My Not So Perfect Life

22 April 2018

I barely read books last year so I set a very low bar of 12 books for this year's Goodreads Reading Challenge. Well, what do you know, yesterday I finished my 10th book of the year: My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella! 

And since I'm going back to work tomorrow after a two month-break, reading this particular book seems very fitting.

Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed.
OK, so the truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn’t really hers.
But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren’t they?
Until her not-so-perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. All Katie’s hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his new glamping business.
Then Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams - or try to get her job back? Does Demeter – the woman who has everything – actually have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems.
And what’s wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway?
I think there's no better proof that I loved this book than the fact I continued reading didn't stop until it's finished – at 2:34 AM, no less. To think I almost didn't give it a chance. In my defense I loved Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series only up until Shopaholic and Sister because I felt Rebecca Brandon née Bloomwood never really learns her lesson and continuously gets out of sticky situations (that she started herself!) by lying book after book after book. But since this is a stand-alone I gave it a go, partly because I needed something light and funny and I knew Sophie Kinsella can give me those.

And I was not disappointed. My Not So Perfect Life is actually quite refreshing. Well, it felt a tad too long but I didn't mind. I feel I related with the story because the Main Character Katie/ Cat Brenner works in branding which is related to the industry I belong to which is Public Relations. I found myself agreeing with Demeter's views on "holding the client's hand and making them feel secure all throughout", and her need to attend industry events and schmooze even when she'd rather be somewhere else. I actually feel Demeter's a great boss and that I could learn a lot from her.
"What we do in our job," she says thoughtfully, "it's a balance. On the one hand it's about listening to the client. Interpreting. Responding. But on the other, it's about having the courage to go with big ideas. It's about standing up for your convictions. You need a bit of tenacity. Yes?"
At the same time, I loved how the book explored other territories and exposed me to industries I am not really familiar to like farming and glamping. Oh how fun it must be to stay at Anters Farm, join in the activities, and enjoy the view (and homemade bread and jams)! And I loved Katie's relationship with her father and stepmother.

Also, as someone who reinvented herself with a new name after college, I can relate to Katie changing her name to Cat. I wasn't always a Krissy, you know. ;)

As for the romance, well, it was pretty much unremarkable, but I give you this: Sophie Kinsella knows how to push my buttons.
He feels like fun. He feels like cleverness and irreverence and wit and charm, all packaged up in a long, lean frame. He feels like the man I've been waiting to meet ever since I moved to London, ever since I wanted to move to London.
Recommended reading, and plus points for using the @mynotsoperfectlife Instagram handle! And hey, not that it matters to anyone else but me, it’s the first book I finished on my new Kindle!
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 desperate 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.
On to my next book! Although, since things are bound to get crazy again when I go back to work tomorrow, who knows when I'll be able to finish one again.

What's your favorite Sophie Kinsella book? 

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