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My Not So Perfect Life

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Fiction (2017)
Part love story, part workplace dramedy, part witty critique of the false judgments we make in a social-media-obsessed world, this is New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella’s most timely and sharply observed novel yet.

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. The final, demeaning straw comes when Demeter makes Katie dye her roots in the office. 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 image.

439 pages, Hardcover

First published February 7, 2017

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About the author

Sophie Kinsella

112 books38k followers
Sophie Kinsella has sold over 40 million copies of her books in more than 60 countries, and she has been translated into over 40 languages.

Sophie Kinsella first hit the UK bestseller lists in September 2000 with her first novel in the Shopaholic series – The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic (also published as Confessions of a Shopaholic). The book’s heroine, Becky Bloomwood – a fun and feisty financial journalist who loves shopping but is hopeless with money – captured the hearts of readers worldwide. Becky has since featured in seven further bestselling books, Shopaholic Abroad (also published as Shopaholic Takes Manhattan), Shopaholic Ties the Knot, Shopaholic & Sister, Shopaholic & Baby, Mini Shopaholic, Shopaholic to the Stars and Shopaholic to the Rescue. Becky Bloomwood came to the big screen in 2009 with the hit Disney movie Confessions of a Shopaholic, starring Isla Fisher and Hugh Dancy.

Sophie has also written seven standalone novels which have all been bestsellers in the UK, USA and other countries around the world: Can You Keep A Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number, Wedding Night, and My Not So Perfect Life, which was a Goodreads Choice Awards finalist for Best Fiction in 2017.

In 2014 she published a Young Adult novel Finding Audrey about a teenage girl with social anxiety and her madcap family, and in January 2018, Sophie published her first illustrated book for young readers about the charming adventures of a mother-daughter fairy duo, Mummy Fairy and Me (also published as Fairy Mom and Me).

Sophie’s latest novel, Surprise Me, published in February 2018, presents a humorous yet moving portrait of a marriage—its intricacies, comforts, and complications. Surprise Me reveals that hidden layers in a close relationship are often yet to be discovered.

Sophie wrote her first novel under her real name, Madeleine Wickham, at the tender age of 24, whilst she was working as a financial journalist. The Tennis Party was immediately hailed as a success by critics and the public alike and became a top ten bestseller. She went on to publish six more novels as Madeleine Wickham: A Desirable Residence, Swimming Pool Sunday, The Gatecrasher, The Wedding Girl, Cocktails for Three and Sleeping Arrangements.

Sophie was born in London. She studied music at New College, Oxford, but after a year switched to Politics, Philosophy and Economics. She now lives in London, UK, with her husband and family.

Visit Sophie's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/SophieKinsell...

* Shopaholic

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5 stars
27,747 (23%)
4 stars
48,220 (41%)
3 stars
32,126 (27%)
2 stars
6,121 (5%)
1 star
2,000 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 9,904 reviews
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,439 reviews78.1k followers
February 12, 2017

Do you have a go to author for particular moods? Kinsella has been on my list of auto approved authors for dependable reads; she is the mashed potato of books in the sense that her stories always bring me comfort and a smile to my face. They aren’t anything ground breaking; typically these are your run of the mill chick lit that is predictable, but that is exactly why I pick them up, for their reliability. This particular read was a little bit different than her previous books; while she is heavily known for her Shopaholic series and other fluffy chick lit, this book was a little more serious and less ditzy. Sure, it still had all the makings of a light, palate cleansing read, but this one didn’t have as much self deprecating humor and cheesy one liners that are found in her other reads.

You pretty much know everything regarding the plot from the summary (barring a couple of minor surprises along the way), but I think what surprised me deeply was how much more realistic and developed her characters were in this book. I liked picking up a new Kinsella with no ties to another series and I applaud her for taking a leap and trying something a bit out of her comfort zone. I’m pleased that she kept to a traditional, cutesy cover that draws the eye in. So, while this is nothing that hasn’t been done before, it was an enjoyable read that captured my attention, although I did feel the page count could be trimmed down by around 50-75 pages and still not lose any of the important factors. If you are looking for a relaxing, easy read, this is a great book to pick up. If you are new to Kinsella’s work and are looking for something a bit more funny and saccharine, you may want to start with her Shopaholic books or another standalone, possibly Can You Keep a Secret? or The Undomestic Goddess.

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy via NetGalley; it was a pleasure to provide an honest review.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
December 12, 2017
Kinsella is my go-to for fun, feel-good reads that demand very little of me. After all these years, since the very first shopaholic book, I know exactly what I'm going to get from her and I'm totally good with that. Unfortunately, though, a huge chunk of My Not So Perfect Life bored the pants off me.

The author's books may be shallow and silly, but I have also always found them charming, funny and charismatic. I couldn't help liking Becky Bloomwood. I especially liked Audrey and her family from 2015's Finding Audrey. But I felt zero spark from Katie Brenner. Or this book's love interest. Or the story.

Others have noted the similarities between this and The Devil Wears Prada, and that is especially true of the book's opening. I would say it is practically identical. Katie Brenner is starting her new job at a trendy marketing/branding agency in London. It all seems very glamourous, but her reality is running errands and filling out spreadsheets for her boss - Demeter - who also happens to be selfish and insensitive. Demeter has the dream life, it seems, and everyone hates her.

Then things take a turn for the worse when Katie is fired and must return to her family in the English countryside and settle into her new job - helping out with their glamping business. Until Demeter shows up with her family for a holiday and Katie is forced to confront the fact that she might have misjudged her all along.

Everything I've written here is just a rehash of the blurb, and yet it is almost the entire plot of the book. There’s virtually nothing that happens that you can’t get from the description. The story is revealed almost in its entirety by the blurb, and everything else is predictable. Plus, this book could easily shed a hundred pages and have lost nothing.

Even if you disregard for a second my disconnect from Katie and her overlong and dull story, even if you forget the uninteresting love interest, much is built up around the whole "finding out Demeter is not actually all she first seems" angle, but this was unsatisfying to me, too. Her rudeness is explained away through misunderstandings, and while some revelations about her draw sympathy, am I really supposed to feel sorry for her because - oh my gosh - she has a few home troubles and a mortgage? I actually cringed when she complained about the beautiful stone steps outside her house and how hard it is to get a pram up them. Boo freaking hoo.

It wasn't so awful that I want to give it one star; it was just wholly unremarkable. I can feel myself already forgetting Katie Brenner and, no joke, I have honestly already forgotten the guy's name. It was too long, not fun enough, and the outcomes not satisfying enough.

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Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,464 reviews9,619 followers
June 20, 2017
I read some Sophie Kinsella books back in the day and liked them so I thought I would get this one and give it a try. I was worried because the summary didn't sound like my cup of tea, but Lord, I'm glad I got it all because of Sophie Kinsella. I freaking loved it!

Katie lives in London and she works at a job where she is trying to get noticed by her boss Demeter. Katie is hoping she will see her potential and give her a real job. Poor ole Katie is working check to check and living with some mates in a flat.

Katie also has a crush on her other boss, Alex. She thinks something is going on with him and Demeter though. She has this hate relationship with Demeter because she acts like she's better than anyone else. She has the perfect life, the husband, the kids, the job, the house, the everything. But, as we all know things aren't always what they seem.

Katie ends up losing her job and she moves out to the farm where her dad and stepmom live. She gets all of these things set up for them to run a B&B and for people to have a farm experience. She does a great job and they start making money.

Then . . . Demeter and her family show up. Katie is about to freak because she didn't tell her dad that she lost her job, but ole Demeter doesn't recognize Katie because she has gone back to her natural self.

Oh, what fun it was to read about Katie taking out all kinds of revenge on Demeter having her do some crazy stuff on the farm.

Then some other stuff happens and Katie is found out and some other stuff happens and then Alex gets involved and then all hell breaks loose and it's just so good y'all ! I laughed and cried my way through this book. I just love it so much. Yay me! =)

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Esil.
1,118 reviews1,337 followers
December 6, 2016
The last few books I read were dark, one of them was particularly dark. GR friend Larry suggested that perhaps I needed a "palate cleanser", and, yup, that's what I needed and I found it in Sophie Kinsella's My Not So Perfect Life. I used to read Kinsella's Shopaholic books, but then I got tired of the formula and the rom com literary genre generally. But it sure felt nice to revisit Kinsella when looking for something lighter. Katie is a young woman from the British countryside who tries to make it in the London advertising world. But life sucks in London -- she has difficult flat mates, no money, and what seems like an impossible boss. True to the genre, things unravel, things start turning around, and then things work out. While somewhat predictable, Kinsella is good at the genre. Katie is a great character -- a bit naive, but mostly smart, strong and sporting a solid moral compass. Kinsella mocks pretence and privilege, but still manages to make the people involved more human than mere caricatures. There's a decent underlying message about how people feel compelled to make their lives look better than they are -- especially on social media -- and how that makes it harder for people to deal with the real ups and downs of their lives. There's some humour, there's some romance... Yup, all the right ingredients for a good palate cleanser -- or perhaps a really good bowl of chicken soup is a better analogy. So my 4 star rating reflects that this is a good contribution to the genre and that it really came at the right time for me. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
Profile Image for Melissa ~ Bantering Books.
205 reviews786 followers
June 17, 2021
Be sure to visit Bantering Books to read all my latest reviews.


That's how I feel now for having read My Not So Perfect Life.

After all of the heaviness of my last read, American Dirt, I needed a little light in my life. I needed fun. I needed fluff. I needed to feel good.

And My Not So Perfect Life delivers all of the above-- and more.

The story is pretty much your standard chick lit fare. Young Katie Brenner is trying to desperately succeed in her new marketing job in London. She thinks that everyone around her has the perfect life -- her friends, her co-workers, her horrible boss -- and she works hard to hide everything that is not so perfect about her own life from those who know and love her.

Just when Katie is beginning to feel secure in her life in London, her boss fires her, turning her world upside down. With nowhere else to go, she returns to her Dad's farm in Somerset to help him and her step-mom start a glamping business. Much hilarity and many shenanigans follow, as Katie learns who she is and how to love herself -- and that people are not always who they seem to be.

Sophie Kinsella writes better-than-your-average chick lit. I believe this is either the second or third novel of hers that I have read, and I must say, I do enjoy her writing. It's as I mentioned before-- it's light, it's fun, the characters are (usually, mostly) endearing, and her stories are peppered with many laugh-out-loud moments.

But if you pause to peel away all of the silliness and the crazy antics, you will find that Kinsella's novels have a certain level of wisdom and emotional depth that is often times absent in more typical, run-of-the-mill chick lit. And My Not So Perfect Life is an excellent example of this.

It has heart. It has joy. The life lessons that Katie encounters are ones that we have all had to learn and are, possibly, still learning. I believe most readers will find something relatable in Katie's journey, regardless of where they are on their own life path.

And never fear --the story does have a touch of romance. Personally, I could've done without the added element of a love interest. I think the inclusion only serves to weaken the novel, and Katie's story would've been much more powerful without the unnecessary distraction.

All in all, though, My Not So Perfect Life truly is an enjoyable read. It is one that I will always remember fondly.

So go ahead, give it a go . . . you may find it makes you better, too.

Bantering Books
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,727 reviews6,663 followers
September 16, 2017
Working in the behavioral health field, I see how people present themselves while in the waiting room and then I see the real deal once in my office. The difference can be as extreme as night and day. Lesson? Everything ain't always as it seems.

It's just as easy to pass flattering judgments on people as it is to pass those of the more disgruntled sort. People who seem like they have the best life ever rarely do behind closed doors. Let's face it, no one has a perfect anything. My Not So Perfect Life is a prime example of this train of thought. It was light, funny, heartfelt, unfair, revengeful, a little bit mysterious, redemptive, and real. This book was a joy to read (via audio) and I would highly recommend it if you're a fan of chick-lit. Kinsella groupie or not, check it out!

My favorite quote:
"I think I’ve finally worked out how to feel good about life. Every time you see someone’s bright-and-shiny, remember: They have their own crappy truths too. Of course they do. And every time you see your own crappy truth and feel despair and think, Is this my life, remember: It's not. Everyone's got a bright-and-shiny, even if it's hard to find sometimes."
Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
793 reviews12.4k followers
December 8, 2016
My Not So Perfect Life is such a fun escape!

There’s something about Sophie Kinsella’s books that not only draw me in, but also make me laugh and smile. Her characters are usually flawed but likable, and the main character in this book, Katie Brenner, follows suit.

Katie “Cat” Brenner is living her dream life. It’s not perfect, but she is willing to overlook her hour and half painful commute to work, her crazy boss, her tiny room in a shared flat, and her lack of a social life because she gets to live in London. She is envious of her friends and her boss, who use social media to portray that they live the perfect lives. Katie uses Instagram to make it seem as she is living a much more glamorous life than she is living. She believes so much in what others portray, that she doesn’t realize that what’s posted online isn’t reality.

Things start to look up for Katie: She is invited to socialize with some her coworkers, her crazy boss allows her to attend and important meeting, and she catches the eye of one of the partners in the firm. But just as quickly as things come together, they fall apart—Katie is fired. Unable to secure another position in London, she is forced to move home and help her family with their glamping business. She now must remove her London veneer and come to terms with who she is and what she really wants out of life.

What makes My Not So Perfect Life different from Kinsella's other books is that the plot is not solely focused on romance—it’s more about a girl struggling to find her identity in world that is obsessed with the images people portray online. There’s a little bit of mystery, some romance, and revenge on a seemingly horrible boss. This is an enjoyable read, and I highly recommend for a bit of fun!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Irena BookDustMagic.
616 reviews499 followers
March 8, 2017
So................ I am in a serious debate now.
I can't decide if this is my new all-time favorite book by Sophie Kinsella or if Twenties Girl is still my number one...

Ohh, this is so hard, it shouldn't be this hard!!


Anyway, this book is perfect!
The end was a bit... cheezy but not too cheezy, but still cheezy enough to spice everything up with flavour of love...

Okay, now I'm really rambling!

I won't bother you anymore, but just before I write my proper review I'll just tell you that YOU NEED THIS BOOK IN YOUR LIFE!


While reading:

I'm so happy I'm reading this right now!!!

Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.8k followers
December 2, 2017
It's Monday morning.
You wake up early, determined to get to work on time.
You leave behind your crappy apartment and your crazy roommates.
You run to catch the bus, but your high heels are killing you, so you miss the bus and you're forced to reach the metro station on foot, while the bypassing cars keep splashing you and your only trench coat with mud.
Your feet are sore and your hair resembles a bird nest when you finally get in the train. It is so crowded, though, that you end up accidentally eating the breakfast of the incredulous woman next to you.
In the end you get to work, and commence your boring tasks while you day-dream that one day they'll recognize your talent and promote you.
And then she arrives. Demeter. Your boss. The woman who inspires you with her brilliant ideas, her glossy hair and designer clothes, the woman who can't even remember your name. But-wait, she asks you to join her in her office! This is it, you think and your chest is ready to explode. This is your chance. And so, you enter her office, nervous but overly excited, preparing your thank you speach, until the moment... she asks you to dye her hair.

This is more or less Katie's life, presented by Sophie Kinsella in a hilarious and refreshing manner. Ambitious and devoted to her dreams, Katie left her family farm and her heavy accent in Somerset in order to pursuit her career in branding and promotion in her favorite city, London, but her life is not as glamorous as it appears on Instagram. And just when she thinks things will get better workwise, and she meets a funny and gorgeous guy who makes her toes curl, she gets fired. Disappointed she returns to Somerset and helps her father and stepmother organize and promote their farm as a glamping retreat. Amidst naming cows and greeting loud families, lo and behold! Demeter arrives. It's Katies opportunity to exact revenge on the witch, but something bothers her. Maybe Demeter is not the cold-hearted, cruel and ignorant demon everyone thinks she is. Maybe she has problems of her own. And maybe, her perfect life is not so perfect after all.

My Not So Perfect Life is a delightful, adorable, uplifting read, a great company when you hate the world and/or your life and/or your face and you're on the verge of drowning in self-pity. Or when you look for a boost to make you forget your crappy day. Or simply when you need something fun.

There is a rare authenticity in the prose of Sophie Kinsella, a deep connection to your reality that makes you see yourself in Katie. She is such a relatable and wonderful character, you can feel, truly feel her inner battles, the way she is torn between two lives, and two sides of herself. The cool, classy London girl or the farmer's daughter. Kat or Katie. The girl with the perfect life and the girl with the not-so-perfect life. And you realize that the latter, the not-so-perfect part, is the one that fills you with contentment, a genuine euphoria you want to touch, cuddle, put in a box and preserve forever. Your face hurts from smiling, and your heart flutters like a bird every time Alex appears (the aforementioned funny and gorgeous guy whom - of course - I pictured as Henry Cavill because apparently my mind is not capable of conjuring another man's face)

The tension, the attraction and the connection between Alex and Katie is tangible, and makes you giddy-borderline-ridiculous. The romantic element, though, is not this book's main focus. Throughout the story, the myth of the so-called perfect life is demolished, and an unexpected friendship blossoms between two women who are not so different after all. Demeter has her flaws, but there is so much more to her character, and the way Katie starts warming up to her, and understands that the real thing, the imperfect thing, is the most worthy is the whole book's essence.
“Every time you see someone's bright-and-shiny, remember: They have their own crappy truths too. Of course they do. And every time you see your own crappy truth and feel despair and think, 'Is this my life?', remember: It's not. Everyone's got a bright-and-shiny, even if it's hard to find sometimes.”

A tale of love and friendship, My Not So Perfect Life is chick-lit at its finest!

My special thanks to my wonderful friend Aj and her inspiring review that motivated me to start this book!
Profile Image for Heather.
389 reviews16.8k followers
February 7, 2017
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND listening to this book! The audiobook & narrator were fantastic!

I loved how this was slightly different from other Kinsella books. It focused more on our main character, Katie & her coming to terms with her career and how people perceive her.

Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,813 reviews476 followers
August 29, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed My Not So Perfect Life!

I wished I had read this book when it came out for the first time. It has a good message about social media, in this case, Instagram.

We all try to post pictures in a positive light and Katie Brenner is not any different. Her Instagram feed is full of pictures of a beautiful life she is not living. She moved to London with the idea of "making it" in life. But her life is not perfect. She's working for Cooper Clemmow but her boss Demeter Farlowe doesn't even know her name. Her flatmates are weird, her commute is long, she has no social life and she is broke.

Katie "Cat," thinks Demeter has the best life. Her commute is short, she has the perfect job, the perfect husband, the perfect kids, perfect travels and dining and then there is her relationship with Alex Astalis. Alex, the guy Katie has developed a crush on.

Then, when things couldn't get any worse, she is fired. Without an income and no prospect for a new job, she's forced to return to her family's farm in Somerset.

So many things I liked about My Not So Perfect Life. One of them was seeing Katie's growth. She learns to love herself. She learns to accept who she really is and let go of the fake parts. She develops a stronger bond with her father and her step-mom.

The second thing I liked, was Demeter. I wish she were real. She was an amazing supportive character.

Last, I liked the romance. I'm a romanholic and I shipped Katie and Alex all the way.

One more thing, after reading this novel, I'm down for some glamping in my life.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Wilma.
106 reviews50 followers
September 9, 2017
Kostelijk...heerlijke feelgood roman zoals alleen Sophie Kinsella ze kan schrijven! De genante, hilarische situaties waarin Cat/Kathy zich manouvreert...zo herkenbaar...De band met haar, in haar ogen, excentrieke vader en last but not least haar liefde voor haar baas die uiteindelijk beantwoordt wordt! Ik heb genoten!!
Profile Image for Margitte.
1,164 reviews511 followers
May 7, 2017
Just like the alphabet, bitch, I come before U. Yep, Demeter Farlowe(the goddess of the harvest, but also Mrs. Wilton in her other life), a proper Godzilla II, heads a team of pretty, but nasty nails on parade in the advertising world; a goopy pudding of gals, fluffed up by high heels, the secret Wednesday Bacchus devotion, and Ya Ya-sisterhood to die for.

Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game, can be regarded as the general mantra for the miniskirt brigade coming with the high-prized hype and pretentiousness. Welcome to Cooper Clemmow branding company.

When something goes wrong in your life, just yell 'plot twist' and move on. Katie Brenner, a wanne-be Londoner is forced back to the farm, out in the British sticks, when her low-paid, struggling, position as a research associate in the prestigious advertising company becomes redundant. What feels like the end of her London-ness(which gives her a spring in her step, it's so intangible, so buzzy), is actually the beginning of a new challenge, when she helps her father and stepmother to put glamorous into glamping on their farm, with proper wi-fi, 400-count must-haves on the yurt beds, and a new yoga discovery, called Vedari, for the upper- and middleclasses who's stomach sensitivity grows with their income.

Out with the serum in the curls, the unfamiliar straight, tortured hair, the most important steps at a front door, away from the biscuit people, the naked-man coat stand, the amazing giant plastic flowers, and in with a little bit of amorous huffing and puffing in the cow dung on her way to find a considerate man, number one, but, number two and three, a man of quality who values her. Fun becomes such a last-year's kind of vintage rhetoric in the end, oh so like Alex Astalis, for instance. But wait, that's only in the hunt for the perfect partner. On the farm fun is the buzz word for chia seed, organic ginger, and special seaweed-groupies with a Gwyneth Paltrow-lifestyle craze.

It's the brochure for Ansters Farm that got the moss on the rolling stones to scatter in totally new directions for the Somerset girl.

This is a satire in the rom com literary genre with a touch of Hollywood fluff in the ending. However, it comes with a little more substance, meat to the bones, and I loved that. I'm somewhat subjective and biased too in my rating. My daughter took a sabbatical from her 18-hour days in the advertising world to tour the world. She is the Katie Brenner in our own story.

Cozy and quaint. A cutesy kind of fun read. Really enjoyable and good. A few good laughs came with the experience. Yes, and you will find me in Katie's helicopter dad, but without his crazy schemes. :-))
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,447 reviews7,538 followers
March 19, 2019
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

3.5 Stars

“One day my life will match my Instagram posts. One day.”

Meet Katie. Errrr, I mean Cat. She used to be Katie, but that was back when she was a farmer’s daughter in Somerset. When she moved to London and got a posh job at Cooper Clemmow, Katie figured it was high time to reinvent herself. Little did she know what kind of freight train was barreling toward her . . . .

“So . . . OK. Here’s what I’m going to do: 1. Help Biddy and Dad. 2. Not alarm them. 3. Quietly sort out my life. 4. Tell them the details on a need-to-know basis, preferably when everything is safely back on track again. (5. Even when things are back on track, they will never need to know every painful detail of my life. 6. Especially how Demeter couldn’t even remember if she’d fired me or not. 7. Or how I got mistaken for a homeless person.)

This book was a little of this . . . .

Mixed with a little of this . . . .

Obviously this isn’t a book that’s going to change your life. Buuuuuuuuuut, if you find yourself the only person awake in your normally rowdy house on a thunderstormy Saturday morning, it makes for quite an enjoyable little time waster. Sometimes a little fluff (and copious amounts of coffee) is just what the doctor ordered to give you a reboot. Don’t agree? Here, scooch up real close so Dame Maggie can tell you a little secret . . . .

Profile Image for Melisa.
324 reviews515 followers
June 25, 2017
Loved this laugh-out-loud funny story! You've got office antics and a touch of romance, told in a truly hilarious way - what's not to love?

Sophie Kinsella is pretty much a sure thing when it comes to the feel good, chick lit genre. You can't go wrong with her if your goal is to shut out the outside world for a moment and enjoy a bit of humor. Escapism at its finest.

We have Katie/Cat who is trying to make it big in the branding business in London. She runs into a bit of trouble with her boss and things go all over the place from there. I have to say, I did have a lot of mixed feelings about some of the antics here. But I'm glad to see how it all wrapped up in the end.

I really enjoyed the characters and the idea that nobody is perfect, no matter how hard they try to prove it to the world.

A great summer, beach read!

Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Loved it!
Profile Image for Mischenko.
1,014 reviews97 followers
June 1, 2017
My Not so perfect life by Sophie Kinsella was a really great read. I found it funny, cute, and entertaining. I'm glad to have discovered Sophie Kinsella and really enjoyed her writing. I have a feeling she's going to be one of my favorites!


Thanks to Netgalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,030 reviews1,045 followers
November 24, 2017
“No one’s life has to be perfect.”

My not so Perfect Life has been one of my most surprisingly good reads this year and also one of the most hilarious books I’ve read ever (The Panini and “Vedari” incidents had me wiping tears of laughter. I swear.) and if a book could make me laugh this much, I believe it deserves five stars. I'm logical that way. ^^

Katie, a Somerset farm girl who wants to make it big in London struggles with everything in the big city but doesn’t give up because living in London and earning a job that has something to do with branding have always been her lifelong dream. I mean her pathetic Instagram posts are heartbreaking but her positive attitude is so admirable, I can’t help but root for her well-being and success.

“It’s not that I lie. I was in those places, even if I couldn’t afford a hot chocolate. It’s just I don’t dwell on the not-so-great stuff in my life…And the point is, it’s something to aspire to, something to hope for. One day my life will match my Instagram posts. One day."

Everything about the plot is so catchy and the workplace setting is very relatable. Everytime Demeter, Katie’s seemingly “scatterbrain, thoughtless, unfeeling” of a boss enters the picture, I’m just too entertained, especially so when Alex, also Katie’s boss enters the plot and things get more and more heated, hilarious and complicated.

I don’t really want to give too much of the plot away. It’s just something you have to read and completely enjoy for yourself. I breezed through the book and enjoyed every moment of it. There wasn’t a single dull moment while the romance is just too adorable and too sweet. The ending is too cute and I love Katie’s epiphanies about her life or just life in general.

“I think I’ve finally worked out how to feel good about life. Everytime you see someone’s bright-and-shiny, remember they have their own crappy truths too”
Profile Image for Jasmine from How Useful It Is.
1,294 reviews343 followers
June 5, 2019
My Experience: I started reading My (not so) Perfect Life on 1/26/17 and finished it on 1/31/17. This book can be quickly described as a series of hilarious unfortunate events. It started out with Katie getting on the tube to make the morning rush to get to work on time. The subway/tube ride just tickles me. I laugh with tears coming out. She talks about her job, her co-workers, and her boss, Demeter. She’s Katie at home, but in London, she’s Cat with a different hairstyle. Living in London is her dream, even though moving away from home breaks her dad’s heart. Her boss seems to have it all but Katie’s on the other end of the stick. She posts pictures on her instagram of her life in London, the life she wanted rather than the life she actually lives.

“Pitch her exactly the right idea, exactly when she needs it.” p148

My (not so) Perfect Life revolves around Katie/Cat trying to make it in London on her own and the people she comes into contact with. I do like following Katie’s train of thoughts. She’s very self motivated, organized, determined, and ambitious. She’s trying to make it on her own in London with an entry level job and high cost of living. She has to budget her spending money otherwise she won’t have enough to live by. She reads restaurant reviews to know which restaurant/dishes is popular since she can’t afford to eat there. She wants to have what her boss Demeter has: the house, the Miu Miu shoes, the invitations to parties, the good paying job, etc. She tries hard to get her boss’ attention so that she can climb up her career ladder to be doing something she loves instead of something else. She can’t justify to spend 40 quids on snacks when it can pay for a week of groceries. Reading this book, I’m sure many readers can relate to Katie.

“No one’s life has to be perfect. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself, love. Whoever started the rumor that life has to be perfect is a very wicked person, if you ask me.” p358

This book is organized into two parts. The first part is of Katie/Cat trying to make it in London. The second part is when she goes back home to help her dad and stepmother starting a Glamping business. She’s not in a happy situation because she started this lie to her parents and it grows bigger and deeper. When one day, her boss Demeter and family came for holiday at her parent’s Glamping (glam camping) and put Katie in an even awkward situation. I like this part of the book most because it opens to readers about life. It explains more about how we look at life and our expectations compare to what we receive.

“Beautiful. That word again. I want to take it away in my hands and keep it in a jar forever.” p332

I cry and I laugh when I read this book. I like this book because of the moral in the story. Image is not what it appears to be. I’m glad of the reminder. I like Katie and her full disclosures. All in all, this book is a great read! Sophie Kinsella writes an amazing tale, filled with everyday experiences. Anyone reading this book can relate to it one way or another. Living in USA, I really enjoy reading a book takes place in London because I get to enjoy new vocabularies. Got pissed means got drunk! Overall, I highly recommend this read, if it doesn’t make you laugh out loud, it will make you see people in a different way!

Pro: moral to the story, workplace, self motivation, social media, farm life, London, humor, page turner, fast paced, light hearted, witty, entertaining, relatable main character, the ending wraps up nicely

Con: none

I rate it 5 stars!

***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Random House for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.

Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,795 followers
August 9, 2017
Full review up:

Kinsella is like the Queen of chick-lit and even though I’m not particularly blow away by her stuff, I have this affinity where I keep coming back. . . and back. . . and back.

“Have you ever shaken up a compass and see the arrow whirling around, trying to find a place to settle? Well, that's my brain. It's all over the place.”

To be fair, I think this is my favourite books of hers. There was A LOT of character development which I adore and we get to see the mc in different situations, i.e. in city life, her relationship with her fancy work friends, life at home on the farm, her relationship with her family. Two thumbs up for that.

I was actually astonished to find. . .It was pretty hilarious. I had a few laugh out loud moments and Demeter really made for a hilarious villain.

Alex was super cute. He’s a total nerd and literally DISRUPTED A BOARD MEETING WITH A HOVERCRAFT. That’s some major points right there in my book.

I really loved how the book wasn’t just some ditzy read with no point to the story but actually really focused on the theme of ‘appearance vs reality.’

Its kinda like the Instagram culture where people only show their best, the greatest moments of their life, and when you look at those and compare it to your mundane life youre like ‘wow im really losing out here’ when in reality we’re only showcasing the ups not the downs.

I really appreciate A GOOD MORAL IN A FUN STORY.

I //wasnt// so ecstatic about the fact that the book is LONG. Like it really drags on and on and on. Its wordy and really lost my attention many times.

Definitely gonna be back for some more Kinsella in the near future.

“Every time you see someone's bright-and-shiny, remember: They have their own crappy truths too. Of course they do. And every time you see your own crappy truth and feel despair and think, 'Is this my life?', remember: It's not. Everyone's got a bright-and-shiny, even if it's hard to find sometimes.”

3.5 stars!!!


the last contemporary i read was a Great Disappointment™ and while we're taught to 'learn from our mistakes' here i am yet again bc who doesn't love a good contemporary

Profile Image for Vanessa.
462 reviews289 followers
December 17, 2017
I wanted a quick easy read to wind down the year. I’ve read enough sad, harrowing stories for 2017. This pick was certainly lite reading, so light I could have floated lol this isn’t the type of book you read for the writing, it serves as fun and frivolous which it delivered. I could even see this book turned into a fun rom com! There were just a few nagging annoyances the insertion of all the full disclosures as a side bit irritated me to no end, it kind of feels like lazy writing and the style often sounded similar to how my 11 year old writes, not a criticism, he’s a smart intelligent kid....but still. I need a bit more meat in my books to give it more than 3.5 stars even though I did enjoy it..a lot!
Profile Image for zoe.
205 reviews198 followers
September 1, 2017
Brilliant! This is the best contemporary book I've read in a long time and I read alot of contemporary books!

I can't believe Sophie Kinsella managed to write something that was more than a cute fluff of pastry (which I love, btw! Not complaining at all) This book isn't just funny like her other books. I mean it was a fun-read but it also has a sensible plot with sensible characters ^^SURPRISE!!!

It doesn't mean this is something completely different from Sophie Kinsella's usual writing style. It has all Sophie Kinsella's quirks. I mean it does have:

* a rich and successful hunk
* an insolvent lass with her not-so perfect life

Katie is such an intelligent main characters without being a snob. She is by far my most favorite heroine of Sophie Kinsella. She had had her things but she was trying to figure out her shit. Katie struggled to get to her dream i.e LONDON!!

But instead she got:
Alex! Prepare yourself to swoon.
The romance is not the main plot and Alex's appearances were not often but this guy!! HE IS BRILLIANT!! He still managed to pull his pull in however limited scenes he got. Trust Sophie Kinsella with multi-millionaire successful heroes and she would never disappoint you. I mean how often do we get contemporary heroes who
a) are multi-multimillionaire successful b) aren't dark and moody c) not an assassin d)all the three!
+POINT: He has also got a good sense of humor!

Katie is a Somerset girl striving to be a London girl. She wants a life in London and is struggling continuously to make it possible which isn't easy with her hideous apartment and her horrendous commute and her tiny salary. Still she somehow managed to get her life going. But then she got sacked! Her London dream= crushed! Now she is back in Somerset, helping her dad and step-mom setting up glamping!

The Setting: Half of the book is set in London and the second half is in Somerset. I LOVED SOMERSET! London wasn't so bad either. But Somerset was splendid. All the description of country-side and especially glamping! I loved Katie's father and step-mum. Katie's step mum's cooking and her father's quirks were cute.

The Romance: You guys are probably thinking how Alex fix in this scenario! Trust me he does. He fix perfectly!! The romance in this book is so so so nice and adorable I can't even!!! It is cute but still managed to be a bit steamy! With NO CHEESE AT ALL!! Okay maybe a teeny tiny cheese. (but tell me one contemporary novel with no cheese at all.) I loved Katie and Alex from the first scene they had together.

Overall: The whole book is quite entertaining and enjoyable and not stupid at all.
Profile Image for JanB .
1,144 reviews2,511 followers
April 24, 2017
Katie is living an exciting, glamorous life as a single career girl in London – at least on Instagram. In reality, as the title suggests, her real life is not so great. She has a lowly job with the boss from hell, a long commute, she’s so poor she can’t afford to go out to lunch with her work friends, her shared flat is tiny…and on it goes.

Reality hits in a big way when, after getting her hopes up that her life is turning around, she loses her job and moves to the countryside to help her dad and stepmom in their adventure to start a “Glamping” business (glamour camping). Yet, through it all, she still tries to maintain her image on IG and doesn't admit to her family that she's been fired.

Soon thereafter, her old boss shows up to go glamping with her "perfect family". To make matters worse (or better?) she doesn’t even recognize her. Katie sees this as the perfect opportunity to exact a little good-natured revenge.

Just as we tend to judge people unfairly without having walked in their shoes, it’s just as easy to assume people are living a perfect life based on their social media posts. Nothing is ever as it seems and I thoroughly enjoyed taking this journey of self-discovery with Katie.

This was my first Sophie Kinsella book and even though I’m a little past (ok, way past) the demographic I still found it enjoyable. I appreciated that it wasn’t formulaic or too cheesy. It made me cringe, it made me laugh, and I ended it with a smile on my face. Summer is right around the corner and I highly recommend you toss this one in your beach bag!

If audiobooks are your thing this one had a fabulous narrator than enhanced the book.
Profile Image for Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction).
451 reviews6,948 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
July 28, 2021
I read this book as part of a reading vlog in which I, a fantasy reader, tried to fall in love with contemporary books. If you'd like to see the full video, you can do so here

I think I'll officially be staying away from any and all stories about women with office jobs in London who spend half a book commenting on how expensive their rent is and continually emphasise how awkward they are as if it's a cool quirk. If you're a fan of Bridget Jones, this one's for you. Needless to say, I am not.
Profile Image for Kristie.
844 reviews366 followers
April 2, 2017
This was a fun and entertaining book. I have read a few heavy or dark books recently and this was just light enough for me right now.

For the most part, I enjoyed the characters. I was a little annoyed at how vengefull one of the characters was, since it seemed a bit out of character for her, but those parts were needed to make the book progress the way it did. I have to admit a couple of time I cringed and thought that she had to know it wasn't going to work out well for her. I'm not sure if those parts were meant to be humorous (they involved dirty stuff like mud and cow dung, so maybe some potty humor??), but I did not find them humorous at all. Other parts of the book had a more subtle humor, which I enjoyed.

The book was able to keep my attention, even though it didn't have many twists that you didn't see coming. I still looked forward to reading more and enjoyed the rhythm of the story. I liked how the relationships developed and the settings were well developed. It was an enjoyable world to escape into.

I had copies of this book in two formats: a Kindle copy provided by NetGalley and an Audible version narrated by Fiona Hardingham. Ms. Hardingham did an excellent job with the narration. I enjoyed listening to part of the book while on a road trip. I felt that her voice fit the characters perfectly.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and would recommend it for a light read.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Camilla Isley.
Author 26 books1,929 followers
May 3, 2018
I utterly and completely loved this novel, it was a So Perfect Romantic Comedy!
This was one of the most anticipated books of 2017 for me, having waited for a new standalone Kinsella for 4 years, and it went beyond expectations.

A few pages in, I was already crying for how much I was laughing (yes, the panini incident). Besides unrelenting humor, the story had all the charm, sweetness, and a sprinkle of mystery of the best works from Kinsella.

I adored all the characters in this book. Katie-Cat was a wonderful protagonist to follow. With her country-girl insecurities, "tragic" moments, little pranks, and her big heart. I adored her and loved following the story from inside her head.

Alex made for the perfect book-boyfriend. He'll sweep you off your feet.

Demeter and all her idiosyncrasies, were the icing on my reading cake.

In short, this book will make you laugh, relax, and leave you with a big AWWW at the end.

Profile Image for Suz.
1,097 reviews566 followers
October 9, 2018
I haven't read a book like this for some time, and honestly, I need books like this in my life. Easy to pick up, and easy to put down. Entertaining, funny, light, too easy to be true at times and just sweet.

Katie, or shall we say Cat is attempting to live the dream in London.. but it is not as easy as it seems. She wants more than her fake Instragram life is showing on the surface. On the surface.. Katie isn't being true to herself at all.

I loved all the characters, and I felt right at home at the glamping part of the story, visions of the country side and scones and hearty meals. Nice book!
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,157 reviews1,515 followers
February 7, 2017
Katie Brenner has been determined to make a life for herself in the city and does everything she can think of to get her boss, Demeter Farlowe to notice her work. Demeter however instead of noticing Katie's creativity uses her young employee to instead help her dye her roots and other menial tasks. Katie still stays determined she will make it and obtain the lifestyle she is jealous that her boss leads.

Just when Katie thinks things are starting to look up in her life though her boss decides to fire her. Having no where else to turn Katie returns home to the country with her family to help them start up a new business but keeping her jobless state a secret while she's there. But just when Katie thinks she may have to confess to her losing her job she crosses paths with Demeter yet again.

My Not So Perfect Life was a fun contemporary romance by Sophie Kinsella. Katie was a fun character to follow as she tried to make her way in life on her own with a fun cast of supporting characters to go along with her. The story was often funny and always engaging waiting to see how things would turn out for Katie.

Another thing that made me love this story was the setting with Katie's family in the country. They were setting up a "glamping" (glamorous camping) business which made for a fun place for a big portion of the story to take place. As much as Katie wanted to be a city girl it was nice to see her go back to her roots in this setting and really grow as a character.

Overall, really enjoyed this fun contemporary romance and watching the main character grow as she struggles to sort out her life.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
Profile Image for Brandice.
857 reviews
December 24, 2017
It’s been awhile since I read a Sophie Kinsella book, and My Not So Perfect Life instantly reminded why I’ve always been a fan of hers.

The story was relatable although somewhat predictable: Young aspiring professional woman, Katie (or Cat, depending on who she’s engaging with), attempts to make her own way in the big city (London). She navigates the work world including gossip circles and female friendships; men - dodging the ones she’s not interested in and subtly (she hopes) pursuing a particular one she is interested in; roommates; and making her parents proud while still following her own ambitions. My Not So Perfect Life includes many modern cultural references, and is humorous - a characteristic of Kinsella’s books that I’ve always enjoyed.

This was a lighter read but one I still really enjoyed, and just the type of book I was looking for to wrap up this year!
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