Book Reviews

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella: ARC Book Review

This is a spoiler-free review.

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella

Expected publication October 27th, 2020 by Dial Press.

My rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of I Owe You One, an utterly delightful novel about a woman who ditches her dating app for a writer’s retreat in Italy–only to find that real love comes with its own filters

Call Ava romantic, but she thinks love should be found in the real world, not on apps that filter men by height, job, or astrological sign. She believes in feelings, not algorithms. So after a recent breakup and dating app debacle, she decides to put love on hold and escapes to a remote writers’ retreat in coastal Italy. She’s determined to finish writing the novel she’s been fantasizing about, even though it means leaving her close-knit group of friends and her precious dog, Harold, behind.

At the retreat, she’s not allowed to use her real name or reveal any personal information. When the neighboring martial arts retreat is canceled and a few of its attendees join their small writing community, Ava, now going by “Aria,” meets “Dutch,” a man who seems too good to be true. The two embark on a baggage-free, whirlwind love affair, cliff-jumping into gem-colored Mediterranean waters and exploring the splendor of the Italian coast. Things seem to be perfect for Aria and Dutch.

But then their real identities–Ava and Matt–must return to London. As their fantasy starts to fade, they discover just how different their personal worlds are. From food choices to annoying habits to sauna etiquette . . . are they compatible in anything? And then there’s the prickly situation with Matt’s ex-girlfriend, who isn’t too eager to let him go. As one mishap follows another, it seems while they love each other, they just can’t love each other’s lives. Can they reconcile their differences to find one life together?

Thank you to the publisher, Dial Press/Random House Publishing Group, and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC of this book. All thoughts are my own.

When Aria and Dutch meet at a writer’s retreat in Italy sparks fly, and the two quickly find themselves in the midst of a whirlwind romance. Things just seem to “click” between them. (Proof once and for all that meeting in person trumps dating apps, or so Aria thinks.) So when the vacation ends, they’re determined to keep the romance alive and their relationship afloat when they return to England.

But being thrust back into reality comes with its own challenges – ones neither of them could have anticipated.

“Aria” and “Dutch” are really Ava and Matt – and, as becomes quickly apparent, very different than their vacation alter-egos. Worse, they seem to be complete opposites… about everything! Can they reconcile their differences now that they’re out of the honeymoon phase, or will their relationship only ever be a vacation fling?

I’ve been a big fan of Sophie Kinsella’s writing for a long time! I remember reading Confessions of a Shopaholic as a preteen and absolutely adoring Becky Bloomwood and her – what my 14-year-old self thought was very realistic and relatable (haha) – money troubles. Since then I’ve read a number of Kinsella’s other books, and enjoyed them all to varying amounts.

And even still, this book surprised me! I had a lot of fun reading Love Your Life – more fun than I’ve had in a good long while! There were points when I physically laughed out loud. 😂

The first aspect of this book that really excited me was the premise; it was just so unique! Most romance novels end with the couple getting together. But that’s how this story begins. I also found it really refreshing to have a novel focus on what happens after the “happily ever after.” Having to negotiate and make compromises in relationships is super realistic, but Kinsella finds a way to make it sweet and fun.

On top of that it’s hard not to root for Ava and Matt to work things out. Both characters have their flaws, sure, but they’re also very sweet, kindhearted people that you just want the best for. Even though they’re obviously total opposites in a lot of ways, they were also so perfectly matched that it’s impossible to not want them to end up together. 💗

I also loved all the other characters in this novel. Both sets of friends were really great. I would totally watch a TV show of Ava and her three best friends taking on London together and the hijinx that would inevitably ensue, a la Sex and the City. Kinsella did a great job of making all the characters – both small and big – feel real and unique. Their colourful personalities reeled me in, making this book impossible to put down!

Love Your Life is the perfect mix of cute, fun, and heartfelt. With likeable characters you can’t help but root for and a great premise, this novel sets itself apart; a really enjoyable read. ✨

What are your thoughts on dating apps?

Got any new contemporary romance novels to recommend?

Let me know!

Liza is a twenty-something book blogger who spends way too much time with her nose in books and feels way too much. She loves cooking, baking, reality tv show watching and, of course, reading. She can be found most often with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. Her blog, Literary Liza, features bookish content like reviews, recommendations, and author interviews.

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