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My Not So Perfect Life: A Novel Paperback – July 11, 2017
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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“A sparkling, witty novel about social media and the stories we tell ourselves.”—People (Book of the Week)
“The soul of this book concerns female friendship. . . . What ensues has a touch of real wisdom [and] will satisfy Kinsella diehards as well as new readers.”—The Washington Post
“You’ll relate hard and root harder for Londoner Katie, whose quarterlife crisis feels even worse thanks to the Insta-perfect people all around her.”—Cosmopolitan
“A joy to read . . . Themes of friendship, love and living your true life rise to the top.”—USA Today
“The book is fun, as Kinsella’s books are, but it delivers a strong positive message, as well. . . . Kinsella creates a solid, likable character—one that I got to know and root for throughout the book.”—Fairfield Daily Republic
“This is a really funny and relatable story about working women, women’s relationships with each other and one plucky heroine’s journey. This is a perfect pick-me-up.”—The Parkersburg News and Sentinel
“[There are ] many laugh-out-loud hilarious moments in this feel-good novel about social media and personal branding, and the hectic realities behind our perfect online lives.”—Bustle
“Pure escapist fun.”—PopSugar
“This latest stand-alone from bestselling author Kinsella is top-notch, thanks to a lovable, slightly flawed leading lady, many true-life situations, and loads of giggle-inducing humor. As Bridget Jones would say, ‘Well done!’”—Library Journal
“Another outstanding novel . . . a perfect combination of fun, laughable moments rounded out with some deep-seated family and relationship issues.”—Booklist
“Sophie Kinsella keeps her finger on the cultural pulse, while leaving me giddy with laughter. I loved it.”—Jojo Moyes
“Katie is a winning heroine. . . . Kinsella creates characters that are well-rounded, quirky, and a complete joy to read.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Driven by Katie’s witty observations and numerous missteps as she attempts to reconcile various aspects of her identity, this novel is smartly satirical and entertaining.”—Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series, as well as the novels Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number, and Wedding Night. She lives between London and the country.
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It's tough to say much about the story without revealing spoilers. Let me just say that it went off in a surprising direction, and one I found fresh and pleasing. Kinsella could have taken an easier road, but she didn't.
Cat/Katie, the protagonist of the book, comes across as more competent than some of Kinsella's previous heroines. She's smart and ambitious as she tries to put aside her "farmer Katie" upbringing. She's not without flaws, but she's very likable, but I enjoyed her as the smart girl who's looking to make her mark in the world. Demeter is the brilliant but sometimes flaky boss who seems to have a perfect life.
As a stepmom, I thank Kinsella for having a stepmom character who is loving and important in Cat's life. At times I have feel like I'm battling a stereotype as people make assumptions about the role of a stepparent, so appreciate Biddy's sweet, smart, loving presence.
And, as someone who has experienced some of what Demeter does in this story (man, I wish I could think of a way to say this without spoiling it!!), I thank Kinsella for dealing with a workplace issue seldom discussed or acknowledged by women. I've SO been there.
Plot is not usually the focus of her novels and I can generally overlook that. I read her books for the charming characters after all. However, in this case there were no witty characters and comic relief to distract me. In fact, I found the main character difficult to tolerate as she was weak, whiny, and insecure for most of the novel. Katie as well as her array of companions were not relatable so it was difficult to summon the motivation to learn more about them. I’m not sure if it was my lack of interest, or if it can be attributed to the pacing, but this book seemed to drag on and on.
The romantic relationships between Kinsella’s characters are generally the highlight of her stories, but in this case the chemistry fell flat. I didn’t feel as though I had anyone to root for because neither of them were particularly appealing. Their attitudes toward each other made it difficult to believe that there was anything there to begin with.
Additionally, the book tried very hard to be tech-centric and contemporary, but its trendy references to Instagram and the like did not add anything significant. I expect that this aspect will make the book feel dated to future readers.
I got the impression that Kinsella was branching out and trying something new here but unfortunately it didn’t seem to pay off in My Not So Perfect Life.
If you have not read any of her previous books, I highly recommend Can You Keep a Secret? as well as, Remember Me? Both of those as well as many of her others are funny, fluffy, and uplifting.
This book covers a lot of ground: office politics, current social media, life as curated and filtered by the image one projects via photos and selfies, city versus country, appearance and reality, family and friends, and yes, the classic "coming of age."
This story is full of memorable characters, hilarious incidents and dialogue, and plenty of heart. I had read a couple of Kinsella's Shopaholic novels, and they were fine, but this book is a gem. I loved it!