Helynne's Reviews > Confessions of a Shopaholic

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
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Mar 24, 2009

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Even though one might call this book a flapdoodle or a mind twinkie (it's easy to finish in two or three days), it's a fun, light read with the same kind of delightful, screwball British humor that is reminiscent of the Bridget Jones books. Heroine Becky Bloomwood is a somewhat endearing character to all of us who have limited funds, but still love stores, malls, new clothes, chic accessories, fancy makeup, and unlimited Starbucks snacks; in short, champagane taste on a beer budget. With a degree in journalism, Becky has landed at the world's most boring finance magazine writing stultifying articles about pensions and savings plans. The only saving grace in her career is the occasional press conference where she can get free coffee and biscuits and maybe even a glass of champagne. But you can't blame Becky for not putting her heart into her job, when it is so obvious that she really ought to be the fashion and makeup editor for some magazine like Elle. Isn't there a small fashion magazine out there somewhere in London where she could land?!?! Despite my sympathy for Becky, I do find her beginning to grate on the nerves quite early on. I mean, how smart is it to ignore the threatening letters one keeps getting from one's bank and credit card companies, lapse into complete denial, and just keep on spending and making the situation worse? To Becky's credit (if you'll pardon the expression), she does try to get out of her situation by trying the first obvious solution--spend less. Ironically, her efforts to spend less only end up costing her more. The second solution--to make more money--is almost painful to read--especially her foray into a Saturday job as a clerk at a boutique, where she is fired on her first day for trying to hide from a customer a pair of zebra-striped jeans that she herself simply must have. Of course, the redeeming feature of the story is that Becky does eventually hit bottom when her credit cards and bank account are (finally!) frozen and she has to think about actually dealing with her shopping and spending addictions. I won't give too much away here except to say that the happy ending makes the reader have to suspend a lot of disbelief at how neatly everything finally falls into place for Becky. But if we can believe that she has learned to manage her finances more intelligently, I suppose we all will have learned a valuable lesson. There are several more Becky Bloomwood books in the series that lead her to America, to marriage, to motherhood, etc., but that's a big enough dose of Becky for me--at least for now. The film version was fun, but just a little disappointing because the story was moved to New York City and Becky was changed to an American, although her love interest is still an Englishman. I really missed that British humor and vernacular!
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message 1: by Mary (last edited Mar 31, 2009 09:00AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mary It's sounds like there are some differences from the movie, which kind of "Disney-ed" up the story a little bit. Great review!

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