My Not So Perfect Life
A NovelBook - 2017 | First U.S. edition
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. 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 truth.
Praise for My Not So Perfect Life
"A sparkling, witty novel about social media and the stories we tell ourselves." -- People (Book of the Week)
"And something else separates this comic novel from the usual fare . . . the soul of this book concerns female friendship and its dynamics . . . a touch of real wisdom in its slapstick hand that will satisfy Kinsella die-hards as well as new readers." -- The Washington Post
"With both warmhearted and laugh-out-loud moments, Sophie Kinsella's My Not So Perfect Life was a joy to read. . . . Katie is relatable, bright and quirky--you'll find yourself cheering for her from the start, even as she learns that a perfect life isn't always what it seems, or what it's cracked up to be. Themes of friendship, love and living your true life rise to the top in this must-read stand-alone romantic comedy." -- USA Today
"[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
"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
"Another outstanding novel . . . a perfect combination of fun, laughable moments rounded out with some deep-seated family and relationship issues." -- Booklist
From the critics
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‘ “Oh. Yes, it’s fine . . . it’s. . . argh! Oh God! Aaaargh!”
‘With no warning, the world has turned black. For a terrifying instant I think I’m being attacked. Something’s hitting me, banging me, surrounding me. . . . I flail with my arms, panting, panicking . . . then suddenly realize what’s happened. My bloody hammock’s collapsed.
‘I fight my way out of a black jersey skirt which has enveloped my head and survey my bed in dismay. That hammock is hanging dismally from one corner. All my crap is everywhere - clothes, hair products, books, magazines. It’ll take forever to sort all this out again. The only plus is that my bowl of stew was in the floor and didn’t get knocked over.
‘Actually, that’s not a plus.’...
"I've called it @mynotsoperfectlife and I've already got 267 followers! I post utterly unvarnished, unposed, un-Instagrammy photos with captions, and it's turned into one of the most fun hobbies I've ever had. / A photo of bad-tempered crowds on a tube platform: My not-so-perfect commute. A picture of the revolting blister on my heel: My not-so-perfect new shoes. A photo of my hair, drenched: The not-so-perfect London weather. / The amazing thing is how many other people have joined in. Mark from work posted a picture of himself eating a doughnut, captioned My not-so-perfect eat-clean regime. Biddy posted a picture of some ripped trousers, which she'd obviously caught on some barbed wire, entitled My not-so-perfect rural existence, which made me laugh."
"I'd forgotten the smell of London, the busyness, the crowds. I'd forgotten about coming up out of the tube steps into the hot, concentrated city sunshine, surrounded by people of all descriptions, and thinking, I could do anything, go anywhere, be anyone. / Ansters Farm is like a circle. It is what it is. And you basically go round and round in a peaceful way, never digressing. But London's like a spiderweb. There's a million possibilities, a million directions, a million endgames. I'd forgotten that feeling of ... of what? Being on the brink of something." (p. 377)
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