A huge thank-you to NetGalley and the publisher for this advanced reader copy of The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella.
Sometimes, you need an uplifting rom-com that makes you laugh, cry, and feel all the feels. The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella checks all those boxes.
You know who reads a lot of romance books? This girl! You know what tends to start feeling all the same after a while? Romance books (insert crowd booing). That’s nothing against romance! It’s a beautiful genre with a perfect formula and you don’t mess with that formula if you want a good book. However, after cramming my spring and early summer with a ton of rom-coms, I started to feel like they all blurred together a little bit.
However, when I picked up The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella, I was immediately pleased with how refreshingly unique it was! This book takes on some beloved tropes and makes them brand new again. Reading it was the epitome of a fun time and I highly recommend it to everyone who is seeking something uplifting and full of humor and sweetness.
The Burnout hits shelves on October 10, 2023. Make sure to pick up your copy for the ultimate dose of joy!
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My honest review of The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella.
Sparks fly in this delightful novel about two burned out professionals who meet at ramshackle resort on the British seaside–from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Party Crasher.
Sasha has had it. She cannot bring herself to respond to another inane, “urgent” (but obviously not at all urgent) email or participate in the corporate employee joyfulness program. She hasn’t seen her friends in months. Sex? Seems like a lot of effort. Even cooking dinner takes far too much planning. Sasha has hit a wall.
Armed with good intentions to drink kale smoothies, try yoga, and find peace, she heads to the seaside resort she loved as a child. But it’s the off season, the hotel is in a dilapidated shambles, and she has to share the beach with the only other occupant: a grumpy guy named Finn, who seems as stressed as Sasha. How can she commune with nature when he’s sitting on her favorite rock, watching her? Nor can they agree on how best to alleviate their burnout (Sasha: manifesting, wild swimming; Finn: drinking whisky, getting pizza delivered to the beach).
When curious messages, seemingly addressed to Sasha and Finn, begin to appear on the beach, the two are forced to talk—about everything. How did they get so burned out? Can either of them remember something they used to love? (Answer: surfing!) And the question they try and fail to ignore: what does the energy between them—flaring even in the face of their bone-deep exhaustion—signify?
Content Warnings: (Major) Dementia, (Moderate) Sexual content and Grief, (Minor) Emotional abuse
My love for Sophie Kinsella books started with the Shopaholic series and has only grown over the years as I’ve continued to read and enjoy many of her stand-alone romcoms. They never cease to put me in a “giggling as I kick my feet” kind of mood.
The Burnout is no exception. The only way this novel differed was that in addition to those happy vibes, it also had me pondering life and–I’ll admit it right now–tearing up a couple of times too. I wasn’t expecting the level of depth that was woven into this book, but it was truly the most pleasant surprise. I absolutely love learning from romance novels, just as much as I love experiencing the cute and cheery elements.
This book starts out in a manner that had me laughing so hard I almost peed myself. No joke! Not only did I totally associate with Sasha’s work predicament (I think we’ve nearly all been in positions where our jobs become overwhelming to the point of brain melt), but I could practically feel her frustration in my very bones. The way that it all led up to her eventual burnout breakdown was hilariously relatable. I also completely understood why she’d want to fully escape to a place that reminded her of happier times in her life.
Of course, that “escape” would lead to yet another bizarre encounter and experience, which–while predictable–was equally amusing. I could vividly picture the resort in my mind and see what it might have once been and also what it had become. The author did a phenomenal job painting a very detailed image of everything Sasha was encountering. This includes her very entertaining run-in with Finn.
The romance in this book is so much fun! It’s filled with flirty banter that had me laughing aloud while simultaneously swooning just a little bit. While these two start off in opposition (not quite enemies, but certainly not on even ground), their growth over the course of the story is really precious. In fact, the ending took me by surprise (in a good way)!
I really liked how the author gave each of them time to sort through their mutual and separate struggles, endearing them to each other while also giving them the opportunity to bloom due to the influence they had on one another. It made their relationship even more charming and it also made them incredibly easy to root for.
I would absolutely read this book again. I picked it up at a time in my life when I was personally going through a lot of really challenging things and it was just the mood boost I needed. I can see myself gravitating towards it again in the future when I’m craving an extra dose of cheer. It’s very comforting, cute, and clever!