Wednesday 1 November 2023

Book ~ "The Burnout" (2023) Sophie Kinsella

From Goodreads ~ 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 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 (manifesting, wild swimming; 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?

Sasha has a busy job and is overwhelmed ... the company she works for is badly run and she finally has enough. She takes a couple weeks off and, though it's February, heads to the beach town where she and her family spent happy times when she was a child. She has plans to decompress by eating healthy, doing yoga and finding herself. She is staying at the hotel that was too expensive when she was younger. She was expecting it to be the same but it's become rundown over the years and in need of investors to reinvent it.

Finn is also staying at the hotel. He and Sasha didn't hit it off well at first but found common ground when they discovered they were both suffering from burnouts at work and had both spent time around the town when they were children ... they had even taken surfing lessons from the same guy. They start enjoying spending time together and become friends.

It's been a while since I've read one of this author's books and I thought it was okay. It's written in first person perspective from Sasha's point of view. I liked the first part more than the second. It was nice seeing Sasha and Finn get to know each other as friends and help each other over their burnouts. It turned for me when within a couple days they became intimate and Sasha was in love with him (really?!) and more obsessed with him than herself.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

I found it silly but in a funny way the way the staff at the hotel were so over-the-top friendly and catered to her every particular need (like kale smoothies, healthy meals, no booze, etc.). Who they thought was her PR person making the requests was actually her mother trying to be helpful and Sasha didn't have the heart to tell them any different. Instead she would sneak into town and stock up on junk food and wine.

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