About the book: #1 bestselling author Sophie Kinsella’s emotionally charged new standalone novel about marriage and family, and how those we love and know best can sometimes surprise us the most.
After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected “until death do us part” to mean seven decades.
In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprises, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.
With a colorful, eccentric cast of characters, razor-sharp observations, and her signature wit and charm, Sophie Kinsella crafts a humorous, yet thoughtful portrait of a marriage and shines a light on the danger of not looking past the many layers of the ones you love to discover how infinitely fascinating–and surprising–they truly are.
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Publisher: The Dial Press
My review: After reading my first Sophie Kinsella book, My Not So Perfect Life, last year I was giddy with joy when the publisher emailed me an invitation to read her newest book Surprise Me. Soon after beginning this book I realized it wasn’t the same caliber of a story as My Not So Perfect Life. In fact, this book was quite a letdown for me.
The book has a pretty good premise of a married couple who wonder how to keep their marriage from becoming boring. The wife decides they should surprise each other to keep things lively. Well, as you can imagine things go wrong (horribly wrong at times, but these are the funniest parts) and soon their marriage is far from stale but quite tumultuous. As surprises go wrong Sophie unravels and wonders if her marriage will survive. In addition to the marriage issues, Sophie is also borderline obsessed with her deceased father and it is clear that this is driving a wedge between her and her husband.
Now, my issue with the book is that the author took a good premise and turned it into page after page of repetition. At the beginning, it seemed like the story was going nowhere fast and I swear I was going to scream if I had to read one more time that their marriage was going to last another sixty-eight years. It was like this was on every single page and I was tired of reading it over and over. Also, there was too much unnecessary details thrown in and bogged down the story. I lost count of the times that I wished the story would get moving. I wasn’t really sure where the story was going and then once the surprises started the book picked up little steam. This was the book the tried but just fell flat.
The book isn’t all bad though. There are a few scenes that made me chuckle and provided a reason to keep on reading. All in all, this book could have been 100 pages shorter and been just as good. If you are new to this author I would skip this book and pick up My Not So Perfect Life. It was a much better read.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.
About the author: Sophie Kinsella has sold over 40 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 seven 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, Wedding Night, and My Not So Perfect Life, which was a Goodreads Choice Awards finalist for Best Fiction in 2017.
In 2014 she published a Young Adult novel Finding Audrey about a teenage girl with social anxiety and her madcap family, and in January 2018, Sophie published her first illustrated book for young readers about the charming adventures of a mother-daughter fairy duo, Mummy Fairy and Me (also published as Fairy Mom and Me).
Sophie’s latest novel, Surprise Me, published in February 2018, presents a humorous yet moving portrait of a marriage—its intricacies, comforts, and complications. Surprise Me reveals that hidden layers in a close relationship are often yet to be discovered.
Sophie wrote her first novel under her real name, Madeleine Wickham, at the tender age of 24, whilst she was working as a financial journalist. The Tennis Party was immediately hailed as a success by critics and the public alike and became a top ten bestseller. She went on to publish six more novels as Madeleine Wickham: A Desirable Residence, Swimming Pool Sunday, The Gatecrasher, The Wedding Girl, Cocktails for Three and Sleeping Arrangements.
Sophie was born in London. She studied music at New College, Oxford, but after a year switched to Politics, Philosophy and Economics. She now lives in London, UK, with her husband and family.
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