I have read MANY Sophie Kinsella books throughout the years and I have always loved them. There’s something about her characters – usually bubbly, self-conscious, chaotic twenty-something women on a mission – that always spoke to me. I could always somehow relate to the things they were going through and the problems they were facing. And it was the same with this book.
Katie is a girl in her late twenties struggling to find her feet in London. She works for a big marketing company, and with work I mean file surveys all day long. Her room is the size of a shoebox and she keeps all her stuff in a hammock hung above her bed. All in all, her life pretty much sucks. But there is no way she is going back to Sommerset, to her dad and to the farm. She has left that part of herself behind a long time, re-inventing herself along the way.
And (re-)invention in general is what the story is all about. Not wanting to tell her parents the truth, Katie starts coming up with small fibs that somehow take a life of their own. Her instagram feed has no resemblance whatsoever with reality and there is not one person who really knows what’s going on in her life. Not even Alex, her crazy hot boss. The question is, will the truth stay hidden or will her carefully webbed net of lies rip?
Overall, the story is not much different to what you are used from Sophie Kinsella and that’s something that I really loved. I hate it when authors write stories that are completely different to what they usually publish. Just because I love their usual stuff too much. Very selfish me, I know. 🙂
As to my thoughts on the book… I loved the concept of it all. Loved the story. Adored and wanted the guy and could easily identify with the main character. But there was something that threw me off and to this day, I’m not 100% sure what it was.
Maybe it was the fact that I was expecting something slightly different. All the publicity I read about the book really focussed on Katie’s instagram account and the fact that social media doesn’t always tell the truth. But somehow I found that the book wasn’t really about that at all. Sure it was about blurring the lines between reality and fiction, but social media didn’t really play a big role in that. The story could have evolved perfectly fine without Katie ever posting the lovely expensive dinner of someone else or captioning a picture of late-night London with something along the lines of lovely stroll around sleeping London instead of absolutely cannot sleep because of XYZ. And with the whole element of social media gone, I’m not really sure anymore what the story was really about. No scrap that. I do know what the story is about but somehow it lacked focus. Or not. See, I’m still confused as to what to think. 🙂
I really don’t want to write anything negative here because I absolutely adore Sophie Kinsella. I’ve Got Your Number is one of my favorite books and I have already read it several times. And maybe that’s exactly the problem? I love internet/social media/techie books and somehow that’s what I was expecting when I started My Not So Perfect Life. And I feel like the latter is nothing like the first. So there you go 🙂
Plus there are some aspects of the story that didn’t really speak to me. There’s this one scene where Katie tries to punish her boss by making her do really stupid things (sorry for the mini spoiler :)) and I guess it was supposed to be funny, but somehow it came off more like really childish, stupid and mean. That was probably the only part where I didn’t really like Katie. Also, the ending seems to be a bit dragged out with unnecessary problems and obstacles…
But dang it! It sounds like I really didn’t enjoy reading the book and that’s not true. I almost read it in one sitting and I didn’t have to skip a single page, which already is a really good sign 🙂 And there are many things that I loved about it. I love the relationship that unfolds between Katie and Demeter (her boss). And the whole countryside experience on the farm… I mean, c’mon! That sounded much like my dream life! Also Alex the guy is funny, witty, unattainable, sexy and has a heart of gold. I would’ve loved to see more of him throughout the book, but I get that the story wasn’t really about his relationship with Katie and more about her finding her place and her home.
To sum it all up, I do still think that the main idea of the book is great and should be treated more often. We are trying way to hard to have the perfect life and keep comparing everything we do to everything everyone else does without realizing that these comparisons are useless because we never know the whole truth about other people’s lives. The blurring of reality and fiction is real especially with social media. I’m aware of the fact that the pictures I see online are always of the very best moments of someone’s life, but still I find myself wanting their life and talking down mine.
So yeah, we should talk about the discrepancy between reality and fiction. And we should raise awareness for the unreachable goals we set for ourselves because of this. And because of that we should say thank you Sophie Kinsella for writing a book about exactly that. And while I would have loved to see it more in the centre and see Katie struggle a bit more because of her fibs, I still think that My Not So Perfect Life is a book worth reading. If only because I really want to hear your opinion. And maybe someone can help me with my problem as to what bugged me about the story :). Plus, all jokes aside, the story is very well written with many funny scenes, lovely characters, hot guys, beautiful London, the countryside (!!!) and a relatable main character.