I haven’t read anything by Shopaholic series author Sophie Kinsella before, or even much chick-lit, but I was in the mood for an easy, relaxing read, and that’s exactly what My Not So Perfect Life is.
Katie Brenner grew up on a farm in rural Somerset but she wants nothing more than to carve a life for herself in London. Working at a big Branding Agency, Cooper Clemmow, she changes her name to Cat, tones down her West Country accent and wears trendy glasses to try and fit in. But London life isn’t as glamorous as she makes it appear on Instagram; she has no money, annoying flatmates and an impossible boss, Demeter Farlowe.
We all know a Demeter. She has to be the first to know about everything, from the hottest new restaurants to the latest health fads. Always perfectly preened, Demeter has a beautiful house, amazing holidays and a family that wouldn’t look out of place in a Boden catalogue. As a boss she’s flaky and demanding, always overlooking Katie’s attempts to further her career and can’t even remember her name.
After being unexpectedly fired by Demeter, Katie is forced to move back to her Dad’s farm and helps him set up a glamping business but receives the shock of her life when her old boss turns up to stay for a family holiday. Luckily Demeter doesn’t recognise Katie in her natural Somerset habitat, providing her with the ideal opportunity to take revenge. However, Katie soon begins to realise that Demeter’s life isn’t as enviable as she initially thought it was.
Of course, it wouldn’t be chick-lit without a love interest and he comes in the form of Demeter’s boss, Alex Astalis. Katie’s naivety regarding her relationship with Alex is bordering on exasperating at times but as a whole, she is down-to-earth and relatable. I especially related to her move from London to Somerset but unlike her, mine was by choice! It’s satisfying to see her develop as a character and by the end of the book she is much more head-strong and demonstrates her firm morals.
There are a few instances throughout the book that tickle the funny bone but it’s mostly made up of moments which feel like they’re trying too hard to be humorous. Nevertheless it’s a light-hearted, reliable read and accurately portrays the struggles and pressures of climbing the career ladder. It also serves as a poignant reminder that no one’s lives are what they seem on the outside. It’s something we all need to remember as everyone’s guilty of making their lives appear better than they are in reality, especially on social media.
Although Sophie Kinsella leaves us with the message that there’s no such thing as a perfect life, it’s contradicted by the slightly cheesy ending as everything fits into place for Katie… Or maybe I’m just too cynical to enjoy chick-lit!
Have you read My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella? If so, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.