Surprise Me

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

Kinsella's books always have a good line of humor and entertainment in them.  This book had several laughable points, as Sylvie and Dan realize just how many years their "forever" marriage may entail.  It took me a little bit longer than expected to settle in to the characters and the story line, but then it was a quick read after that.  There are a few serious moments but the overall wit and humor shines through.
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What can I say, but I am and have been a huge Sophie Kinsella fan ever since her early days of penning Confessions of A Shopaholic.   So, I cannot thank NetGalley and The Dial Press for offering me an ARC of this newest novel, by Sophie Kinsella.

While none of Kinsella’s books are earth shattering in nature by any means. All have always been enjoyable and light, but fun reads for me. This latest edition was truly all of the above and than some. Here we were introduced to Sylvie and Dan. The two are seemingly happily married couple. But when a routine doctor’s appointment finds them being told that they will live for another 68 years, both are shell shocked to say the least. 

What ensues are the two of them getting freaked out and this causes them to try to create more surprises in their marriage. This in turn causes some strive and mishaps. Plus, old secrets come to light. The secrets exposed were definitely a surprise to me. Also this, then , leads the two to question their happy marriage.  How the two deal with these new developments and more is where the book really takes off. Plus, the ending is one that I would highly recommend seeing through to as it was well worth the payoff. - originally found on my Goodreads account
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This was such a turn- around from the books I have read by Kinsella previously,.  Highly entertaining with a lovely twist.  She is always a joy to read
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Enjoyable, amusing romantic storyline.
It's perfect for a cold rainy day!
Surprise Me is a great 4 Star read.
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What a great and inspiring story. I thought I knew where this was going, but it was so much better than I anticipated. Loved it. And how refreshing to focus on current love affairs.
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Who doesn't love Sophie Kinsella?! Although the premise of taking a perfectly happy marriage and turning it on its ear is a  little silly and whimsical, it works . I always enjoy her lighthearted humor and earnestness, and can always count on a reasonably happy and thoughtful ending. Her characters are likable and easy to root for. Thanks for another great book!
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Sylvie and Dan are happy in their life and marriage until they discover that based on longevity models they have 68 more year of marriage. This makes them reevaluate their lives and decide to surprise each other and that does not go as planned. Plus now Sylvie is suspicious of everything Dan does. Will the surprises be too much for them? Love and marriage and trust are explored in this story of life. I love Sophie Kinsella and this book did not disappoint.
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I always enjoy Sophie Kinsella's writing, so it was no surprise that I really enjoyed Surprise Me when I was given it to preview in exchange for a review. Sylvia and Dan have been together for ten years when a chance comment makes them both very aware of just how long forever is. Sometimes we feel that we know our loved ones so well that there are no more surprises, but in this emotionally charged story Sylvia discovers just how many surprises are still there. I was pulling for them through the whole book as they learn more about each other. Funny, sad, happy...all emotions covered, yes, I recommend this one.
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Sophie Kinsella does it again.  She is one of the best!
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This was one of those situations where you just KNEW that a brilliant plan was going to go south. WAY south. You hoped not, but relationships being what they are, nothing can be planned without expecting some turbulence along the way. The entire plot seems too fantastic, but it’s highly probable. I mean, the mind meanderings of Sylvie could be a more hilarious version of mine. Some of the surprises that went awry were absolutely hilarious and utterly thought provoking. Saw the climax coming, but loved it nonetheless, Great new book. All I can say is, I would love a best friend like Tilda.
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"Surprise Me" was not the typical Sophie Kinsella novel. Where I've come to expect a romantic comedy, this book was a departure in terms of style. I often find myself laughing out loud at the characters and situations in Kinsella's books, but this one carried a lot more gravitas. Sylvie and Dan begin the book by celebrating a decade together. When they visit the doctor for their physicals, they find out they are in top-notch shape and likely have 68 more years together. 68 feels like an awfully long time, and terrified of losing the spark to their relationship, they eventually begin Sylvie's idea of Project Surprise Me, where they plan little surprises for each other. Each surprise seems to go awry and their marriage appears to be crumbling. The book catalogs their journey to Sylvie finding herself and exploring her marriage to Dan.

We follow Sylvie's life pretty closely, as she navigates changes at her work and personal life (particularly her relationship with her parents). Her work was particularly interesting, as she works for an older, quirky lady at a museum in fundraising. For example, their website is just a sketch of the museum saying to inquire by writing. The nephew of the owner arrives and casts shadows over all their odd behaviors, trying to drag them into the 21st century. The highest intensity in the book is Sylvie's relationships with her parents (whom she calls Mummy and Daddy still), which is not yet that of an adult child relating to her parents/has remained in the stages of infancy. Her father died previously, but Sylvie still worships him and believes that all Dan's hang-ups are just because her father was so great/powerful/wealthy. 

In some ways, Sylvie has a lot of growing up to do and really needs to find herself more than work on her marriage. The book follows these paths slowly, as we slowly get tidbits of everything and then a wave of all the behind-the-scenes explanations towards the end. I wish these revelations had come earlier, so we could see more of the coming-to-terms with everything part of the story rather than the long build-up/misunderstandings. Sylvie and Dan's marriage is pretty rough from the get-go- although they seem like a great couple, you learn quickly that they do not talk about much of importance, and this puts a huge strain on their marriage. Communication is really key, as we observe and they come to learn. I don't want to say too much, but I think this is really the theme of the book and becomes readily apparent from the start (so isn't giving away anything- all their conversations are a bit stilted and superficial).

I absolutely love the quote from a neighbor in the book, "Love is finding one person infinitely fascinating." There are some beautiful sentiments in the book about love and relationships, but it is certainly not a light-hearted or comedic book. This has a lot of gravitas and deals with some serious potential issues (for example, infidelity is touched upon as a topic which may make some readers rather stay away and also questionable consent). I am not sure if I would have picked up this book if I knew about the emotional roller coaster I would be entering, but I did still like it overall. I am not sure if I will read it again (as I usually do with Kinsella's books), mainly because of the overall tone of the book/difficult themes within. 

The ending was fantastic, I will say, and is reminiscent of other Kinsella books, so if you can stick it out to the end, you will definitely see her hand there. The characterizations are also classically Kinsella, and I loved the side characters featured in this book also. Overall, I think it was a good read, although not what I was expecting.

Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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I love Sophie Kinsella's books, and this is a fun edition to her oeuvre. While it is at times classic Kinsella, which could make it predictable for readers of her books, there were some moments that did indeed SURPRISE ME. Her characters cover new ground (e.g., how to keep a longterm relationship alive and stay in love, as opposed to problems revolving around falling in love in some of her other books). Enjoyable, light but with enough heart to make me stick around and be glad I read it.
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I enjoy Sophie Kinsella's books enormously. So I was surprised when I had trouble with what seemed to be the premise of the book. I was mistaken. I had no problem. I laughed. I cried. And it has a happy ending!
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Format: ebook
Tissue warning: no
HEA: yes? maybe? I feel unresolved a little.
Triggers: no
Narrative: First person, following Sylvie
My reviewer rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Recommend read: Yes. Just because it's not my cup of tea doesn't mean it's bad.
Published: February 13, 2018

I thank you, Netgalley and the publisher, for this free e-copy of Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella in exchange for my honest-to-goodness review.

First of all (oh no! a list! It's in the book too, over and over, so get used to it) I love me some Sophie Kinsella. I usually have no qualms about dropping the $$ through my Kindle to get my next light and quirky Kinsella novel. So, naturally, I was up for Surprise Me as well. Well, surprised I was.

Secondly, I am an angst and drama feign. I kind of am not truly satisfied unless one of those parameters is met. Hence the 2.5 star rating.

Surprise Me is not really what I was expecting. I'll just say, for me, that it lacked something deeper. I was thrown with the deal with Sylvie's father. I was bored with Sylvie and Dan's relationship. I felt that they were being ridiculous with their "time left". At first it seemed a cute idea to have a plan on what to do every decade or year or whathaveyou, but it started to read like a chore to them. 
Sophie did do a good job with the twist. I was beginning to have fears the same as Sylvie, but Ms. Kinsella drew that storyline in a different direction, which just left me thrown. It didn't fit to me, but I guess that's what makes things more realistic sometimes, yea?

I'm going to have to come back and edit this review once I get it all sorted in my head. Right now, I just finished last night before bed, and I'm still trying to figure out my feelings.
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I've read most of Ms. Kinsella's books, and I am finding them very formulaic. I am very tired of female protagonists   who become hysterical when they meet with difficulties - real and imagined. Her heroines have the tendency to go off the deep end a little too often for my taste.
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I've been a fan of Sophie Kinsella for years. Her last few books, however, have been a bit difficult for me. I haven't found them to be quite as engaging as older ones. I found her latest to be confusing to follow at times. I wasn't always sure what the point was, as it had a number of scenes/details which could have been eliminated, thus tightening things up a bit. It did contain some of Kinsella's signature humor, which was nice.

 received a complimentary copy from NetGalley/publisher, but I wasn't required to leave a positive review..
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I love everything by Sophie Kinsella, and I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to review her new book.  While Surprise Me had the lovable characters and happy endings that Kinsella's books are known for, this novel seemed just a tad bit less humorous.  There were parts that really seemed to drag, and I found myself skimming the pages more than once.  Kinsella is really good at dealing with heavy topics in a light manner that leave you laughing out loud.  I liked that this book dealt with all the stresses of monogamy, but I would have loved a few more laughs!

I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
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I love Ms. Kinsella's work and reliably read everything she publishes.  Unfortuantely, I think this book falls short of the usual humor and hijinks I prefer.  I found the 'surprise' a strange payoff and wondered why anyone would go to the lengths in the novel to protect a character.  While certainly my personal opinion, I also abhor the use of 'Mummy' and 'Daddy' for characters to refer to adults parents.  While I will continue to read Ms. Kinsella's work, I found myself mostly skimming to the end of 'Surprise Me.'
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I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of Surprise Me and this is my honest opinion.
Sylvia and Dan have been married for 10 years, they have beautiful twin daughters and fulfilling careers. A visit to the Doctor for a health check shocks them when he tells them they have at least 68years left to live and be together.shocked they wonder how they will cope with dealing with each other over such a long time, worrying about being bored etc.
So starts Surprise me, Sylvia decides if they keep Surprising each other it will stop the marriage from going stale. As each surprise occurs things don't quite go to plan leading to many laugh out loud moments for the reader.
Sylvia then begins to become suspicious of Dans behaviour, thinking he is having an affair, and overhears parts of a conversation Dan has with her mother which increase her suspicions.
As usual Sophie Kinsella has written an extremely enjoyable book, though I must admit at the start I thought it started rather differently to her previous books and wondered if I would enjoy it as much, more fool me, I should of had more faith, another complete winner.
My thanks to net galley and publisher Random house for the opportunity to review this book.
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