Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Book Review: Shopaholic and Baby - Sophie Kinsella

Synopsis - Becky's life is blooming.  She works at London's newest fashion store, The Look, house-hunting with husband Luke (her secret wish is for a Shoe Room)...and she's pregnant!  She couldn't be more overjoyed - especially since discovering that shopping cures morning sickness.  Everything has got to be perfect for her baby: from the designer the latest, coolest the celebrity, must-have obstetrician.

But when the celebrity obstetrician turns out to be her husband Luke's glamorous, intellectual ex-girlfriend, Becky's world starts to crumble.

Review - I have heard it said that 'Shopaholic' is like Marmite!  You love it or loathe it!  I fall in the middle, I don't loathe it but I don't love it either.  I was going to add that if they had made it into a film!  But hey!  They did with 'Confessions of a Shopaholic'.  So how did that pass me by?!!  Anyway, my point being that Becky's character is so cringe-worthy for me she would be unwatchable.  I can watch dear Bridget Jones and cringe.  And I have to admit I can't wait for the next instalment in both book and film.  The Shopaholic series, if someone hands me a book to pass the time of day, I may read it but I wouldn't scour the universe for the series.

However, this book is good chick-lit.  Formulaic? Absolutely! Full of all the usual character types that make up typical chick-lit.  Our beloved heroine Becky, a to die for husband Luke, queens of the bitches Venetia and Lulu, the gay friend Danny, good friend Suze, the embarrassing mother Jane and her next door neighbour Janice and good old Dad, who surprise, surprise, had an illicit affair in the past, hence the half sister Jess.  Plus a cast of less important characters.  Becky, what an idiot!  To echo 'Venetia's' words "mindless consumer, no depth, no brain, only cares about shopping and clothes".  I don't like the predatory Venetia, but she has a point although Becky does actually have a brain in there somewhere and a heart.  I can't say I like her particularly, she is a bit shallow.  The good guy in all this is Luke and Suze comes out pretty well too even if her husband and children are parodied.  The book is full of clichés for example: Jess, the environmentalist who is portrayed so ridiculously to be beyond belief and Becky's mother Jane another embarrassing creation.  However, the one redeeming factor the book does have, is it's humour.  It is a laugh a minute and that is what makes Shopaholic and Baby quite good.  3*

ISBN 978-0-552-77405-5

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