Surprise Me

Surprise Me

by Sophie Kinsella


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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A witty and emotionally charged novel that delves into the heart of a marriage, and how those we love and think we know best can sometimes surprise us the most

“A delightful take on the mixed blessings of marital longevity.”—People
After ten years together, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, and beautiful twin girls, and they 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 of 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 at all.
With a colorful cast of eccentric characters, razor-sharp observations, and her signature wit and charm, Sophie Kinsella presents a humorous yet moving portrait of a marriage—its intricacies, comforts, and complications. Surprise Me reveals that hidden layers in a close relationship are often yet to be discovered.

Praise for Surprise Me

“Genuinely funny.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Unexpected and wholly satisfying.”USA Today

“In her signature fashion, Sophie Kinsella brings a cast of quirky, funny characters to this new work. [She] keeps the laughs coming. . . . Readers will follow the story with bated breath as the couple struggle to make their marriage right after everything they thought they knew about each other proves wrong.”Library Journal
“Heartfelt . . . What at first seems like a light novel about familiar woes turns into a deeper story about trust, family, and perception.”Publishers Weekly
“Winsome and zesty, Kinsella’s latest delivers all the hallmarks her many fans have come to expect.”Booklist
“Pure fun . . . a hilariously moving look at marriage and the power of mixing things up.”Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594872337
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/13/2018
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 51,827
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.54(h) x 1.35(d)

About the Author

Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series, as well as the novels Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number, Wedding Night, and My Not So Perfect Life. She lives between London and the country.


London, England

Date of Birth:

December 12, 1969

Place of Birth:

London, England


B.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Oxford University, 1990; M.Mus., King's College, London, 1992

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Excerpted from "Surprise Me"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Sophie Kinsella.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

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Surprise Me: A Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Sophie Kinsella books. Remember Me, I've Got Your Number and Twenties Girl are some of my favorite books. It is kind of high strung. It was stressing for me to just read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm was good fun married folk will relate and my husband even enjoyed some of the characters antics
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Light reading but interesting preface. I enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this story... another great success. It made me think, smile, laugh out loud routinely, get choked up and sigh at the beautiful romance of it all. I think a lot of people can relate to this...
MamaHendo More than 1 year ago
Dan and Sylvie have been together for 10 years. They have settled into a phase where they know what the other is going to say before it comes out of their mouth, can order a meal for the other person without asking what they want and can consistently predict each others next move through life. When a doctor tells them that they both have the capability to live to 100, Sylvie and Dan begin to panic. 68 more years together? What does that even look like? They dive into a tailspin worrying over how they will keep their relationship alive and wonder will they even be able to make it that far without becoming bored of one another. After deciding that spontaneous holidays, living in a new country or adding to their family is just not the answer, Sylvie comes up with a plan. They decide that they are going to start surprising one another. Not major mind-blowing surprises all the time but subtle ones to let the other know they are thought of. Sylvie thinks her brilliant plan is going to help end their predictable ways but what she ends up getting, however, is a surprise Sylvie never saw coming. "Surprise Me" is a book that picks up after all of those other rom-com/girl meets boy stories end and gives an honest look at what real-life marriages can struggle through as years pass and people change.
Candace-LoveyDoveyBooks More than 1 year ago
I've only read one other Sophie Kinsella so far. It was My Not So Perfect Life and I really enjoyed it. Of course I had high hopes for Surprise Me, but it was not at all what I was expecting. I was immediately bored and could not relate to the main characters. I kept waiting for something to hook me and keep me salivating for the next page, but I couldn't raise much enthusiasm for finishing the story. I will definitely be moving cautiously with the next Sophie Kinsella novel I have the opportunity to read. *ARC provided in consideration for review*
CharminKB More than 1 year ago
Sophie Kinsella is so dependable! Surprise Me is another in a long line of great reads from her. I love her characters and the situations they get themselves in! While this one had it's giggles (the "photoshoot" had me crying!) it really had a serious undertone that I truly think that all of us can relate to. There's not a book from her I wouldn't recommend.
BookLoverinFlorida More than 1 year ago
This book surprised me so much that I finished in one sitting! I didn't want to put it down. What a great concept for a story. Sylvie and Dan are a great couple and the thought of surprising each other to keep their marriage fresh was enlightening. Why don't couples today do this? A story filled with hope and thought for your next weekend read!
LC112648LC More than 1 year ago
Surprise Me! I really enjoy all of Sophie's books! Have read them all. This is a fun, light reading book that keeps you interested the whole way through. Looking forward to her next book! Highly recommend anything by her - she makes you laugh out loud - exceptional writer :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt the book was a little slow in the beginning but thoroughly enjoyed the ending.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars When I read the synopsis for this novel, I knew I had to read it. Dan and Sylvia had it all, life was great until the day they realized what their wedding vows actually meant. Their physician told the couple that they could plan on spending 68 more years together. Sixty-eight more years! Till death do us part is more years than they thought. The news stuns the couple, Sylvia more than Dan. How could they keep what they had alive for 68 more years? Dan had his own answers and Sylvia had hers. Sylvia felt that as a couple, they had become too predictable and to shake things up and make them exciting, they needed to start surprising each other. I have read a few of Sophie’s novels before but I had a problem with this one. Perhaps it was the mood I was in but I thought parts of the novel were a bit juvenile for the adult characters. I know Sylvia was trying to jazz things up but she went to the extreme on a few of them and to me, they went beyond funny. I wanted to tell her to stop, we saw the humor but going beyond that, was just nonsense. I liked how as the couple tried to surprise their partner, the reality of what they knew about each other materialized. They thought they knew everything about each other until they had to actually act upon it. Sylvia overthinks each situation whereas Dan underthinks each situation. To Sylvia, it’s a grand production but to Dan, it’s the gesture. Pulling parents into this story we find that Sylvia and Dan come from different households. Sylvia, daddy’s little princess, has always had money at her disposal whereas Dan came from a family where individuals worked to make a decent wage. This reflects in their personality and in how they handle different situations that present themselves. I found this novel entertaining and comical. Although this wasn’t my favorite of Sophie’s works, I did enjoy the story and I liked the ending. I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Random House in exchange for an honest review.
jojosmodernlife More than 1 year ago
Sylvie and Dan have been together for so long that they can finish each other's sentences. One comment from their doctor at their annual visit that they'll likely have almost 70 more years of marriage throws them into an emotional tailspin. They vowed to be together forever so they decide to cope by surprising each other with random and fun ideas. However, the biggest surprise ends up unveiling a huge secret. Will they still be together forever? Typical of a Sophie Kinsella book, Surprise Me had my cheeks either aching in pain from laughing so hard or burning from secondhand embarrassment from Sylvie's mishaps. Sophie Kinsella has also crafted a wonderful tale by portraying several of the different types of love through varying characters. Eros (sexual) love with Sylvie and Dan, Philia (friendship) love with her neighbor Tilda, Storge (familial/parental) love with their daughters, Agape (altruistic) love with their elderly neighbors on the other side, and Ludus (playful and/or flirting) with Robert. These many characters blend into a fun plotline that hit me with a MEGA surprise plot twist. I highly recommend this book for any adult looking for a fun romance that balances the seriousness of the effects of grief and misunderstandings. My favorite characters were the elderly couple that lived next door and had such pure love and both came across as genuinely sweet. I would not recommend this book for anyone who might be triggered or offended by the following: grief, parental death, sexually suggestive scenarios, and foul language. Please note: an electronic ARC of this novel was generously provided through the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Surprise me is Sophe Kinsella’s delightful novel about a couple whose lives and marriage are turned upside-down. Their family doctor has informed them of the wonderful (?) news that due to their lifestyle habits and modern medicine, they will probably have 68 more years of marriage together! Sylvie and Dan aren’t sure whether to be ecstatic or alarmed, but they decide that with that many years together, they will try to make a habit out of keeping things interesting. Thus the idea to surprise each other regularly. Some of the surprises go awry, and some evolve in unexpected way. But Sylvie and Dan are not the only ones who have surprises ahead of them; so does the reader. Great book!
PokrChick More than 1 year ago
Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella brings us Sylvie and Dan. They are happily married thirty-somethings with two young children. At their annual insurance health check, their doctor mentions that with their fantastic health, they could live to be a hundred. Giving them 68 more years of marriage. How wonderful! Right? Now that the number 68 has been thrown out there, both Sylvie and Dan start to wonder what their vows actually meant. 68 years is a long time. When they agreed to forever, did they really agree to 68 years? Trying to lighten the situation, Sylvie suggests that they can keep their marriage fresh by planning little surprises for each other. Naturally, now that they are so focused on surprising each other, every little thing they do for each other turns into a small disaster. Nothing is working out quite right. With their close relationship thrown under the microscope, things are not looking all that great. And to make matters worse, Dan is obviously hiding something from Sylvie. Will they make it through the current turmoil? Can they survive another 68 years? What is Dan trying to conceal from Sylvia? In typical Sophie Kinsella style, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry while you take this journey with them.
StacyD More than 1 year ago
I often read a lot of historical fiction which I love but can be heavy at times. This book was great! It's just what I was due to read. It's refreshing and made me laugh out loud. It is about a couple, Slyvie and Dand who are totally sync with one another. They can finish each others sentences. They know what to order for the other one if they're at a restaurant. They are happily married raising twin daughters. They make a great team What could be better? One day they go to the doctor who tells them they are healthy and should plan on living another 68 years. With that news they panic. How will the next 68 years be? How will they keep each other happy? This is when Slyvie comes up with the idea to 'surprise" each other to keep this fresh. The surprises they give one another turn out to be funny, although not meaning to be. This is a great book club book because it will open up discussions on how well do you know your spouse. As well as what you might do to surprise your spouse. This light and funny book would make a great "beach bag" or vacation book, I plan on picking up another Sophie Kinsella book in the future.
Dianne57 More than 1 year ago
I was sort of wondering why this book was getting so many critical reviews (Yes I know that everyone's tastes are different) until I realized that this was actually a serious book, or at least most of it was. I think that most reader's are expecting something funnier, lighter. Yes, this book has its moments but the subject matter end's up being a bit more serious. The book starts off humorously enough -but somewhat frustrating for me -when this couple is told that they may end up living long enough to be married 68 years. I couldn't see the problem here and why this couple freaked at this, but then again I just celebrated my 38th anniversary so this part of the book was a little ludicrous to me. The next 2/3 of the book deals with misunderstandings. A possible affair comes up but finally ends up being a book about a mature woman growing into her skin and being a caring woman but not one who takes too much crap. There are parts of this book that had me laughing, frustrated, angry and in tears and the mix of emotions was just what I needed. Sylvie grows just so much and it was a fun trip to take with her. *ARC supplied by publisher.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I've ever read! This was not your typical cheesy romance novel. There was so much more depth to these characters and such strong, meaningful, powerful messages about love, life, relationships and feminism. The story was an addictive page turner and the writing was just so brilliantly clever. This book may be a work of fiction, but it is one of the most realistic representations of love I have ever seen. And there's a bit of a plot twist that just really adds the already well written novel. Kinsella is extremely clever, witty, and talented. All of which is easily seen in her work. I just can't stop gushing! Truly an amazing read!!!
KMorgan73 More than 1 year ago
After reading my first Sophie Kinsella book, My Not So Perfect Life, last year I was giddy with joy when the publisher emailed me an invitation to read her newest book Surprise Me. Soon after beginning this book I realized it wasn’t the same caliber of a story as My Not So Perfect Life. In fact, this book was quite a letdown for me. The book has a pretty good premise of a married couple who wonder how to keep their marriage from becoming boring. The wife decides they should surprise each other to keep things lively. Well, as you can imagine things go wrong (horribly wrong at times, but these are the funniest parts) and soon their marriage is far from stale but quite tumultuous. As surprises go wrong Sophie unravels and wonders if her marriage will survive. In addition to the marriage issues, Sophie is also borderline obsessed with her deceased father and it is clear that this is driving a wedge between her and her husband. Now, my issue with the book is that the author took a good premise and turned it into page after page of repetition. At the beginning, it seemed like the story was going nowhere fast and I swear I was going to scream if I had to read one more time that their marriage was going to last another sixty-eight years. It was like this was on every single page and I was tired of reading it over and over. Also, there was too much unnecessary details thrown in and bogged down the story. I lost count of the times that I wished the story would get moving. I wasn’t really sure where the story was going and then once the surprises started the book picked up little steam. This was the book the tried but just fell flat. The book isn’t all bad though. There are a few scenes that made me chuckle and provided a reason to keep on reading. All in all, this book could have been 100 pages shorter and been just as good. If you are new to this author I would skip this book and pick up My Not So Perfect Life. It was a much better read. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.
Suze-Lavender More than 1 year ago
Sylvie and Dan are happy. They've been together for ten years and have an easy relationship. They still feel plenty of attraction, they have two wonderful daughters and they both have jobs they love. Everything is perfect, until they have a health check and hear they could easily be married for sixty-eight more years. This comes as a terrible shock. How will they prevent the boredom from creeping in when they are destined to be together for such a long time? Sylvie and Dan think they need something to keep their relationship interesting now that they know they have such a long time together. Surprising each other should do the trick. They will regularly arrange something unexpected for one another, so their relationship will remain fun and interesting. Unfortunately surprises can also backfire and that is exactly what happens. While Sylvie and Dan are trying to make things better for each other they are actually making their situation worse. When secrets of the past are coming to the surface things slowly start to unravel. Will their love be strong enough to get them back on track again or is their sixty-eight years of good health news the beginning of the end for Sylvie and Dan? Surprise Me is a fantastic entertaining story. Sylvie is a daddy's girl. Her father passed away, but she thinks about him all the time and honors him by being the person her father would have liked her to be. Sylvie had a glamorous upbringing and she has a job in a quirky museum that comes straight out of a fairytale. Dan is more down to earth and could sometimes use more adventure, so their relationship is an ideal balance. Their surprises, however, show them that while they think they know one another there are a lot of things they have never been aware of. I often had to laugh out loud when I read about the things they come up with. Their surprises are incredibly funny, but not always spot on. Beneath the surface something else is going on though and that is getting more and more prominent throughout the story, which made me really curious and eager to keep reading. Sophie Kinsella has a fantastic heartwarming writing style. Her stories always make me smile and I love their feelgood factor. She has a fabulous sense of humor and she combines that with unexpected twists and turns. The secret that's being revealed is original and surprising, which suits the story very well. Surprise Me is a story about a marriage that has its flaws like every marriage, but there's also so much beauty in the relationship between Sylvie and Dan. I was anxious to find out if they'd make it and read their story in one sitting. Sophie Kinsella has written another terrific story and I highly recommend this sparkling book.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Sylvia and Dan have been married for ten years; they truly are best friends who completely understand each other and their rambunctious twin daughters. One day they visit a doctor for a wellness visit and from here to about three-quarters of the way through the novel the plot gets downright silly. They are healthy and are told by the doctor that they have another sixty-eight years more of life together. For some odd reason, this scares the heck out of Sylvia and Dan. While their uncanny understanding of each other’s thoughts and feelings brings great peace and joy to their life, the unpredictability of it is unacceptable. So, they come up with a plan of surprises to keep the future fresh and novel, but it doesn’t really work out at all. Meanwhile the only thin friction between them has to do with Dan’s dislike of Sylvia’s privileged past and his refusal to let her “Daddy” finance their future. However, it will turn out that Daddy wasn’t the perfect husband and parent in Sylvia’s memories and this part of the plot saves this novel from being a disaster. Dan is more than just an understanding husband and lover. He’s someone who’s been trying to save his wife’s perfect image of her father, sheltering her from the stark reality of a very flawed father. The ending is quite a shocker for Sylvia but what is more precious is the fact there are some secrets in Dan that are stunning elements and a definite surprise! While the second half of this novel “saves the day,” overall, it’s a bit of a strain on credibility. However, Kinsella manages to pull the reader into an interesting and real part of the relationships that work. Nicely done, to a degree!
feather_lashes More than 1 year ago
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!
Felicia71 More than 1 year ago
Have you ever wondered what happens after the happily ever after? Does the happy couple that we just invested in for 300 pages really make it? I am so happy that Surprise Me the latest rom com from Sophie Kinsella looks at romance on the other side - after real life sets in. Dan and Sylvie have been together for 10 years, happily married they can finish each other's thoughts and are comfortable in the silence. Raising 2 twin girls they are what every couple strives for. Then during their yearly routine physical reality sets in even more when they are told they could live for another 68 years - this sends both Dan and Sylvie in a downward spiral trying to keep their marriage fresh. This leads them to try to surprise one another with new and different things they haven't tried in the past, of course amid the comedy of errors that happens in this crazy scenario secrets start to emerge leading them to believe that their marriage may not be as idyllic as they once thought and maybe they really don't know each other. I love Sophie Kinsella's writing style - told completely from Sylvie's POV we get to deep dive into her insecurities and secret thoughts that were witty, sad and in some cases heartbreaking. Ms Kinsella takes her readers on a grand adventure that truly shows what real life and love really looks like - and what could happen to a marriage if the parties aren't really talking and most of all listening. The writing is fast paced and kept me giggling all the way through, but there were also points that had me sad for Sophie and Dan. I was rooting for this couple to realize the mistakes they were making and rooting for them in the end. An ending by the way I was certainly not expecting at all. All in all if you are looking for a romance that dives into what happens after - then don't look any further then Surprise Me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dan and Sylvie Winter, both age 32, have been together for 10 years and married for 7 years. They are the parents of 5-year-old twin girls and appear to be quite happy together. But when a doctor conducting their physical predicts a long life and long marriage for them, they’re shocked at the probability of another 68 years of marriage. Both of them have a hard time with the concept of spending so many years together. Therefore, they decide to make some changes in their lives where they keep their relationship fresh by treating one another to little surprises here and there. Some of the surprises end up being a bit strange and over the top. In one instance, the surprise isn’t a real surprise. Sylvie comes from a wealthy family and her father was killed some years ago in an accident. She and her mother always remember him as a giant of a man and Dan always seems to take a back seat with they are together. When Sylvie starts to suspect Dan’s friendship with an old flame as meaning he is having an affair, she is shocked and decides to confront both of them and find out what is going on. Could this signal that their marriage might be over? In some ways, this is a typical ditzy type book by this author. I have enjoyed her Shopaholic books and some others. However, I found this book to be so ditzy that it failed in my book. Usually, she has a lot of humor in her books to offset the ditzy, but this time the combination was missing. However, I know others will enjoy the book and understand that the premise is trust in a marriage. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
etoile1996 More than 1 year ago
whenever i read a sophie kinsella book, i inevitably find myself laughing out loud at least once. there are some moments of pure physical comedy in surprise me, and they lightened the at times highly emotional subject. sylvie and dan have been married for years, after a physical, their doctor informs them that they have sixty-eight more years of matrimony to look forward to. suddenly they find themselves thinking of the long road ahead. and are slightly concerned by the monotony. so they decide to surprise each other to keep things interesting. and, while surprises sound good in theory. the reality is that they are not always good. and sylvie and dan learn this lesson quickly. and when additional tension arises, sylvie begins to suspect that she's getting the worst kind of surprise. it's not what she thinks, but the truth isn't good either. there are some surprising emotional twists in this novel, but as always kinsella counterweighs the heavy with some truly delightful comedic moments. at times the scenes from the marriage are a bit too real, the arguments a hair too familiar. but that realism is what makes this something more than chick lit. **surprise me will publish on february 13, 2018. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/random house publishng group (the dial press) in exchange for my honest review.
Robindpdx More than 1 year ago
This was a well-written, entertaining book. Sylvie and Dan have a happy marriage, until they realize how long they could live and they decide to bring surprises into their marriage to keep things fresh. The writing is sweet, witty and charming and the characters are quirky and endearing. This was another fantastic book by Sophie Kinsella and I can't wait until her next one is published.