My Not So Perfect Life is the first novel by Sophie Kinsella that I’ve read that isn’t part of her Shopaholic series (unless you count one written under the name Madeleine Wickham, which I prefer not to). I enjoyed the first Shopaholic novel, Confessions of a Shopaholic, immensely but the series’ heroine, Becky, quickly became everything that Chick-Lit haters complain about the most in the genre – shallow, materialistic, ditzy, and prone to ridiculous antics. Fortunately, the heroine of My Not So Perfect Life, Katie Brenner, seems, even at her lowest points, more mature and self-aware than Becky.
That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t make plenty of mistakes on her journey to self-acceptance. In the beginning, Katie is trying to fit into her London life and workplace by pretending to be a different version of herself. Of course, she gets into some awkward situations – the trash sandwich scene was pretty rough – and she’s forced to accept that her London dreams may not be possible and returns to her family’s farm though her pride won’t let her tell them the exact circumstances of why. Which of course leads to more awkward moments and some humorous antics. Along the way, Katie (and Demeter) learn about being oneself, judging people too quickly, pride, and friendship. It is a bit of a girl power novel with a dash of romance. I loved Alex but the romance subplot seemed forced as did Katie’s triumphant return to London. It just seemed slapped together after the well-rounded first 3/4 of the book. That’s probably my own complaint. It was a fun summer read and a nice addition to the Chick-Lit genre.
If you enjoy My Not So Perfect Life, you may also like Copygirl by Anna Mitchael and Michelle Sassa