My (Not So) Perfect Life (2017) - Review

by - May 05, 2019

So I have a long list of chick-lit/romantic comedy novels to read and I'm slowly getting through them in between my horror/psychological/true crime binges. I've decided it would be fun to post my literary rom-com reviews on It Was Like Magic, as it certainly fits with the theme. They won't be as frequent as my movie watching, but I'm definitely determined to meet my Goodreads Challenge this year, so I'm hoping to knock more than a few off my list in 2019. If you're on Goodreads and you want to friend me (of course I friend back), check out my page here! I also have a Bookstagram page.

My first review for this feature is:

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophia Kinsella

From the publisher:

"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."

I have always enjoyed chick-lit as a way to decompress. It's generally light, fluffy and fun and the perfect way to rejuvenate my mood after reading an abundance of horror or true crime. Sophia Kinsella can easily be called the "Queen of Chick Lit" and I really enjoy her books. I picked up My Not So Perfect Life when the Kindle edition was on sale on Amazon and I finally got around to reading it this weekend.

I really enjoyed certain aspects of this book. It certainly reminded me of various romantic comedies where our heroine has a job in a modern, sophisticated office and works for an equally sophisticated boss who is gorgeous and put together but is also a nightmare. There are definitely some comparisons to be made to The Devil Wears Prada, but I think the basic premise is as far as those comparisons can really go.

Katie is fine as our protagonist. There is nothing overly special about her, but I understood her struggle, and the desire to make the world of social media believe your life is pretty much perfect when in reality, it's anything but. She goes through some major changes and grows as a result, but she does have moments that prompted a couple of eye rolls (usually where it came to Alex, her love interest). Kinsella focuses more on the relationship between Katie and Demeter, showing us that, even with social media, what we see at work may not always be how we really are. She's flawed, but also a bit immature from time to time, making it hard to root for her throughout the entirety of the novel.

The romance angle of this book is sorely under-developed. Alex is supposed to be a commitment-phobe, and he has a not-so-great relationship with his father, but that's all we really know about him. We don't see him much, and Kinsella doesn't spend enough time on Katie and Alex's blossoming romance for me to really buy that they've fallen in love. He was a bit bland and could have used some more character development.

Parts of the book moved along a bit slow and I found myself skimming the less interesting bits. But it did have some funny moments and a satisfying (if somewhat unbelievable, but that's okay) conclusion. Not my favorite Kinsella book, but a light, entertaining read.

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