Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Confessions of a Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella

If you've ever paid off one credit card with another, thrown out a bill before opening it, or convinced yourself that buying at a two-for-one sale is like making money, then this silly, appealing novel is for you. In the opening pages of Confessions of a Shopaholic, recent college graduate Rebecca Bloomwood is offered a hefty line of credit by a London bank. Within a few months, Sophie Kinsella's heroine has exceeded the limits of this generous offer, and begins furtively to scan her credit-card bills at work, certain that she couldn't have spent the reported sums.

In theory anyway, the world of finance shouldn't be a mystery to Rebecca, since she writes for a magazine called Successful Saving. Struggling with her spendthrift impulses, she tries to heed the advice of an expert and appreciate life's cheaper pleasures: parks, museums, and so forth. Yet her first Saturday at the Victoria and Albert Museum strikes her as a waste. Why? There's not a price tag in sight.

Eventually, Rebecca's uncontrollable shopping and her "imaginative" solutions to her debt attract the attention not only of her bank manager but of handsome Luke Brandon--a multimillionaire PR representative for a finance group frequently covered in Successful Saving. - By

My Review: There is no way to gently restate the truth that the main character of this book is shallow and a ditz. The book took quite a bit of time driving this point home. Almost too much time and I nearly lost interest. Frankly I began the book feeling a bit bitter at someone who is spending, spending, spending while I don't, don't, don't. However, just in time the Shopaholic's character began to dimensionalize in a surprisingly believable way. With a rather redeeming quality, all the "growth" that the Shopaholic experienced was in keeping with her wide-eyed and self-centered character and seemed plausible, made her likable and, within reason, relatable. If she'd had a miraculous transformation and completely changed her ways I would have been disgusted. Instead I was amused and entertained. It was fun to sometimes see the comic places the story was headed, and at other times to be completely surprised by her predicaments (hint, never lie on a resume about a language you speak).

The author blurb states that Kinsella writes these books as a commentary on our materialistic society. If I take this as the truth (I mean, really, she could just be writing a funny story about a person who likes to shop) then I have to give her credit for making me examine my reasons for buying something, and the way I justify purchases. (Most recently - I need to buy a laptop because I will likely be on bedrest and then what will I do? Because I'm the cheif-gestator in this household it is practically a job-related expense.)

The major criticism I have of this book is that aside from some incredibly embarrassing moments there aren't many consequences that the Shopaholic faces. So, the rest of us are left thinking - Lucky - when both the reader and the main character should be thinking I'm going to stop spending so much money. Oh well, it was still fun to read.

As a total side note. I listened to "Can You Keep a Secret" by this author, on tape. It was read with a Britich accent and was so incredibly fun to listen to - that is something I highly recommend.

My rating: 3 stars

In One Sentence: It'll be a good chick-flick featuring great wardrobe.


lani said...

I think you were being nice with giving it 3 stars! I would of givin it 2. I also tried to start reading the next one shopaholic and sister but couldn't get through the first couple of chapters! she was now shallow and a ditz with lots of money!

MindySue said...

I'm with you Em. I thought it was ditzy an fun, but I was a little consumed with jealous over this totally fictional characaters ability to spend spend spend when I would have LOVED to be able to spend like that (guilt free of course). I'd give it a 3 as well. A one time read that was kind of amusing but very little chance of me ever reading it again.

Sweet Em said...

If this book had not so obviously been Chick-Lit I would probably have given it a lower rating. But for what it was it was good enough.

Gasp! Do I have a biblio-double-standard?

Unknown said...

No, you're good. I feel the same way. IF you buy a book with a cover like this one, you can't expect the great American novel. It is what it is.


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