Sophie Kinsella is one of my favourite authors when it comes to light reading. I am not too much of a fan when it comes to her Shopaholic series, but I have read almost all her stand-alone novels and loved them.
When Surprise Me was published, I knew I wanted to read it but it took me a while to get to it, because I was in the midst of making myself try all sorts of genre to expand my reading (I still am doing that). Finally, at the end of last year, after reading a few heavier books and abandoning a couple, I knew it was time to go back to an old favourite author. I needed something that I knew for sure I would enjoy, and that would be light.
And so, I turned to Sophie Kinsella.
The premise of the book sounded interesting enough:
Sylvie and Dan have been together for ten years. They’re happily married with beautiful twin girls, and they know each other so well they finish each other’s sentences. However, when a doctor share a theory that implies they will live another 68 years together, they freak out. How on earth would their marriage, and they themselves, survive another seven decades together? And so, they come up with a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting – create little surprises for each other so that their years together will never become boring. Predictably, as Project Surprise Me rolls on, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakeable bond.
As I started reading it, I began to feel a little disappointed. It didn’t seem to work for me, although I couldn’t really put a finger to it. Maybe it was because I was looking for a boy-meets-girl kind of love story instead of a couple who was trying to make marriage work? Maybe because Sylvie was a character that I somehow couldn’t relate to? Or maybe I just can’t understand their horror at living out their lives with the person they love?
I struggled to go through the first few chapters and several times I almost gave up. But, this was Sophie Kinsella’s book! I couldn’t accept that I didn’t like it. So, I pressed on.
And I am so glad I did.
Because halfway through the book, I began to be so engrossed in it. I started to relate to Sylvie, and I knew exactly what she meant and felt. The story kept me guessing — what is really going on??
In true Sophie Kinsella style, she managed to capture real life emotions and conversations. The scenes I was reading could very well be happening in front of me to people I know – that was how real it was to me.
Of course there were some exaggerated scenes and attempts at humour. I have laughed out loud at her other books before, but I didn’t really find this book very funny. I guess I enjoyed the more drama side of it.
There is a plot twist, and, although interesting enough, it wasn’t as satisfying as compared to, say, the twist in My Not So Perfect Life.
All in all, I still enjoyed Surprise Me and would recommend it to Sophie Kinsella fans as well as those who are looking for a light read with a little bit of substance.
Have you read it? Do share with me your thoughts!