Surprise Me

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

I've always been a big fan of Sophie Kinsella so I was super jazzed when I was given an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Overall, I enjoyed this book and following along on Sylvie's adventure. Towards the beginning, I got a little annoyed with her surprises (she's hopeless) and the whole "affair" thing. I found myself more captivated by the family secrets and the work drama. Again, overall an enjoyable read!
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Sophie Kinsella doesn't disappoint in this one!  It's a light and funny read, perfect for your beach vacation or curled up in your chair on a rainy day.  The characters attempts to surprise each other are funny and sweet for the most part.  My only issue with this one (and it's a small one) is that the couple in the story react badly after learning they are healthy and they will live a long time.  They start to question their relationship and their day to day life together and apart.  It's just a bit farfetched to me.  Overall thought, it's a funny story and I love how it ends up!
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I found this story of a couple contemplating many, many years of marriage ahead and wondering how to make it work and keep it fresh and happy to be very enjoyable.  The characters are all likeable and believable and I found the dialogue and relationship dynamics very realistic.  It was both funny and heartwarming.
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I’d be lying if I told you I actually liked this book. I didn’t flat out dislike it, but it was not Kinsella’s best work. The characters bored me, the plot felt forced, and it just wasn’t up to her usual good work.

The best thing I can take away from this book is not to assume you know everything about your partner because they might have a secret or two and surprises should come from an impulsive place, not be forced or contrived.

The surprise was how much I didn’t like this book. I usually really like her books.
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In true Sophie Kinsella form this book is written both bittersweet and with humor.  It's the story of two people who vow never to take their marriage, their love, and their commitment for granted.

Sylvie and Dan have what appears to be a perfect life together.  They love each other, their jobs, their lives.  After ten years together they decide they're going to do little surprises for each other to keep their marriage alive.  

But, what happens when surprises are just a bit much and deep secrets are revealed?
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3.5  Surprise me  stars 
Sylvie and Dan have been in a perfectly great marriage for 9 years and they go in for their physical which is the premise of the whole story. They are told they are extremely healthy and they will live for a very long time which sends the couple down a road where they doubt they can be happily married for another 68 years. It leads the couple to start planning surprises to keep their marriage adventuful. As expected with any surprise they all happen with comedy and nothing ever works out how it is supposed to. Some are boring and some are outright hilarious. The book suffers by being too long where you find yourself accidentaly skimming because nothing new really happens. There is a surprise plot twist that has a surprise ending which you really don’t see coming. I don’t think I really connected with Dan and I didn’t care for him as a character at all. Sylvie’s character growth doesn’t seem to fit either.  I think the very end is a cute different one that made me feel all warm and fuzzy.  This book wasn’t what I expected from the author but it wasn’t bad either. I know her stronger books are the shopaholic series which leave me with far more giggles. This one was new because it was an establish couple and it read almost like Sylvie’s diary and internal thoughts. I am still glad the author trusted me as a reviewing and granted me an ARC.
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Sylvie and Dan have been together for years, with a nice home and adorable twin daughters. Life is nice… but a little boring. They decide to shake things up by creating special surprises for each other. This decision will lead to shocking revelations about their marriage and family that neither could have anticipated. This book is classic Kinsella, the author of the Shopaholic series. Another perfect vacation read.
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This was an interesting book. I've really enjoyed following Kinsella's career - each book asks slightly deeper questions and then explores things just a little deeper. In this book, the ideas of fidelity, normalcy, and dreams are all deftly and comically dealt with. A fast read for sure, but an engaging and delightful one. Recommended.
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When Sophie and her husband Dan’s doctor gives them a clean bill of health at their annual check-ups and tells them they could conceivably live another 68 years, they panic. They are already so in sync that they finish each other’s sentences and anticipate each other’s actions on a regular basis. How will they keep from getting bored with each other over the next 68 long years? They decide they must start surprising each other on a regular basis and they must start immediately. Because this is a Sophie Kinsella novel, none of their surprises for one another goes as planned, with humorous results.

I’ll admit that when I started this book, I was mad at Dan and Sophie. As someone with a multitude of health problems who will definitely not live another 68 years, I found them to be extremely ungrateful. And I thought that the premise that they freaked out about spending the next 68 years being in a relationship with the same person weird. That’s marriage folks, whether you have five or one-hundred years left.

Luckily, the freaking out and surprising each other didn’t last too long. After one of his surprises for Sophie, Dan becomes distant and secretive. Sophie must find out what has happened to turn her perfect husband into a stranger. Not only does Sophie have to deal with that, the non-profit where she works is struggling. How much more can she take?

After getting off to a somewhat silly start, Surprise Me took a fairly serious turn as Sophie tried to figure out what was going on with Dan. That was a mystery to me as well and I could not figure it out. I was just as surprised as Sophie when it was revealed.

There was some comic relief in Sophie’s friend and neighbor Tilda and her son Toby. Still, I don’t think this book is as light as a remember Shopaholic being. Of course, it’s been a long time since I read that – pre-blog!

If you pick up this book expecting a fun chick-lit book, you might be disappointed. However, if you’re in the mood for something just a bit darker and mysterious but not too heavy, this would be a good choice.
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Surprise Me is kind of a spin on the whole "stale relationship is injected with new life due to wacky foibles" type of romance (and yes, that's a whole genre of romance on it's own). But it is enjoyable, distracting, and fun. That's exactly what I wanted.
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A quick read that focuses on life inside a  romance instead of one just beginning. Different view, but this seems aimed at middle aged married women.
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Love this author and the characters in this book. Can't wait for the next one!
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Ugh, I wanted to enjoy this book. And I just couldn't. I didn't care for the characters at all and the book read young adult to me as opposed to one for adults. While the content was clearly adult, the characters felt about 19 to me. I just couldn't connect to it 

I DO appreciate the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, I wish I could have written a nicer toned one.
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I have not felt well lately and it has slowed my reading pace down quite a lot.  Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella was the perfect book for me at this time. It was fast paced keeping me curious about what was going to happen next but most importantly it made me laugh.  Laugh out loud funny. That is rare.

For insurance purposes, Sylvie and Dan have physicals and learn that due to good genes and good maintenance they will live longer than most people can expect.  This throws them for a loop because it changes everything: when they can retire, how much money is needed to save, but most importantly will they be able to stand each other and be married that long.  Over the course of the story, there is growth individually as well as a couple. There are serious matters tackled but also quite a bit of humor is thrown in as well.

Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy.  I truly enjoyed this book.
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The Dial Press and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of Surprise Me.  I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

Having been together for ten years, married for seven of them, Sylvie and Dan seamlessly work together to provide a comfortable household for their twin girls.  The magic is gone, however, and the couple starts to feel the pressure of being together for the rest of their lives.  To spice things up, they come up with Project Surprise Me.  When it becomes clear early on that the element of surprise can cause more trouble than they thought, will Sylvie and Dan start to fail as a couple?  Will the pair be able to get their lives back on track?

Readers who are looking for quirky and charming dialogue, like the author's main character in the Shopaholic series possesses, will be disappointed.   Surprise Me takes a sharper edge and, although the author tries to use situational mishaps to lighten the mood, the story has a pessimistic tone.  I did not fall in love with Sylvie and Dan, nor did I feel fully vested in their outcome.  Even the surprises to each other did not come across as playful or lighthearted, as the dark cloud hovering over brought the book down.  The plot was a bit repetitive and the book dragged in the middle as a result.  Readers who are unfamiliar with author Sophie Kinsella should not choose Surprise Me as their first read, as it is not at all representative of the usual charming plot lines and endearing characters.  Returning readers should be warned that this book is nowhere near as good as the author's previous offerings.
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3.5 stars.  What do you do when "til death do us part" is longer than you think? That is the dilemma that Sylvie and Dan face. For the most part, this is a typical SK story with the usual laugh out loud moments and quirky characters. Towards the end, it does take a surprising (get it?) turn though. But in true Kinsella fashion, you get your satisfactory ending.

**Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.**
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This was so different than Sophie Kinsella's other books. It was more serious and less goofy, but still full of the heart and humor I expect from her. I hope this represents a new direction for her. It almost reminded me of a Kristan Higgins book.
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Kinsella delivered another entertaining read, suitable for adults and young adults alike. After hearing from her doctor that she and her husband have at least 68 more years together, Sylvie and Dan, a married couple with two girls, try to surprise each other to make those years a bit more interesting. The struggles that happened along the way were laugh out loud hilarious at times, and a bit more serious at other times. I loved the positive messages this book included about trust, relationships, and getting to know what others are going through. I would definitely recommend this book.
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Not quite as lighthearted as some of Kinsella's other offerings, Surprise Me tells the story of two families whose vacations takes quite the unexpected turn. This 'study of marriage' examines, with Kinsella's trademark humor, how people cope with not only awkward and difficult situations, but how marriages evolve and change over time. As usual, her characters are original thinkers struggling to get to know themselves better.
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Let me start by saying I LOVE Sophie Kinsella! I have loved everything she has written...until Surprise Me. It wasn't bad but I just didn't love it the way I have loved all her other books so I was a little disappointed. Sylvie and Dan have a happy marriage....until they realize they may have another 70 years together. Neither realized "til death do us part" meant 70 plus years. In order to keep things interesting Sylvie decides they should surprise each other with special gifts/dates...something to keep the marriage exciting but of course nothing goes as planned. I didn't hate it but I just didn't love it but it was a quick read so if you have the time you will get some good laughs from this book.
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