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My Not So Perfect Life
Cover of My Not So Perfect Life
My Not So Perfect Life
A Novel
Borrow Borrow Borrow
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • Part love story, part workplace drama, this sharply observed novel is a witty critique of the false judgments we make in a social-media-obsessed world. New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella has written her most timely novel yet.
    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.
    Praise for My Not So Perfect Life
    "A sparkling, witty novel about social media and the stories we tell ourselves."People (Book of the Week)
    "The soul of this book concerns female friendship. . . . What ensues has a touch of real wisdom [and] will satisfy Kinsella diehards as well as new readers."—The Washington Post
    "You'll relate hard and root harder for Londoner Katie, whose quarterlife crisis feels even worse thanks to the Insta-perfect people all around her."Cosmopolitan
    "A joy to read . . . Themes of friendship, love and living your true life rise to the top."—USA Today
    "[There are ] many laugh-out-loud hilarious moments in this feel-good novel about social media and personal branding, and the hectic realities behind our perfect online lives."Bustle
    "Pure escapist fun."PopSugar
    "Sophie Kinsella keeps her finger on the cultural pulse, while leaving me giddy with laughter. I loved it."—Jojo Moyes
    "Katie is a winning heroine. . . . Kinsella creates characters that are well-rounded, quirky, and a complete joy to read."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
    "Driven by Katie's witty observations and numerous missteps as she attempts to reconcile various aspects of her identity, this novel is smartly satirical and entertaining."Publishers Weekly
    "Another outstanding novel . . . a perfect combination of fun, laughable moments rounded out with some deep-seated family and relationship issues."Booklist
  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • Part love story, part workplace drama, this sharply observed novel is a witty critique of the false judgments we make in a social-media-obsessed world. New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella has written her most timely novel yet.
    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.
    Praise for My Not So Perfect Life
    "A sparkling, witty novel about social media and the stories we tell ourselves."People (Book of the Week)
    "The soul of this book concerns female friendship. . . . What ensues has a touch of real wisdom [and] will satisfy Kinsella diehards as well as new readers."—The Washington Post
    "You'll relate hard and root harder for Londoner Katie, whose quarterlife crisis feels even worse thanks to the Insta-perfect people all around her."Cosmopolitan
    "A joy to read . . . Themes of friendship, love and living your true life rise to the top."—USA Today
    "[There are ] many laugh-out-loud hilarious moments in this feel-good novel about social media and personal branding, and the hectic realities behind our perfect online lives."Bustle
    "Pure escapist fun."PopSugar
    "Sophie Kinsella keeps her finger on the cultural pulse, while leaving me giddy with laughter. I loved it."—Jojo Moyes
    "Katie is a winning heroine. . . . Kinsella creates characters that are well-rounded, quirky, and a complete joy to read."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
    "Driven by Katie's witty observations and numerous missteps as she attempts to reconcile various aspects of her identity, this novel is smartly satirical and entertaining."Publishers Weekly
    "Another outstanding novel . . . a perfect combination of fun, laughable moments rounded out with some deep-seated family and relationship issues."Booklist
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    Excerpts-
    • From the book ***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected copy proof***

      Copyright © 2017 Sophie Kinsella

      MY NOT SO PERFECT LIFE / SOPHIE KINSELLA

      CHAPTER ONE

      First: It could be worse. As commutes go, it could be a lot worse, and I must keep remembering this. Second: It's worth it. I want to live in London; I want to do this; and commuting is part of the deal. It's part of the London experience, like Tate Modern.

      (Actually, it's not much like Tate Modern. Bad example.)

      My dad always says: If you can't run with the big dogs, stay under the porch. And I want to run with the big dogs. That's why I'm here.

      Anyway, my twenty-minute walk to the station is fine. Enjoyable, even. The gray December air is like iron in my chest, but I feel good. The day's begun. I'm on my way.

      My coat's pretty warm, even though it cost £9.99 and came from the flea market. It had a label in it, Christin Bior, but I cut it out as soon as I got home. You can't work where I work and have Christin Bior in your coat. You could have a genuine vintage Christian Dior label. Or something Japanese. Or maybe no label because you make your clothes yourself out of retro fabrics that you source at Alfies Antiques.

      But not Christin Bior.

      As I get near Catford Bridge, I start to feel a knot of tension. I really don't want to be late today. My boss has started throwing all sorts of hissy fits about people "swanning in at all times," so I left an extra twenty minutes early, in case it was a bad day.

      I can already see: It's a god-awful day.

      They've been having a lot of problems on our line recently and keep canceling trains with no warning. Trouble is, in London rush hour, you can't just cancel trains. What are all the people who were planning to get on that train supposed to do? Evaporate?

      As I pass through the ticket barrier I can already see the answer. They're crowded on the platform, squinting up at the information screen, jostling for position, peering down the line, scowling at one another and ignoring one another, all at the same time.

      Oh God. They must have canceled at least two trains, because this looks like three trainloads of people, all waiting for the next one, clustered near the edge of the platform at strategic points. It's mid-December, but there's no Christmas spirit here. Everyone's too tense and cold and Monday-morning-ish. The only festive touch consists of a few miserable-looking fairy lights and a series of warning announcements about holiday transport.

      Screwing up my nerve, I join the throng and exhale in relief as a train pulls into the station. Not that I'll get on this train (Get on the first train? That would be ridiculous). There are people squashed up against the steamy windows, and as the doors slide open, only one woman gets off, looking pretty crumpled as she tries to extricate herself.

      But even so, the crowd surges forward, and somehow a load of people insert themselves inside the train and it pulls away, and I'm that much farther forward on the platform. Now I just have to keep my place and not let that scrawny guy with gelled hair edge in front of me. I've taken out my earbuds so I can listen for announcements and stay poised and vigilant.

      Commuting in London is basically warfare. It's a constant campaign of claiming territory; inching forward; never relaxing for a moment. Because if you do, someone will step past you. Or step on you.

      Exactly eleven minutes later, the next train pulls in. I head forward with the crowd, trying to block out the soundtrack of angry exclamations: "Can you move...

    About the Author-
    • Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series, as well as the novels Can You Keep A Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I've Got Your Number, and Wedding Night. She lives between London and the country.
    Reviews-
    • Publisher's Weekly

      November 21, 2016
      With her signature humor, bestselling author Kinsella (Shopaholic to the Stars) explores the frequent disconnect between perception and reality in modern life. Katie Brenner, a 26-year-old research associate at a branding agency in London, left her father’s farm in Somerset with the intention of living her dream life in the city. But with her tight budget, peculiar roommates, long commute, and tedious work assignments, reality falls short of her expectations. She becomes isolated and often feels like she’s playing a role. Still, she’s intent on projecting an image of perfection, both to her family and her Instagram followers. Meanwhile, her controlling boss, Demeter, appears to be living the perfect life that Katie covets. Then, just as Katie begins to feel like her dreams are within reach, with renewed confidence at work, possible new friends, and a potential love interest, she gets fired. She moves back home to Somerset to help her father start a glamping business, only to have her two worlds collide in unexpected ways. Driven by Katie’s witty observations and numerous missteps as she attempts to reconcile various aspects of her identity, this novel is smartly satirical and entertaining. Agent: Kim Witherspoon, Inkwell Management.

    • Kirkus

      Starred review from November 15, 2016
      A young woman learns that a "perfect" life isn't always what it seems as she attempts to move on from a dramatic firing by working at her family's farm.Country girl Katie Brenner is living the life she's always dreamed of in London. She's reinvented herself as Cat, works at a hip branding agency, and left behind her not-so-posh accent. But behind her perfectly curated Instagram account, life isn't actually as great as she'd like it to be. She's barely making it financially, living with terrible roommates, and trying desperately to impress her boss, Demeter. When Katie develops a flirtation--or maybe more--with her cute co-worker, she thinks things may be looking up. But when Demeter fires Katie, she's forced to move back home to live with her father and stepmother in Somerset. She spends her days helping them run an upscale glamorous camping, or glamping, business and applying for every marketing job she can find. Her time in London seems like another life--until Demeter shows up, family in tow, to spend a relaxing holiday in a yurt. Katie is determined to exact her revenge on Demeter, but in the process she learns that Demeter's life isn't what she always assumed, either. Katie is a winning heroine with a point of view even more likable than that of Kinsella's Becky Bloomwood (Shopaholic to the Rescue, 2015, etc.). It's easy to root for Katie as she deals with problems that are relatable (being fired, dealing with roommates) and less-than-relatable (running a glamping business). The romance is charming, but the main strength of the story is Katie and Demeter's evolving relationship. Kinsella creates characters that are well-rounded, quirky, and a complete joy to read. A delightful and charming story that will appeal to Shopaholic fans.

      COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    • Library Journal

      October 1, 2016
      Struggling with cranky flatmates and office politics, Katie Brenner indulges in falsely bright Instagram posts while secretly envying posh, perfect boss Demeter. Then Demeter fires her, and Katie flees London for the family farm in Somerset. The hugely best-selling Kinsella not in shopping mode.

      Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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