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Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
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bookshelves: cerebral-candy, here-and-now
Recommended for: golden shopping bags

If you know anyone that is impulsive, spendy, and irresponsible, do not let him/her read this book .

Seriously.

Because for any normal woman (or man) with above average impulsive shopping tendencies, this book will make him/her feel better about his/herself.

Take me, for example. When I am confronted by a cute pair of shoes or some colorful household item, I get kind of...well...impulsive, spendy, and irresponsible. Sometimes, my willpower can overrule that temptation, though passing through the Times Square and the Fifth Ave area multiple times during the week for work really weakens my resolve.

But the girl in this book? Imagine the above scenario on crack plus the mentality of a hyped up mallrat who's won a $100,000 dollars. Enough money for it to become a sizable investment, but little enough that it could probably be spent in a half a day if all that person did was shop couture.

Are you kind of disgusted yet? Or are you secretly hoping that person will indulge?

THIS IS THE DILEMMA THAT I FACED THIS ENTIRE BOOK.

Becky, the protagonist, literally just keeps spending and spending and spending and spending, despite the bills that are piling up in her desk drawer. In order to escape her debts, Becky dreams up the most ridiculous "spend less, make more" schemes, all which crash and burn before they even begin. After each failure, we watch her spend more money on things she doesn't need that leads her down a dark spiral of debt and self loathing.

In a weird, twisted way, it's kind of entertaining and a little harrowing. Who hasn't felt that guilt before, buying something on a whim that is inessential to survival? It's a very touchy issue, but the author explores the mentality of a woman trapped by the glitter and glam of a highly materialistic society very well. It's a bit exaggerated, but I bet the core issues resound in the minds of millions of people.

What I really disliked about this book, though, was that Becky's rehabilitation was just too darn easy. I'm willing to forgive a lot in this book, but not the assumption that the only criteria of getting one's life back together after repeated financial purging of one's bank account and credit score is to be a good person. You get the guy, the job, the money...only after bothering to care about someone else for once? Puh-leeze. I'd been hoping that life would smack some more sense into this silly airhead, not reinforce her bad habits.



She's still a silly airhead after the book... Perhaps just a little more bearable.

Overall, I'm hovering between 2.5 stars to 3 stars. The writing wasn't fantastic but it wasn't terrible either, and there is a certain addicting quality about this book that doesn't let you go. Recommended for some people with a lot of patience, and definitely not recommended for people who hate shopping or hate to take their girlfriends/boyfriends/wives/husbands/kids shopping.
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Reading Progress

August 31, 2011 – Shelved
March 17, 2012 – Started Reading
March 17, 2012 – Finished Reading
March 19, 2012 – Shelved as: cerebral-candy
March 19, 2012 – Shelved as: here-and-now

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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Elizabeth Drake I read started the second book in this series and had to quit before I was forced to tear my hair out in frustration. The main character NEVER LEARNS ANYTHING! She shops incessantly, lies constantly and never contemplates how her actions might be hurting herself and others. I kept waiting for Suze Orman to show up and kick her ass!


Nataliya Zabet wrote: "I read started the second book in this series and had to quit before I was forced to tear my hair out in frustration. The main character NEVER LEARNS ANYTHING! She shops incessantly, lies constan..."

I agree. The first one was more or less fun, but Becky in the sequels quickly transformed from slightly annoying to very frustrating. And the same premise keeps getting rehashed. Zero character development, unfortunately.


message 3: by Kay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kay Zabet wrote: "I read started the second book in this series and had to quit before I was forced to tear my hair out in frustration. The main character NEVER LEARNS ANYTHING! She shops incessantly, lies constan..."

This is sad to hear. I was hoping for some more character development in the second book too! Ugh.

Nataliya wrote: "I agree. The first one was more or less fun, but Becky in the sequels quickly transformed from slightly annoying to very frustrating..."


So since you've read the second book (and you too, Zabet!), I have to ask: (view spoiler)


Nataliya Kay wrote: "Zabet wrote: "I read started the second book in this series and had to quit before I was forced to tear my hair out in frustration. The main character NEVER LEARNS ANYTHING! She shops incessantly..."

Kay,
(view spoiler)

I read the first book on an airplane. I should have stuck to reading them that way - I am waaaay more forgiving of books when I read them on a long flight stuck in the seat between to an old lady who is unable to stand up on her own and a loudly snoring guy in the window seat. Any book seems perfectly fine then!

"Why such a successful man would ever be interested in such an airhead is beyond me!"
Answer: ARM CANDY!!!


message 5: by Kay (last edited Mar 20, 2012 08:06AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kay That spoiler doesn't surprise me. One of the things that bugged me about this book was that it basically says that relentless spending is okay. Eh. I guess they never heard of moderation in the face of recession. =p

I like reading in airplanes too! In airports because there's so little to do besides Duty Free and eating.

Nataliya wrote: "Answer: ARM CANDY!!!"

SO TRUE!


Elizabeth Drake In the US and Canada today there are too many people living above their means and spending money that they don't actually have. As a teacher, I am shocked at the standard of living my students expect to have without realizing that they have to work for it! So, when it comes to books like this, I have a bit of a sore spot. I so wanted Becky to suffer, see the consequences of her actions and LEARN something. Where is the heroine who is financially responsible and learns to live on a budget??


message 7: by Kay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kay Zabet wrote: "I so wanted Becky to suffer, see the consequences of her actions and LEARN something. Where is the heroine who is financially responsible and learns to live on a budget??"

Agreed!


Nataliya Zabet wrote: "Where is the heroine who is financially responsible and learns to live on a budget?? "

Clearly NOT in the books all titled "Shopaholic Something Something". If Becky ever learned, the author would have had to reconsider the catchy titles :)


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