Surprise Me // by Sophie Kinsella
Genre: Adult, Chick Lit
Release Date: February 2018
My Rating: 3 Stars
**Note: I received a free copy of this title from the people at NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Basic Plot: When Sylvie and Dan find out that (medically speaking) they’re going to live into their 100s, they begin to worry about what that will mean for their marriage. In order to combat what they fear will be a life-sentence of boredom, Sylvie comes up with a game where they each try to outdo one another with surprises. But surprises have potential to bring dark secrets into the open…
1) The story is told through first-person narration (the voice of Sylvie). Sophie Kinsella tends to do this quite well and I felt Sylvie comes across as very sympathetic.
2) I love Sylvie’s workplace at the historical society! I love the quirkiness of her boss, and even the nephew who comes in to upset the balance of things. (I’m still not quite sure, though, why she doesn’t want to stay on with them by the end of the book. Why?! This didn’t make sense to me.)
3) Sylvie definitely grows up during the course of the story. She’s so proud of how she and Dan finish each other’s sentences. (Yes, they’re that couple!) But the book is about how she matures. As a person. And I love how this is symbolized by her long “princess hair”.
4) I loved the friendship Sylvie has with her neighbour, Tilda. There was a nice mentor-thing going on there. Tilda warns Sylvie about the whole “Surprise Me” idea. And she’s right. But she doesn’t rub it in when so many of the surprises turn out badly… (Many are quite relate-able, like the one involving the lunch with Claire.)
5) The secrets and surprises revealed in the book definitely keep us reading. I had my suspicions about a few things. Although, there were some twists I didn’t predict.
WHAT’S NOT COOL…
1) I didn’t understand why Dan and Sylvie keep freaking out about 68 years of marriage. As if the doctor is a fortune teller or something. Why are they worried that they’ll become bored with each other?
2) I didn’t understand the apparent need of the subplot regarding the other neighbour, John. It seemed unnecessary to the story. Like it was thrown in because “you have to have a gay couple in the book.” Why??
3) Warning about the foul language. This is one thing I hate about these types of books. It’s no better/worse than in other Sophie Kinsella books (although, for some reason, I don’t remember this from the Shopaholic books). I just glaze over these words.
My rating is 3 Stars (out of 5) – Overall, this book is a fun and engaging read. It has some delightful moments. But it also touches on the real need for communication in relationships.