Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Book Club: Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

I used to love reading but I never seem to make time for it any more. I'm trying to make time for reading each day and get back into it, and to help with this I'm going to write about the books I read on my blog.

To kick this off, I should highlight that I'm not the biggest fan of many of Sophie Kinsella's books, but I find myself going back time and time again because they are so easy to read and predictable. You know what you're going to get with a Sophie Kinsella book - it will make you smile, it will be funny and it will have a happy ending.

The Plot

Sylvie and Dan are happily married, have two twin girls, the perfect marriage and are living the dream. That is until they have a health check up which reveals they are both super healthy and have another 68 years of marriage to look forward to. Good news to most people you'd think, but not to Sylvie and Dan. 68 years seems like a very long time and they begin to worry about how they can maintain a happy marriage for that long. Then Sylvie comes up with an idea - Project Surprise Me! They plan surprises for each other to keep their marriage alive and spice up their life, but a surprise isn't always a good one, and Project Surprise Me leads to uncovering secrets they never expected.

The Characters

The characters in many of Sophie Kinsella's books are often the reason I grow frustrated with them. I usually find myself rolling my eyes at how stupid they are, but Sylvie is different. Sophie Kinsella has portrayed her in a way that makes her relatable and just like your average girl, with much less stupidity. As soon as you start reading, you can't help but like Sylvie, and as she narrates the story, this is important.

I also really liked Tilda too. She is that sarcastic, honest friend that we all have. The friend that we can just be ourselves with, gossip with and have fun with. She is a side character but very much helps to make the story.

And Dan, well he's just your average guy isn't he? He's nothing super special, but he's a good, honest guy. How can you not like him?

Finally, Sylvie's dad. Despite the descriptions by both Sylvie and her mum about how much of an incredible human her dad was, I can't help but take a bit of a dislike to him. He comes across as very controlling from the beginning, but the book gives just enough away to leave you suspecting without confirming your thoughts.

Marriage and Surprises

"How long is til' death do us part anyway" 

This is a question that Sylvie asks following the health check, and it's quite a good question. When you get married, nobody really has a number of how long that will be. Of course, everybody hopes it will be a long time, but when you put a number as big as 68 on it, I guess it would be easy to wonder how you can still be excited about your marriage after all of those years. 

I actually love the idea of Project Surprise Me, but unlike Tilda, I love surprises. I think it's nice to do different things and surprise each other to make your marriage and life exciting. Project Surprise Me is forgotten about half way through the book which is a little disapppointing as I think it could have been a great storyline in itself. The project seemed to be the introduction to the big discovery only, wheras I would have liked to see where the surprises went. 

The surprises are good. They are unique and interesting, but also comically problematic. The way each surprise is portrayed makes you feel present in the moment and you can imagine each of these surprises and how they played out. I definitely think it would have been great for this avenue to be developed more. 

My Thoughts on the Storyline

I always begin a Sophie Kinsella book feeling a little skeptical, because although I mlike many of her books, there are also many I find hard to finishe because I either can't stand the character or the storyline is just too predictable. Surprise Me isn't half bad!

There are lots of storylines in the book and there are a few times that I feel the storyline is lost as she goes off on a tangent a little. I do feel some oportunities are missed in her book and some of the storylines feel a little unfinished, but generally, I like the plot.

One of my favourite things about a book is when the plot completely throws you off, which is why Liane Moriarty is one of my favourite authors. Surprise Me doesn't completely throw you off track, but there were some unexpected moments. For me, the biggest was the story about Sylvie's dad - I knew there was something off about him, but it wasn't what I expected and I liked that!

Star Rating 

Have you read Surprise Me? What did you think of it? 
If you have any great book recommendations, let me know!


  1. I've never read any Sophie Kinsella books, but I always see them everywhere. I like the idea of Project Surprise Me, I'd be keen to read what the surprises were. It is a shame the idea was forgotten half way through the book though, a whole book of surprises would have been really interesting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Nikki, great review <3 xx

    Bexa |

    1. Thanks Bexa, her books are very hit and miss for me. Sometimes they're great and other times awful. They always make for easy reading though. xx


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