Surprise Me

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

Great tale of how “until death do us part” can bring on a while different thought process. Great read with lively and lovely characters.
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Sophie’s books are always a joy to read and this is no exception. This book covers a lot of different topics from previous works, whilst also maintaining the lighter tones and laugh out loud comedy moments we’ve all learnt to love over the years. The words are well crafted and come to life on the page so vividly you’ll feel instantly connected to Sylvie and love seeing how her story plays out.
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I was favored with an advance copy of this novel through Netgalley. How would you feel if someone told you that you had 68 more years of marriage left? Dan and Sylvie didn’t take it so well because it sounded like a very long time to them. They already correctly predicted what the other would order at a restaurant. So they decided to surprise each other which went all kinds of awry. But as other parts of their lives, work at the museum for Sylvie and family obligations for Dan, took over, the surprises got put on the back burner. Or did they?

This is a delightful take on marriage and family. Sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and other times poignant and sad. But it’s also a learning experience for the married characters and for the reader should they choose to follow the subtle advice given by the author. I think everyone should read this book.
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Sophie Kinsella's latest book is here and once again, she does not disappoint! 

Sylvie and Dan have it all - two beautiful daughters, jobs they love, a nice home, and a marriage that others would be jealous of. They know each other so well that they don't even have to finish each other's sentences to be sure they know what the other is going to say. But when a routine medical visit gives them the news that they are both going to live such healthy and long lives that they can look forward to another 68 years together, they are thrown for a loop. 

It's not that they don't look forward to spending that time together but when they truly think about it, they wonder just how they're going to keep all the romance and bliss alive. I mean, if they are already in such a routine, how will they keep the next six decades from being boring? So they come up with a plan, starting immediately, to put some oomph back into their lives. It's simple really, they just have to come up with wonderful little surprises they can do for each other on a regular basis.

But what starts out as a great idea turns out not to be so easy after all. Mishap after mishap falls upon them as they try to surprise each other but can't seem to get anything right without the others involvement. And with big changes happening at her job, Sylvie finds herself overwhelmed. And when the biggest bombshell that could ever happen hits her family, Sylvie isn't sure if their marriage is going to make it through the next few weeks, let alone 68 years.

Sophie Kinsella needs no introduction. If you haven't read any of her books, I question where you have been and what you have been doing. She's figured out the formula for writing fabulous and fun books without them ever feeling formulaic. I always look forward to her newest book and am so rarely disappointed (I just pretend that the last few books of the Shopaholic series didn't happen.) And this book takes its rightful place among her best work.

This book had a much deeper feel for me than her past books. For me, it was a much more touching book and the characters and overall tone of the book felt more mature. But there's no need to worry because her trademark wit is still there and there are just as much fun and hijinks. This was a quick, light, weekend read for me and is the book that broke me out of my weeks-long reading slump, something I can always count on Kinsella do. This book is another gem.
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hank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I must start off by saying I was really surprised and thrilled to be approved for this title. Sophie Kinsella is one of my favourite authors and I have read all of her books and have never been disappointed. This book was no different and was fantastic!

This book features a couple - Sylvie and Dan. They are happily married with twin girls. Their marriage seems unshakeable until they visit a doctor who pronounces that they are extremely healthy and will have at least another 68 years together. This sets them in a panic. The thoughts and ideas they came up were absolutely hilarious. I laughed aloud at some of their antics. Then there were moments which just made me feel warm inside. This is the thing about Sophie Kinsella's books, they are funny but not fluffy. I always feel like I can relate to the characters and feel really sad when the book ends. I was also in a bit of a rut and this book cheered me up immensely. If you want a feel-good book that will make you laugh, then this is the one for you.

This is a winner as usual. Well done to Sophie Kinsella and the publishers.
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Thank you to Netgalley anfpd the publisher for this ARC. I’m a long time fan of Sophie Kinsella.  I love the Shopaholic series and Can you keep a secret is an all time fav. I’ve enjoyed Ms. Kinsellas recent books, Twenties Girl and My not so perfect life, but not as much as her earlier writing. Surprise Me has brought me back to once again flying through a book because it’s so great. Sylvie and Dan are great and I really enjoyed the story of the happily married couple with children, yet a wonderfully chaotic life,  It was finally a Kinsella book I could relate to.
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I enjoy Kinsella’s fun chick lit but I found this to be very slim.  The start of the book lingers far too long on a remark made by a physician about potential longevity. We then learn about the ridiculous ways Sylvia tries to spice up her marriage. 

Another thin plot is how Sylvie is able to modernize and monetize her job in a little known museum.  We meet the kind of male who usually is attracted to the Kinsella heroine, but that plot is also dropped.  The meat of this book lies in the suspicions that Sylvie’s Husband Dan is having an affair.  It is repetitive and unrealistic and ends with the discovery that her idolized father was involved in a rather sordid relationship. 

A very disappointing turn from the usually fun Kinsella.
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Surprise Me: A Novel by [Kinsella, Sophie]

Kinsella is my favorite mind-candy read next to Liane Moriarty. This book was great fun.

Review copy provided by publisher.
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Thank you to Netgalley, Random House Publishing and Sophie Kinsella for my ARC of Surprise Me. I’m always grateful for any ARCs which come my way but particularly so when it’s an author that I already love. I’ve been a huge fan of Sophie’s books since I first read Confessions of a Shopaholic and I love her Madeleine Wickham books too. Surprise Me was just as much a treat as her other books, funny, witty, honest and in places bittersweet. 

Sylvie and Dan have been together for 10 years, they have 2 beautiful daughters and jobs they enjoy, they’re so close they finish each other’s sentences and know exactly what the other one is thinking. But then a routine visit to the doctors gives them a shock. With the record of good health in their families they are likely to live for another 68 years. Suddenly, the idea of being married for another 68 years doesn’t seem that appealing and for the first time in their lives together Sylvie and dan start having ‘problems.’ 


The story that follows is equal parts funny and sad as in order to keep their marriage alive Sylvie and Dan try to surprise each other with several failed attempts! If it could go wrong, then it somehow does. 

I loved the characters in the book and the battle Sylvie has with herself as she tries to find herself among the perceptions other people have of her. The storyline is sad in places and despite quite a big build up I didn’t figure out what was about to go wrong. I really enjoyed Surprise Me and look forward to its release!
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I always enjoy reading Sophie Kinsella books and was delighted to receive an advanced copy of Surprise Me. I really enjoyed this book about marriage, trust and family. I liked the characters especially Sylvie and her twin daughters. There were quite a few laugh out loud moments. A feel good book that will make you smile. I would like to thank NetGalley and Random House Publishing for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I love Sophie Kinsella! She is truly a sure thing in my book so I was beyond excited when I saw Surprise Me on Netgalley…I was like hells yeah! The moment I was approved for this book I dove right in and didn’t stop until the very last word!
Sylvie and Dan have been together for ten years and they made their life very comfortable. They have amazing jobs, amazing twins and an amazing relationship. They believe that their marriage is perfect…..all was amazing until they both realize they are together ….for….the….rest…of….their…lives!
So they decide to bring back the spark and execute “surprise me”. I loved this concept! They start sending steamy photos to each other, unexpected restaurant dates but then some surprises turned into secrets and a scandal that makes them question their future! 
 
Surprise me was amazing! I really enjoyed this humorous yet serious book! Sophie knows how to fill her pages with every emotion! That is what I love about her stories! They are life with ups and downs, laughter and tears and best endings EVER!!
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Sophie Kinsella is a master storyteller known for multiple laugh out loud women's fiction stories. She continues this tradition with her new novel, Surprise Me. This time her story takes a more serious note as she dives into the concept of marriage. Although humor still abounds, I found Surprise Me to be a deeper social commentary on contemporary relationships. Even though this novel features adult characters, it is never the less, a coming of age story. I loved reading about protagonist Sylvie's journey of personal and interpersonal discovery.
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This didn't finish up at ALL like I had thought it would....it truly was a surprise!  In true Sophie Kinsella fashion, however, you'll find yourself spiraling through a range of emotions along with the protagonist.  Her books are very real-life, the characters are easy to relate to, and the storylines are interesting.  All I'll say about the ending is, you'll think you know it, but you don't.
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After ten years of marriage, a trip to the doctor has sent Sylvie and Dan into a panic when they find out they could potentially be married for another 68 years. Upon hearing this, the couple devise a plan to keep their relationship fresh, and call it Project Surprise Me. They decide to surprise each other in little ways. Soon, the project is in full swing, and they start to realize they might not know each other as well as they originally thought. It was refreshing to read a romance novel about a couple who has already established their relationship.
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Surprise Me
Sophie Kinsella
Available: February 13, 2018
Thank you to NetGalley.com for the opportunity to read an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
While I have yet to meet a Sophie Kinsella book that I have not lked, I kind of scratched my head with this one a few times.  Maybe it’s because my own father passed away when I was 13 so I never placed him at hero status in my mind and compared all men to him.  Maybe it’s because I was never coddled like an infant long after I became an adult. Sylvie does have a great heart and undergoes an epic transformation throughout the novel – both inside and out.
What I loved:   My favorite part was when Sylvie was describing a relationship to her mother-in-law; the description of two stores with the entertwining chapters to make one story made me tear up as well.  I think the metaphore is so accurate – each person still needs to have their singular, stand alone story that gives them meaning and their own identity, yet when their chapters are entertwined, its something beautiful to read.
What I didn’t love: I think Sylvie’s parents are real pieces of work – it seems like outward appearances mattered far more than how you acted. Dan wasn’t a favorite for a while – if you keep someone in a little box and protect them from everything ; then they are just going to live within the confines of the box and not continue to grow.
What I learned:  Some photos are best left to the professionals.
Overall Grade:  B+

www.FluffSmutandMurder.com
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I always have a good laugh when I read Sophie Kinsella's books. The back and forth between Sylvie and Dan: priceless!  They are the perfect couple, but after receiving the news by their doctor that their marriage could last 60 plus years, Sylvie and Dan decided to surprise each other to prevent their extended life together to become boring. My favorite part was Sylvie’s job and her boss that was still living in the 80’s. I loved that Sylvie had a chance to grown up later in the book; she took care of herself and faced the pain and bad memories from her past. I totally recommend it!
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Dan and Sylvie have been together for ten years and are so in sync, they don’t even need to finish their sentences for the other to know exactly what they’re talking about; their life is perfect. Until they visit the doctor for a routine health/life check and he tells them they’re going to be together for another sixty-eight years. Neither of them can cope with the idea of being together for such a long time - especially since they’d never thought about how long exactly the concept of “til death to us part” is. So Sylvie comes up with an idea - they’ll do little surprises for each other, little things that’ll keep their marriage together, or so she thinks…

Sophie Kinsella is one of those authors you can always rely on. Her novels are relatable, funny, with warm characters you come to know like they’re your own family, and a new Kinsella book always brightens up my year. I was so excited by the concept of Surprise Me, because it’s true: You really don’t think about how many years you may have to live with someone, until someone brings it into sharp clarity. Heck, I can’t even imagine living until 102, nevermind with someone ELSE for seventy-eight years in total. I can totally see why that sent Sylvia and Dan into a tailspin, and so the concept of surprising each other was borne - with differing results. 

Here’s the thing, the actual “surprising” is very minimal in the novel. Very, very minimal in fact. And the surprising that there IS is a bit out there - the snake in particular was bizarre. Some people go for a puppy, Dan goes for a snake… called Dora. And Surprise Me actually turned into a way more intense, surprising read like an hour before I finished reading. It all suddenly seemed less of a joke-y way to keep a marriage going and it came to the point of were Dan and Sylvie going to survive their marriage at all, never mind til they both reached the grand old age of 100.

Dan and Sylvie were fascinating characters - on the surface, their marriage is perfect. They know each other inside out, they’re comfortable with each other and until that blip with the doctor that sends them reeling, you very much expect them to make it forever. It was intriguing to see how it impacted their marriage, to have a firm figure around how many years they would continue to be married and we see it all from Sylvie’s point of view. Now, I’ll be honest, I am nothing like Sylvie. She’s a few years older than me (5, to be precise) yet she’s lightyears ahead of me in terms of everything - she comes from a family with money, she calls her Mam Mummy and her Dad Daddy (which is just so bizarre to me), she’s a charity fundraiser, etc, whereas I bake pasties and we are just not alike at all. Yet I related to her really well. I understood her panic and why she was willing to go to such lengths to keep her marriage and the spark alive and I appreciated the fact, also, that Dan was willing to go along with it all. 

Like I said, the book gets way deeper, way darker as the novel progresses toward its end. It’s very relevant, in fact, to the real news we’re reading day in, day out, but it definitely brought me up a bit short. However I liked how it also made Sylvie realise a bunch of things, things that helped her to finally grow up (for lack of a better way to put it). I’m still torn over where the plot went, it wasn’t what I was expecting, and it did kind of leave me like “Woah”, and wondering how I would deal with that particular situation. 

Overall, Surprise Me was another Kinsella win (as if I expected anything else). I liked the premise, I loved Sylvie and Dan, even when Sylvie thought something ELSE was going on as to what was actually going on, I loved Willoughby House (where Sylvie works) and I loved the writing - it made me giggle and it made me teary all at the same time, as only a Sophie Kinsella book can. She continues to be one of the best voices in Chick Lit (or women’s fiction, whatever you want to call it) and this is why I get so excited whenever a new book of hers is announced, because she always, always hits it out of the park and Surprise Me was another winner.
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