Friday, January 27, 2017

Review: My Not So Perfect Life–Sophie Kinsella

Title:  My Not So Perfect Life
Author:  Sophie Kinsella   (Author Website) (FB Page)
Genre:  Chick Lit
Publisher:  Dial Press (February 7, 2017)
Length:   448 pages

About Book:

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.

kinsellaAbout Author: Sophie Kinsella has sold over 36 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 six 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 and Wedding Night. In 2014 she published a Young Adult novel Finding Audrey about a teenage girl with social anxiety and her madcap family.

Sophie's next novel My Not So Perfect Life, about a girl struggling to make her way in London and struggling to make her real life match her 'perfect' social media life, will be published in February this year.

My Review/Rating: We have all seen it, the “perfect life” on Instagram or Facebook.  Katie/Cat Brenner is going to great lengths to make her life in London look great.  Even resorting to taking pictures of stranger’s food, which she can’t afford, to post to her Instagram.  Katie is trying so hard to be Cat, her London persona.  She even might find romance.  A turn of events has Katie back at home with her father and stepmum.   Katie uses her PR/Branding skills to help them to set up a Glamping resort, which really takes off.

The predicaments Katie/Cat gets herself into will make you giggle.  She is very endearing and you only hope for her to find happiness.  The Glampers at the resort are characters.   A couple of unexpected guests also arrive at the resort and the fun begins.  Katie doesn’t want them to recognize her, which leads to some strange encounters. 

All the characters are relatable.  There is Demeter, Cat’s previous employer and of course a love interest.  Sophie Kinsella has way of telling a story and getting you to really care about the characters, but still laugh at them.  I  enjoyed the Shopahlic books when they came.  I only read a few as Chick Lit is not my preferred genre.  I am glad I return to Sophie Kinsella’s work and read My not So Perfect Life.  It is light, fun read with very relatable characters…just what I was looking for.  This was a 3 star read for me.


My Not So Perfect Life is available in book stores on February 7, 2017.

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella was also reviewed by Rott-I-Tude, The Gilmore Guide to Books, and Blank Stance

My Rating Scale: 1 – didn’t like it; 2 – it was ok; 3 – liked it; 4 – really liked it; 5 – it was amazing

Happy Reading!

**Disclosure – My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella was received from reviewer program and Dial Press in exchange for a fair review. All opinions are my own.

Review: I Found You – Lisa Jewell

Title:  I Found You
Author:   Lisa Jewell   (Author Website)  (FB Page)
Genre:   Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Atria Books (April 25, 2017)
Length:  352 pages


About Book: (From Good Reads)  A young bride, a lonely single mother, and an amnesiac man of dubious origin lie at the heart of New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell’s next suspenseful drama that will appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty and Paula Hawkins.

In a windswept British seaside town, single mom Alice Lake finds a man sitting on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside.

Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.

Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. Their annual trip to the quaint seaside town is passing by uneventfully, until an enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable—and it’s not just that he’s playing the role of protective older brother.

Two decades of secrets, a missing husband, and a man with no memory are at the heart of this brilliant new novel, filled with the “beautiful writing, believable characters, pacey narrative, and dark secrets” (London Daily Mail) that make Lisa Jewell so beloved by audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.

Lisa JewellAbout Author:   Lisa was born in London in 1968. Her mother was a secretary and her father was a textile agent and she was brought up in the northernmost reaches of London with her two younger sisters. She was educated at a Catholic girls’ Grammar school in Finchley. After leaving school at sixteen she spent two years at Barnet College doing an arts foundation course and then two years at Epsom School of Art & Design studying Fashion Illustration and Communication.

She worked for the fashion chain Warehouse for three years as a PR assistant and then for Thomas Pink, the Jermyn Street shirt company for four years as a receptionist and PA. She started her first novel, Ralph’s Party, for a bet in 1996. She finished it in 1997 and it was published by Penguin books in May 1998. It went on to become the best-selling debut novel of that year.

She has since written a further nine novels, as is currently at work on her eleventh.

She now lives in an innermost part of north London with her husband Jascha, an IT consultant, her daughters, Amelie and Evie and her silver tabbies, Jack and Milly.

My Review/Rating:   I Found You by Lisa Jewell is three different stories. But how are they related?    I will say this book is best read in longer settings.  The story grips you right away so you should have no problem reading it in longer settings.  Unfortunately, I started the book and picked it up and put it down a few times, before I had some time to read.  So on my birthday, I took the day off and read I Found You.   What a great way to spend my day.  The story quickly grabbed me and there was no way I wasn’t finishing the book. 

The first story in I Found You, starts with Annie a single mom and  free spirit.  Annie discovers a man sitting on the beach with no coat.  This man has lost his memory and has no idea how he arrived on the beach.  Annie calls him Frank and brings to her home against her friends advice. 

The second story is of Carl and Lily a newly married couple. Lily is Ukrainian and new to the area.  She is very depended on her hubby, Carl.  One day Carl does not return from work.  An investigation uncovers some contradictory information about Carl. 

The last story is of a family with two teens holidaying in the Yorkshire seaside in 1993.  While I was sure these stories were going to be related to each other.  Lisa Jewell masterfully gives you the information bit by bit and has you captured.   And if you are anything like me you will guess wrong a number of times.  If you love twists, turns and secrets you will love I Found You by Lisa Jewell

I Found You is a mystery/thriller, love story and coming of age story all wrapped into one.  This was a 4 star read for me.  Be warned if you start this book at night, you will be very tired the next morning!

I Found You by Lisa Jewell is available in book stores on April 25th, 2017.

I Found You by Lisa Jewell was also reviewed by Books & Boys, Novel Gossip, and It’s Book Talk,

My Rating Scale: 1 – didn’t like it; 2 – it was ok; 3 – liked it; 4 – really liked it; 5 – it was amazing

Happy Reading!

**Disclosure – I Found You by Lisa Jewell was received from reviewer program and Atria in exchange for a fair review. All opinions are my own.