Surprise Me

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

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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I am a fan of Sophie Kinsella, specifically The Shopaholic Series, so I was excited to read this book.  I really like how the couple was taken aback by the news they received from their doctor and how they went about trying to keep things in their marriage fresh.  I felt like the story veered in a whole other direction at the end though, kind of like it was two stories in one book.  Otherwise, it was an interesting book and I would recommend it to all women’s fiction lovers.
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Surprise Me is a standalone novel written by the fabulous Sophie Kinsella. As I began this book, I noticed a few separate plotlines that didn't seem to blend together very well at all and I had the initial feeling that Ms. Kinsella didn't quite know where she wanted to go with the overall story. I found it distracting and a bit confusing to be honest, but please rest assured that all these pieces fit together flawlessly later on. It does take a while but the end result is a lovely message about loyalty, appreciation, and partnership within a marriage and embracing the future, challenges and all, instead of stunting your growth by living in the past. Surprise Me contains a bit of mysterious/emotional suspense, a few jaw-dropping revelations, family drama, both lighthearted and deep perspectives on marriage, and Kinsella's classic humor and shenanigans. 

Looking back on the experience as a whole, I very much enjoyed Surprise Me. I always end up laughing and broadening my way of thinking when reading this author. Thank you Sophie Kinsella for surprising me! with the depth and substance you added to this story. Check it out!
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Thanks to Netgalley for advanced copy of this book. Unfortunately, I did not care for this book at all. I am a die hard Kinsella fan, and couldn't wait to read this. However, it fell flat.I did not feel the premise of "68 more years together" was interesting or realistic. I don't think it was even that out of ordinary, if we live long enough we could all be married for almost that amount of time.  I felt it had potential when they began trying to improve their marriage, but that was not enough to save this book for me. The plot with the all wondrous father felt immature and silly. The mother just drove me crazy. Both mother and daughter completely juvenile. The husband, Dan,  had no personality. I was not surprised when Sylvie thought he was cheating on her because it was strange he had a relationship with the old flame. However, when we found out he was not cheating, I didn't find myself relieved for Sylvie. She brought most of this on herself. Overall, I did not feel I was reading a typical Kinsella book, and found myself disappointed after a few chapters, with no change through the entire book. With that said, I will continue to read her books because I will not let this book mar my feelings of an amazing author.
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3 stars. An ok book.I really don't understand what's happening with Sophie Kinsella as the years go on. I wait eagerly each year for a new book and they just seem to get more silly and show less of the awesome writing I previously adored. Firstly, what's up with the premise of the book? Just didn't seem to be much effort put into thinking up something clever. Not only was it somewhat bizarre (main characters go for a medical and get told they will live to a ridiculously old age?!), it just wasn't an exciting idea for a novel. And personally I wouldn't be freaked out if someone told me I'd have a long life with my husband! I'd be over the moon- especially when I think about how fast life seems to pass on by. 

There are so many aspects of Sophie Kinsella's writing that I adore (quite fast moving without excessive descriptions, humour added etc). And this book did have a lot of these aspects but a certain something just seemed to be missing. It was a little more serious compared to her other stories but I feel any kind of important message was lost due to the annoying characters (mostly Sylvie and her "mummy"). I really loved Tilda and Toby though and thought they were more like the characters I'm used to in past novels. 

Thanks kindly to Netgalley, publisher and author for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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I can always count on Sophie Kinsella for an entertaining read, but this one was a little more serious in subject matter, and I still thoroughly enjoyed it.  Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
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Sylvie and Dan seem to have a fairly idyllic life - they have been happily married for 7 years, have twin girls, jobs they both love, and the type of marriage where they can finish one another's sentences. But a physical shakes both of them up when the doctor examining them casually mentions that between their healthy lifestyles and the advances in medicine, they probably have another 68 years of marriage ahead of them. Sylvie decides what they really need is to reintroduce some surprises to their marriage - after all, how can you keep things fresh when you can practically read your spouse's mind? - so she initiates Project Surprise Me.  Soon she and Dan are springing little surprises on one another - between the surprises that seem to keep going wrong, unexpected shakeups at her work, and Dan's resentment of Sylvie's recently deceased father, Sylvie begins to wonder if their marriage will survive. 

Surprise Me is a sweet and heartwarming tale of being awakened to the imperfections in those we care most about, how far we'll go for love, and appreciating the things we take for granted before they are gone. Fans of Sophie Kinsella will find a winner in this story.
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It was a nice easy read, bit silly, bit fun. Not as good as some of Sophie Kinsella’s but ok.
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I'm so glad I received an ARC from the publishers via netgalley. That doesn't effect my opinion in any way. 


I've been a fan of Sophie Kinsella for years and I was super excited to see she had a new book coming out! At first I had a really hard time connecting to the book and the characters, Sylvie and Dan. After being told they're healthy at a check up and they may have sixty eight more years together they panic. My husband personally is my best friend and I love spending time with him. I'd love to have that time. When I mentioned it to him he felt the same. So I was a little iffy at that point. And with the initial surprises they do to keep it interesting. 

But as the surprises went on and the twists came in I definitely became more interested and invested. I tried to guess ahead at the ending but I was surprised with what eventually became the "twist". I started to like Sylvie more and really enjoy the book. 

Four out of five stars for the rocky start for me!
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Add this one to your To-Read list because you are going to love it. Sophie Kinsella’s new book, Surprise Me, is exactly what you expect from this author, a funny, endearing main character plus some good intentions that of course, go awry.  I read this one quickly, its very cute and fun and the perfect escape for a few hours.

After ten years together, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, and beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly they finish each other’s sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it’s casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years . . . and panic sets in. 
            
They decide to bring surprises into their marriage to keep it fresh and fun. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me—from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to sexy photo shoots—mishaps arise, with disastrous and comical results. Gradually, surprises turn to shocking truths. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.

Sophie is such a skilled writer, drawing readers into the story and keeping us intrigued with how things are going to play out. Fans of women’s fiction will love Surprise Me.
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What to say about this book?

Despite giving it 2 stars, I can say that there were a few things I did like. I do enjoy the way Kinsella writes as she avoids that trap of giving way too many details, making the story overly boring and long for no reason. She also has a way with dialogue and always infuses some humor in her books.

My problems with this book are twofold - 1) the premise is absolutely ridiculous - so ridiculous that I can't even suspend my disbelief. 68 years together OMG???? because you will live to be super old - yup, pretty silly. 2) I hated the Sylvie and the mother characters so much that I wanted to scream. They both had the mental capacity of 15 year olds and neither had one redeeming feature. Also, Sylvie was soooo whiny and it was constant!

Also, while I realize that characters who cannot speak up for themselves are a great way to propel a story forward, they are also a great way to piss off your readers. Between Dan, Sylvie and her mother - absolutely NONE of them EVER opened their mouths to speak up for themselves nor did they open their mouths to ask basic questions or to share how they felt about anything. The result? a bunch of silly plot lines with weak characters who just let everything go, even if it meant confusion, misunderstandings and pain. I hated that part so much.

Please Sophie Kinsella, can you write a book with humor AND smart characters AND smart plotlines? It seems as though you cannot do all 3 at the same time and that is such a shame.
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Thank you to NetGalley, Sophie Kinsella, and Random House for the chance to read the ARC of Surprise Me.

I would like to start off by saying that I love Sophie Kinsella's novels. I've read every last one of them, including Madeleine Wickham novels. I have enjoyed all of them. 

This novel was problematic for me. It was well written, the plot was planned perfectly, but I was anxious and agitated the entire time I was reading. Sounds like a personal problem, I know. I read this novel in one shot because I HAD to know how it ended. I HAD to be appeased. Is that a good thing? Absolutely. It keeps readers invested. Even though I was satisfied with how the novel ended, I was still not happy with how it got there. I felt angry at characters. Upset with them. But hey, as I said, it sounds like a personal problem ;) It made me feel things, and that's also something that a good writer does. 

I would absolutely recommend this novel to fans of Ms Kinsella's books, or books of the same style or genre.
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