Surprise Me

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

I really liked the Shopaholic series, so I was excited to receive an ARC of this new book from Net Galley. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations. It was an easy and reasonably entertaining, but incredibly predictable. And where the Shopaholic protagonist was flawed, but likeable, I didn't find myself connecting with or rooting for any of the characters in this book.
Was this review helpful?
Surprise Me is a charming read. The story acts like it's going to be about one issue, but then turns out to be about a completely different issue. The main character, Slyvie, experiences much growth as a person. For me, she became more and more engrossing.  Another hit for Kinsella..
Was this review helpful?
Surprise Me! is a delight!  Sophie Kinsella has done it again!  She delivers a sweet take on the trials sometimes encountered in marriage in a fresh and heartfelt manner.  Expect to laugh, despair, and hope with Kinsella's Sylvie and Dan as they bring us on their adventure in keeping forever-love out of the mundane.
Was this review helpful?
This book was nothing like I expected. The first half reads like typical Sophie Kinsella novel - laugh-out-loud funny, endearing/charming main character, a bit over-the-top. The second half takes on a more serious tone and there is actually quite a lot of depth and character development in the main character of Sylvie. More so than in any of her other books to date. I've been a rabid fan of Sophie Kinsella's since the first Shopaholic book and while I haven't adored all her books equally, I have adored each of them. She's the pinnacle of humor and story telling that so many other chick lit authors, myself included, strive to reach. While she doesn't need to change a thing to keep her readers happy, it's even more impressive to me that she does it anyway. Based on this book and My Not So Perfect Life (WHICH I LOVED) before it,  I can truthfully say that I won't necessarily know what I'm getting when I read her next one. Except, of course, hilarious, charming, and brilliant storytelling.
Was this review helpful?
Don't let the initial ditzy airhead portrayal of Sylvie turn you off of reading this novel.   It is quite a surprisingly good novel!

When Dr. Bamford tells Dan & Sylvie that he expects they will have 68 more years together, their response is shock and terror at the thought of 'how can anyone expect to spend so much time with only one person'?

Longevity, loyalty and partnership prove to be prized promises as Sylvie discovers truths about her childhood, herself and Dan.  

Left me smiling and feeling very positive.
Was this review helpful?
I'm giving this book 3 stars. It wasn't awful, but it didn't grab me as much as I wanted it to. The beginning was interesting and funny, although the mishaps with the surprises were really predictable. The ending did a good job of tying things together, but the middle is where it lost me. I ended up skimming those chapters because they weren't holding my interest and I was determined to at least see how things ended. 

This was my first Sophie Kinsella book and I liked it enough to check out some of her other works. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
When I think of Sophie Kinsella’s books, I smile because she always creates such believable characters and places them in such wacky situations. Her books are comedies that make me laugh out loud. I love the way her main characters learn about themselves and about life and love in “I Love Lucy” quality comedy scenes that keep me laughing and turning the pages.

In her upcoming book, Surprise Me, Kinsella introduces us to Sylvie and Dan, who have a great marriage, beautiful twin girls, and enjoy their careers. But when a physical exam reveals that they are in great shape, so great that they can expect to spend the next sixty-eight years together, they panic. Sure, they’re in love. And they believe the whole “til death do us part” bit. But…what if death doesn’t come for another sixty-eight years? That’s another sixty-eight years together. Just the two of them. All the time. Another sixty-eight years of marriage. Should sound great, right? Well, sort of…

As Kinsella characters are wont to do, Sylvie gets an idea in her head that really seems brilliant. At first, that is. Sylvie decides that she and Dan can truly enjoy the next sixty-eight years together by mixing things up, by surprising each other to break up the everydayness of the many, many days they have ahead of them. But when exotic animals, strange garden sculptures, and exes come into play, Sylvie finds herself in a mess that she must find her way out of in order to save her marriage and her sanity.

I really enjoyed this book. There was a good mystery involved in it, which is something else I enjoy about Kinsella’s writing. She is good at weaving twists and laughs together to form an entertaining and intriguing read that keeps me turning the pages. I also really enjoyed the focus on relationships in this book. It’s not just the husband/wife relationship that gets attention in this story. But parent/ child is also touched on quite a bit as well as employer/ employee, neighbors, and friendships. All in all, I consider this a classic Kinsella read – humorous and heartfelt!
Was this review helpful?
This was one of my favorite Sophie Kinsella books, and I've read them all. What I liked about it is that I didn't feel like it was typical of her other books, and even "surprised me". I would definitely recommend this book to others!
Was this review helpful?
Sophie Kinsella is someone that I used to love reading. but I found this story to be boring.
Was this review helpful?
This ended up being a good book for those wanting a lighter read, with a little drama and emotional tugging in there. There were a few times I was worried about where it was headed, but I ended up happy with where it went and how it ended. There were some funny moments and likeable characters, with a small twist at the end. I was pretty sure I knew what that twist was, but it didn't affect my enjoyment of the book. Thank you to Random House for a chance to read an ARC of this book!
Was this review helpful?
Another great book from Sophie Kinsella.
Sylvie and Dan have been together for 10 years, and when they realise they could have another 68 years together they start to panic. Then Sylvie has the idea is what they need to do is surprise each other.
It is a great story of love, marriage and relationships.
Was this review helpful?
This is, without a doubt, one of Kinsella's best. A few months ago I read MY NOT SO PERFECT LIFE and I wasn't all that impressed with it. But SURPRISE ME was fresh, humorous, and just plain fun. I'm not one for slapstick humor but this had me giggling out loud. A great choice for fans of domestic fiction in general and Liane Moriarty in particular. 

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
WOW what a fabulous book. There was so much going on in this and what a wonderful array of different characters. It's the kind of story that makes you stop and think about what really matters. I laughed and I cried as it was full of emotion too.
Was this review helpful?
Yet another book knocked out of the park by Sophie Kinsella. Because I had been approved for and reviewed an eARC of My Not So Perfect Life last year, I got an e-mail from the publicist in charge of this book inviting me to grab a copy of this. Since Sophie Kinsella is one of my favorite authors, I obviously again jumped at the chance of getting my grubby paws on her book several months before it came out. As always, I was not disappointed.

As the story progressed, I found myself getting a bit annoyed at some of the seemingly random plot lines, and I thought that maybe this time she was going to go down the "boring fucking cliche" route (to steal a quote from the book...sort of) but as a long time reader of her work I should have known better. The seemingly random plots do come together and it definitely isn't a boring cliche story. I do think this is one of my top picks of her work because it dealt with a little less fluffy content matter than I expect from a Sophie Kinsella book, so I enjoyed that.

When this book comes out in February, I strongly suggest getting a copy and devouring it. You won't be disappointed!
Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the blurb I expected this to be a comedy of errors, a book about a couple looking to spice up their marriage by surprising each other. In a way, this is exactly what this book is about, the surprises that they come up with. But Sylvie and Dan’s story is more complicated than that, written in a way that is both evocative of the author Sophie Kinsella, but also with her other nom de plume, Madeline Wickham.

This is really a story about how Sylvie grows up. It’s told entirely from the perspective of Sylvie, and when we find her it doesn’t take the reader long to realize that she’s a bit naive. Perhaps some of it she owns, she’s been easily moulded by influences around her, Mummy, Mrs Kendrick, and especially her Father. But as the book progresses we see that two characters, Dan and her mother, have also contributed to the situation. They’ve underestimated her.

We watch Sylvie struggle and then eventually break through. She becomes the woman she’s been hinting at being. I wanted to clap and shout hurrah when it happened. It was brilliant to read.

It’s another amazing book by Sophie Kinsella. I’ve read most of her previous works, and they’ve made me laugh out loud and cry variously. This one, it can do both. It’s a beautifully told story, with amazing secondary characters as well as a frustratingly wonderful main character. I can’t recommend it enough, and I will be curious whether other people find it an interesting intersection between the two authors that are Sophie Kinsella.
Was this review helpful?
This book Surprise Me I wasn't sure if it was going to be exciting to read. It had a lot of intrigue but I was worried it wouldn't keep me wanting to keep flipping the page. Boy was I wrong this book had some many twist and turns in a good way. It keeps you guessing until the end. I give props to Dan and Sylvie and journey they take us on. I love how us the readers got to go on an incredible journey. You will definitely want to read this book and recommend you your friends!! I will!!
Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for my review.  I am a huge Sophie Kinsella fan so I was excited to read her latest book.  Sylvia and Dan are a perfect couple.  After a few years of marriage and twin daughters, they are still in love and can finish each other's sentences.  When a doctor tells them they are both in such good health they could be together for at least another 60+ years, they start to panic wondering how they could stay in love for that long.  This leads them to challenge each other to try to surprise each other to keep their relationship fresh.  At first the surprises are hilarious and sweet but then all the funny secrecy turns to suspicion and doubt.  There is so much more to this story than one might guess from a quick glance.  This was a really surprising novel!
Was this review helpful?
Surprise Me is another delightful Sophie Kinsella novel, this time a married chicklit novel instead of a hot mess single girl story. It’s quite hard to write this review, because if you like the sort of exaggerated characters and chicklit charm of her other novels, she’s done it again. And if not, well, skip it.

When Sylvie and her husband Dan are told they have decades of married life ahead of them, everything in their companionable relationship suddenly starts to feel stale and constricting. Or at least it does to Sylvie, who decides that they should try surprising each other to keep the excitement alive.

Actually, the surprise I want from my husband is that he actually put ALL the dishes in the dishwasher AND adds soap AND turns it on, but I guess some people like presents and whatever. Their surprises are fairly typical with sitcom-y results, but the cheery, gossipy writing style keeps pages turning.

The surprises start making other aspects of her life, like her mom’s endless jewelry-sales and MLM “parties” and Sylvie’s adorably old-fashioned fundraising job for an adorably old-fashioned historical home also require examining. Plus, there are some wild skeletons in the family closets. Everything works out in the end, with new job prospects and a renewed relationship, just as we expected. As always, the chatty style and quirky secondary characters are a delight.
Was this review helpful?
I have loved reading Sophie Kinsella's books in the past.  This book is different from her usual stories.  I could not relate to the heroine of this story.  She was too self absorbed & I could not relate to her character.  I ended up skipping the middle sections of this book.  I was ready to quit, when I read the other reviews & they said the book was better at the end.  I read the ending & it was definitely different than what I was expecting.  If you are  Sophie Kinsella fan then check the book out.
Was this review helpful?
Sylvie & Dan seem to have the perfect life twin girls great jobs but it's all about to unravel ..... Great characters - amusing story line in the usual great style of Sophie Kinsella,
Was this review helpful?