After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected “until death do us part” to mean seven decades.
In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.
*I would like to thank the publisher, The Dial Press, and NetGalley for the copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.
Sophie Kinsella has always been an auto-read/auto-buy ever since I’ve read the Shopaholic series. When I need a good laugh and positive vibes, her books are definitely on my top choices. It’s the first book of hers that I read after the disappointing Shopaholic to the Stars, which was three years ago, and I was really hoping I’d enjoy this just like her other standalone novels. Good thing Surprise Me didn’t disappoint me. The story centers on a married couple, Sylvie and Dan, who have been together for ten years. And though life is not perfect, they are happy along with their twin daughters. But a visit to the doctor slightly change the dynamics between the couple. The doctor projects both of them will more or less live for another 68 years. 68 more years together. And though they love each other dearly both of them freaks out. That seems like a really long time to be with just one person. So, to keep the marriage survive for the next seven decades, Sylvia and Dan decided to make their relationship a bit more exciting. How? By giving little surprises to each other. What follows is a string of surprises after another which always ended up in awry. Sure, it brings something new to the relationship but it didn’t exactly spice things up for them. When events from the past threatened their marriage, Sylvie realized she didn’t fully know her husband after all.
I’m so glad Miss Kinsella didn’t fail me this time. Surprise Me got the typical wit and humor I came to love from all the Sophie Kinsella books I’ve read. It was not as good as her past books but I definitely enjoyed it as much. The writing is great and the pacing, fast and easy to read. The characters are adorable especially the side characters. Truth be told, I enjoyed them a lot more than Sylvie and Dan. They are both fine main characters, but I feel like Sylvie is just a copy of the main characters from Miss Kinsella’s other books. Although, I always love the character development of her heroines and this one isn’t any different. Sylvie’s growth is beautifully done.
I also like how this one is different from her past works as it revolves around a married couple than a single woman. I may not understand the couple’s panic at learning they’ll be spending more years together but maybe there are people who will feel that way. There is also so much more to it than the couples’ worries and little surprises which added depth and a bit darkness to the story. It deals with marriage and family, and even tackles grief. It brings good messages about love, marriage, self-discovery and much more. And finally, I love the ending and how everything was wrapped up nicely. Though not her best work, I totally enjoyed this novel. It is light, funny, and very entertaining.