Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Book Review #3 "The Shopaholic Takes Manhattan" by Sophie Kinsella

This is the second (?) in a series of "Shopaholic" books by Sophie Kinsella. I had read several books by the same author - so I picked it up at the library not too long ago.

Kinsella is a native Londoner, and it is evident in some of the word choices she uses throughout this book. I admit that sometimes I have to go back and reread a paragraph just to figure out what she is talking about.

The main character, Becky Bloomwood, returns in this book as she discovers her boyfriend, Luke Brandon of Brandon Communications, is planning a trip to New York City in an effort to expand his business. As usual, Becky finds a way to invite herself along to the States and gets herself in a predicament with all of her shopping. I guess Kinsella wouldn't be able to call the series "The Shopaholic" if there wasn't a main character who shops uncontrollably.

Parts of the book are just flat out silly and not entertaining at all. I kept reading purely to find out what happens in the end.

I have noticed that about two thirds of the way through all of Kinsella's novels, there is a gigantic conflict (that you can see coming from miles and chapters away) and is always neatly resolved by the last page. While occasionally entertaining, I am interested in reading a book that I don't know how it will end. There are details of the resolution that I didn't predict, but overall, it was fairly predictable.

In short, Becky goes shopping uncontrollably in New York City, justifying her purchasing on the "great exchange rate" between American dollars and British pounds. This justification makes the character seem, if it is possible, more stupid than I thought before I opened this book. I suppose that many readers want to read about a main character who is dumber than a box of hair, because it makes them feel better about themselves. I think it just makes me madder as the book progresses. It is almost as though the author wants the reader to view females as uncontrollable shoppers with no common sense or economical sense, because her man will always bail her out, so there is no reason to be intelligent about money matters.

Becky Bloomwood is a FINANCIAL ADVISOR on British television and is trying to land a job in the United States in the same capacity. The ridiculousness of the situation is enough to make me not recommend this book to any intelligent human being. I will admit that by the end of the book she does rectify her dire financial circumstances in a creative way.

So take it or leave it. I read it, and there are moments when I feel a little dumber for having done so. I still cannot decide if I want to continue with the series - Shopaholic Ties the Knot and Shopaholic and Baby. I may have to lay off the Shopaholic series and read a classic in the meantime.

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