book club

Pobody’s Nerfect

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I was graciously provided with an advanced reader’s copy of Sophie Kinsella’s recently released My (not so) Perfect Life via Netgalley.

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Here is the synopsis from Penguin Random House:

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.

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Full confession: I am one of those few people who was actually not a fan of Confessions of a Shopaholic.

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*sigh* … I know

Yet I liked My Not So Perfect Life. It was not exactly written in the way that I would have liked – there were some cringeworthy moments, and some moments where the writing was a bit over the top. But there were also moments that made me giggle, and overall, I felt a strong connection to the story.

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I’m going I let you guys in on a little secret: I am not perfect. I would love to be, but I’m not.

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Katie works in marketing, a job that demands creative thinking, grueling hours, and can feel pretty thankless. This description likely sounds familiar to anyone who works a white-collar job.

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I would actually highly recommend this novel for work-book clubs, because it could facilitate discussion regarding many aspects of work-life relationships:

  • Work-life balance
  • Relationships with co-workers
  • The importance of hard work
  • Being true to yourself
  • Perception vs. reality
  • Teamwork
  • Goals, and how to achieve them

Sophie Kinsella creates characters who are believable and relatable, and if you are feeling overwhelmed, trying to find your place in the world, or looking for the next book for your book club, then you might enjoy My (not so) Perfect Life.

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BBC: The Rush, Chapter 1

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Hello, my wonderful readers! Who’s ready to share rambling thoughts and impressions of Chapter 1 of The Rush?

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I’m pretty sure I hate this narrator – to be honest, I can’t even be bothered to look up our narrator/protagonist’s name, & she obviously didn’t leave enough of an impression for me to just remember it.

I'm no elephant, and if I was one, I would be a very poor one...
I’m no elephant, and if I was one, I would be a very poor one…

I suppose that could be part of the point – I mean, I know she hasn’t exactly explained what she, her friends, and their moms are yet, but this novel is book 1 of The Siren Series, so I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that they’re… sirens.

It's elementary, dear... um... #notanelephant
It’s elementary, dear… um… #notanelephant

Anyway, I suppose it is entirely possible that the author is creating a character who is at least initially unlikable because of what she is, supernaturally/mythologically speaking. But I still don’t like it. I either like to like the main character or have a very well written story, and this novel, so far, is not written well enough for me to be okay with its’ having an unlikable protagonist.

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Also, the way that she talks! Like, don’t even get me started on how many times she used the word “even” in this first chapter, guys. Don’t even.

Like, don't EVEN... Like, gag me with a spoon
Like, don’t EVEN… Like, gag me with a spoon

Now, let’s get down to the mythological bones I have to pick so far with this story. This chick and her two friends are so beautiful and guys can’t help falling in love with them… but is it because of their voice? In the myths, it was the sirens’ singing, not their beauty, that drove men to their deaths. Also, I don’t hear about these ladies having bird legs, and the sirens were generally represented as part bird, so… you know…

If you're going to write about creepy bird ladies... #doitright
If you’re going to write about creepy bird ladies… #doitright

Those are my thoughts on the first chapter. What did you think?