Friday, April 16, 2010

Book Review - Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic & Sister

Shopaholic & Sister: Shopaholic Book 4 by Sophie Kinsella
Published by: Dell
Publication Date: September 28th, 2004
Format: Paperback, 388 Pages
Rating: ★★
To Buy

Becky might have changed her name from Bloomwood to Brandon, but other than that things seem eerily similar. She miraculously pulled off not one, but two, dream weddings, and is now basking in the glow of an ill earned year long honeymoon traveling the globe with her husband Luke. Of course, Becky being Becky, she's secretly buying "mementos" everywhere they go... even if Luke said he didn't want the giant giraffes, he'll surely regret it once they're settled back in London. A christening announcement from Suze makes Becky realize just how much she has missed in her time abroad and Luke and her decide to cut their sojourn short. With a stop off in Milan, Becky maxes out her credit card on "the" fashion accessory of the moment, an Angel Bag, and makes a promise she might not be able to keep to a thuggish, yet oddly fashion conscious man, Nathan Temple, who aids her in the bags procurement. Once home Becky feels out of joint. Her parents are not thrilled to see her, Suze has a new best friend to go with her two new babies, and Luke is back at work and has reverted to the workaholic he was before. Plus, what is she to do with the lorries full of honeymoon mementos... she really didn't think she bought that much?!? With a little help from eBay, she's able to declutter, but then there's all those vintage coats that could be bought with her succesful sales, instead of paying off her bills... But once her parents drop the bombshell that she has a sister, everything else seems insignificant. Of course a sister with whom she has nothing in common, who despises shopping and who doesn't want Becky in her life could be a bit of an obstacle. But when things hit their lowest, it's to her new sister, Jess, that she seeks help. If Jess is willing that is...

I started reading this series last year due to the hype of the coming film coupled with the desire for some good chick lit. The books are light, fluffy and totally lacking in substance, in other words, what you expect from chick lit and a worthy successor to Bridget Jones. But I think, perhaps, I've had enough of Becky Brandon, nee Bloomwood. The first two books were fun and amusing watching Becky and her addictive personality successfully claw her way out of the pits of compulsive buying. But by the third book, she's not just hurting herself, but manipulating others... how she pulled off the two weddings seemed contrived and also not fair, she really didn't deserve a happy ending. At this point the books turned in a new direction, a tad more unbelievable and mean spirited. Plus, is anyone surprised that she's back to her old ways? Each book has an epiphany moment followed by her vowing to change. But by the next book she's back to her old ways. Becky is a cycler... she will never change!

It's this lack of growth that pisses me off, you'd think she'd learn something? But this time around things seem even worse and her marriage seems in jeopardy because of her old tendencies coming back to the front. Becky and Luke are the mismatched lovers that we're supposed to root for. But Luke is a workaholic who is abrasive and not very nice in this installment, looking down on Becky, the woman whom he supposedly loves but won't take advice from, while Becky is the same, self deluded Becky. These ill matched, mistaken fools, who don't seem to respect or understand each other, really grated on my nerves. Neither changes yet they expect the other to. I'm really curious as to what makes them likable? I finished reading them because they are diverting, but diverting like a train wreck. Eventually you reach the end of the line, and I think they have with me. Bye Becky and Luke... have fun with that baby you've got in the oven, it's sure to be messed up by the two of you!


I agree with you, I liked the first 3 novels, they were light and entertaining, humourous, but the 4th and 5th were repetitive, unoriginal and irritating. I was sorry to see the series on such a decline. I'm still not sure if I want to read the newest addition, I dread being disappointed with it like the last 2 books did, but maybe my hope that Sophie Kinsella will return to the humourous and charming tone of the first novels will win out.

I could only get through the first two books. From someone who filled a void in her life with racking up bills (very hard lesson learned!), it was very painful for me to read about her irresponsibility.

I can't believe there's going to be yet another one! Mini Shopaholic! Really? I also agree, for someone who has the same void filling tendancies, the fact that Becky doesn't learn. Grrr. I've learned and grown, she's fictional, you'd think it would be easier for her. It was just too handy for her to marry someone wealthy.

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