Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit, Adult
It's Monday morning.
You wake up early, determined to get to work on time.
You leave behind your crappy apartment and your crazy roommates.
You run to catch the bus, but your high heels are killing you, so you miss the bus and you're forced to reach the metro station on foot, while the bypassing cars keep splashing you and your only trench coat with mud.
Your feet are sore and your hair resembles a bird nest when you finally get in the train. It is so crowded, though, that you end up accidentally eating the breakfast of the incredulous woman next to you.
In the end you get to work, and commence your boring tasks while you day-dream that one day they'll recognize your talent and promote you.
And then she arrives. Demeter. Your boss. The woman who inspires you with her brilliant ideas, her glossy hair and designer clothes, the woman who can't even remember your name. But-wait, she asks you to join her in her office! This is it, you think and your chest is ready to explode. This is your chance. And so, you enter her office, nervous but overly excited, preparing your thank you speech, until the moment... she asks you to dye her hair.
This is more or less Katie's life, presented by Sophie Kinsella in a hilarious and refreshing manner. Ambitious and devoted to her dreams, Katie left her family farm and her heavy accent in Somerset in order to pursuit her career in branding and promotion in her favorite city, London, but her life is not as glamorous as it appears on Instagram. And just when she thinks things will get better workwise, and she meets a funny and gorgeous guy who makes her toes curl, she gets fired. Disappointed she returns to Somerset and helps her father and stepmother organize and promote their farm as a glamping retreat. Amidst naming cows and greeting loud families, lo and behold! Demeter arrives. It's Katies opportunity to exact revenge on the witch, but something bothers her. Maybe Demeter is not the cold-hearted, cruel and ignorant demon everyone thinks she is. Maybe she has problems of her own. And maybe, her perfect life is not so perfect after all.
My Not So Perfect Life is a delightful, adorable, uplifting read, a great company when you hate the world and/or your life and/or your face and you're on the verge of drowning in self-pity. Or when you look for a boost to make you forget your crappy day. Or simply when you need something fun.
There is a rare authenticity in the prose of Sophie Kinsella, a deep connection to your reality that makes you see yourself in Katie. She is such a relatable and wonderful character, you can feel, truly feel her inner battles, the way she is torn between two lives, and two sides of herself. The cool, classy London girl or the farmer's daughter. Kat or Katie. The girl with the perfect life and the girl with the not-so-perfect life. And you realize that the latter, the not-so-perfect part, is the one that fills you with contentment, a genuine euphoria you want to touch, cuddle, put in a box and preserve forever. Your face hurts from smiling, and your heart flutters like a bird every time Alex appears (the aforementioned funny and gorgeous guy whom - of course - I pictured as Henry Cavill because apparently my mind is not capable of conjuring another man's face)
The tension, the attraction and the connection between Alex and Katie is tangible, and makes you giddy-borderline-ridiculous. The romantic element, though, is not this book's main focus. Throughout the story, the myth of the so-called perfect life is demolished, and an unexpected friendship blossoms between two women who are not so different after all. Demeter has her flaws, but there is so much more to her character, and the way Katie starts warming up to her, and understands that the real thing, the imperfect thing, is the most worthy is the whole book's essence.
“Every time you see someone's bright-and-shiny, remember: They have their own crappy truths too. Of course they do. And every time you see your own crappy truth and feel despair and think, 'Is this my life?', remember: It's not. Everyone's got a bright-and-shiny, even if it's hard to find sometimes.”
A tale of love and friendship, My Not So Perfect Life is chick-lit at its finest!