Rating: 5 out of 5
Every time I read another Sophie Kinsella novel, I think that she can't possibly get any better, and then she simply does. And what's even more amazing than her writing is the journey it took to hone her craft.
Before she was the pseudonymous author of the bestselling Shopaholic series, she was known as Madeleine Wickham.
If that name doesn't ring any bells, that's probably for the best. Wickham is the writer of 40 Love, one of the lowest rated novels on Goodreads.
But over 20 years after the publication of that flop, Kinsella is now considered the queen of chick lit. Her latest novel My Not So Perfect Life tells the story of Katie Brenner, a young marketing professional from the English countryside just trying to make it in London and live up to her Instagram feed.
While her social media posts feature fancy meals and luxe locations, her real life is much bleaker with an entry-level salary, tiny apartment, and eccentric roommates. And just when she thinks she might be getting a big break at work, she's fired by her uber-posh boss who can't even remember her name.
Tucking her tail between her legs, she returns to her hometown to help her family launch a glamping resort and nurse her bruised ego. That is, until Demeter books a reservation and doesn't recognize her own staff in farmgirl clothes. What's a burned employee to do?
What starts off as a juicy revenge tale morphs into something with much more substance. There are humor and romance, of course, but there's also insightful commentary on Millennial social issues, like the fear of missing out and the urge to present your ideal self online.
As someone who left a rural town to navigate a marketing career in the big city, this book was especially relatable. If you've ever been frustrated by professional setbacks or envious of seemingly more successful colleagues, this story is a great reminder that everyone is struggling in some way. As the cliche goes, don't compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else's highlight reel!
I highly recommend My Not So Perfect Life as the oh-so-perfect lighthearted read. If you love it and want to check out more of Sophie Kinsella's hits, read my reviews of Wedding Night and I've Got Your Number.