did find a lot of what Katie did amusing. It was also quite childish in a way, to seek revenge like that on someone that wronged her, make a fool of Demeter. But I think that’s also something people can understand. When people humiliate you, you sometimes want them to experience what you did at their hands. From the outside Demeter’s life seems so perfect to Katie. But when she actually begins talking to Demeter, she finds out that no matter what your position, be it lowly admin staff or boss, things might not always be as they seem. Demeter had her own problems and Katie realised that a higher salary and rank at a company didn’t suddenly mean that Demeter had a magic life. Everyone has problems.

I really liked Katie and found that she was very relatable. She was a country girl who had tried to stamp that out of herself for a more polished London look but mostly she was trying to be something she wasn’t for other people as if to justify her even being in the city in the first place. The Katie at the farm was much different…..because she was back in her comfort zone. But she had to go back I think, to realise that part of her was never going to go away and that she could make it a part of her London life.

This book is classic Sophie Kinsella – plenty of laughs with a down to earth main character and just a little bit of romance as well. It’s very feel good and I also really loved the way that Katie reworked her Instagram at the end of the book. Now that is a life.


Book #28 of 2017


One response to “Review: My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

  1. Lloyd Russell says:

    This seems to be the consensus.

    Sent from my iPhone


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