****I always love hearing Carrie of Normal Level of Crazy‘s thoughts on the books we read! Her take on this month’s pick–and the one following it in May–is so fun! Gather ’round, friends, the My Not So Perfect Life Book Club meeting is starting!****
I’m going to be honest here, it is probably ridiculously unfair for me to write this review right now. While I enjoyed this month’s book pick, Sophie Kinsella’s My (Not So Perfect) Life, the book that came after (our next book club pick – see below) quite literally blew me away. It’s all I can think about. If I could hand it to each and every one of you personally, I would. That being said, I am going to try my best to give Sophie’s latest, quite adorable, book it’s due diligence.
My Not So Perfect Life Book Club chat:
Recently I was listening to a podcast (From the Front Porch) and they were discussing how, after reading some rather sad books (that they enjoyed, by the way) they sometimes needed a palate cleanser, if you will. These types of books are my palate cleansers. I read just about everything – nonfiction, heavy literature, smut books, YA, etc, and when I’m done reading something rather heavy (I’m guessing, say, after I read Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life or after I read Lilac Girls a few months ago), I find myself hitting up an Emily Giffin, Jojo Moyes, Liane Moriarty or, as in the case here, Sophie Kinsella.
While most people know Sophie from the Shopaholic series, I’ve actually never read them (gasp!). I did, however, read Remember Me? and absolutely adored it. Those sunflowers killed me!
Anyway, I was excited when Meredith mentioned reading one of Sophie’s books. I figured it would be fun and witty and insightful, albeit on the hokey side. And that’s just what I got. It is a perfect “palate cleanser” book! Maybe “beach read” is a better way to put it? You get the point.
Katie Brenner, the main character, was not always my favorite, but I did grow to like her. Maybe it’s because I’m 42 and I could give two craps anymore what people think of me (one of the amazing perks of getting older), but I thought it was a little ridiculous that she was trying so hard to be someone she wasn’t – down to her own voice. But maybe I’ve been out of the twenty-something loop for too long and this actually was relatable?
What did you all think about Katie’s attempt to erase and/or hide her background?
Demeter, Katie’s boss, felt a little like Meryl Streep’s character from The Devil Wears Prada but much more scatterbrained. She was an interesting character to follow and I felt the revelations at the end of the book really transformed her character. Honestly, I liked her.
Thoughts on Demeter? Too stereotypical? Too ridiculous to believe? Would anyone have ever fallen for that nature walk Katie subjected her to?
My favorite parts of the book were when Katie was back home and then of course when Demeter shows up. Although Katie being mistaken for a homeless person comes in at a close second. On a side note, I actually really want to go to Ansters Farm!! It sounded amazing and I found myself googling places my husband and I could go to similar to this.
Would anyone have ever fallen for that nature walk Katie subjected Demeter to? Would Demeter REALLY not recognized her? And, more importantly, have you ever been glamping???
I thought the love interest part (Alex) was pretty small and not overly interesting. I always like a book with a little bit of romance, but I had a take or leave it attitude about this one.
What were your thoughts on Alex?
Overall, I’d give the book a 3 out 5 stars. It was a fun and amusing read, and actually had a half way decent message. As long as you don’t take things too seriously, I think you’d enjoy it.
So, I don’t know if you remember from a couple paragraphs ago, but I am IN LOVE with our next book club pick. I have posted it all over social media, harassed family members to read it, and am seriously considering emailing the author just to gush. If you read no other book this year, pick up this one.
by Laurie Frankel
Amazon’s description (which doesn’t do it justice!):
This is how a family keeps a secret…and how that secret ends up keeping them.
This is how a family lives happily ever after…until happily ever after becomes complicated.
This is how children change…and then change the world.
This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess.
When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.
Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.
Laurie Frankel’s This Is How It Always Is is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it’s about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again, parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts, children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don’t get to keep them forever.
As always, we are giving away a copy to one of our readers here. Enter by leaving a comment on this blog post or Meredith’s Mom of the Year blog before 4/14/17 at 5:30am EST. As long as you are 18 or older and live in the continental United States, you are eligible to win.
Thanks for joining us for our My Not So Perfect Life book club, and happy reading, friends!
***Thank you to Flatiron Books for providing copies of This Is How It Always Is for review and giveaway! Our rave review is 100% genuine!****