Book Title: Surprise Me
Author: Sophie Kinsella
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Genres: Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance
Pub Date: 02/13/18
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.
Love is finding one person infinitely fascinating. And so… not an achievement, my dear. Rather, a privilege.
Hi, long time Sophie Kinsella/Madeleine Wickam fan here. I’ve been reading her books for close to a decade now; they are just the right amounts of tender cheese (and that’s a good thing so don’t knock it) to insert between my gritty crime novels and psychological thrillers. I know many readers hate on the light and fluffy crowd, but I say why can’t we read something simply for all the feels? There’s no shame in my game and I’ll heartily embrace a pleasure read when I feel like it. While I was a bit wary going into this one after last year’s My Not So Perfect Life, I should have known from the blurb alone that this was going to be the book for me. Sophie, you came through and for that, we thank you!
One of the first things I noticed was how eerily similar my own marriage is to that of our main characters’ *insert Sylvie and Dan*. No, Mr. Humphrey and I don’t finish each other’s every waking thought, but we are of roughly the same age and we have also been married for 7 years (8 next month!) and have a “dating” anniversary of almost 10 years. How’s THAT for creepy? (It’s creepy because those are the exact statistics of our couple in the book; obviously you wouldn’t know this yet DUH CHELSEA!) Maybe this set up made it possible for me to get lost in the book, but at 450+ pages (which is neither a light nor fluffy count last I checked) I was expecting a struggle. I couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough, and I found myself giggling and gasping right along with Sylvie. I didn’t even care that the story wasn’t wholly realistic or plausible; I had to know what would happen dang it!
Also, for a light and fluffy, this had a substantial ending. I wasn’t expecting the story to take its unpredictable turn, and this really impressed me. I feel that most women’s fiction novels containing this scenario have a handful of options on how to end the book, and this wasn’t one of those standard filler conclusions. I guess what I’m trying to say is, this was a fluffy with some substance. This is the type of “guilty pleasure” book that you can read and drop the guilt. Although, why people expect us to feel guilty about any genre we choose to read I’ll never understand. I’m surprised at how connected I feel with the characters, as I’m still reminiscing about the story and feel a little blue about having to leave them behind and move on to something else. Recommended with gusto to those looking for a romantic read that’s soft, moving, and hilarious.
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy.