(#6 in the Shopaholic Series)
- Sophie Kinsella -
I believe this book, and the series, is being marketed under the wrong genre. If you go looking for this book in the bookstore you need look no further than the 'Chic-Lit' table at the front of the store, overflowing with books of similar cover. Usually with witty names and pictures of legs clad with fashionable boots. Books with little substance. Unlike its cousins, whom are full of fluffy relationship stories taking place at say, an ad agency full of houte couture fashionistas drinking Starbucks capp....oh, right, this book does contain similar things. But, there is much more! Really there is.
In reality this book is surprisingly deep. If you change your perspective a bit, it appears to be taking a harsh look at society, with a needle sharp criticism of consumerism. Which is why I believe it is worthy of another label. Kinsella, although she may not have intended for this, is a satirical genius!
Seriously, along with the outrage she elicits through her character's shopping problems she brings out a good laugh. Two things associated with good satire. The ridiculous situations brought up in these books show us, sadly, just how far consumerism / materialism have penetrated some people's lives. And, did I mention they are laugh out loud funny situations?
No part of the book highlights my theory more than the new shopping mall incident. Your typical Becky Bloomwood story, she will soon be telling at a shopaholics anonymous meeting, brought to a new level - she brings in her two year old daughter! First, she makes a deal with Luke not to shop. Then on a trip out she sees that a new shopping mall has been built and there is a grand opening; discounts, gifts, sales sales sales! She cannot resist and makes an excuse to stop. She 'needs' to buy socks for Mini. As soon as they get in the door the purchases start. They are not Becky's buys. No, they are Mini's. Becky has given her an allowance, and let her borrow on her future earnings (to teach her about budgeting). She is apparently in hock for the next twenty two years, but, it was worth it...some real bargains. Then Becky attempts to get Mini to agree to purchase a designer dress that will fit her in twenty years (but, Becky might borrow it for right now, seeing as it would be in her size). It all ends in a tantrum that bans Becky (and Mini) from a store.
Imagine, using your two year old to justify buying a dress - that is how down and out Becky has become in this book. Doesn't that just remind you of some desperate drug addicts worst story? See, change your perspective a bit and this book is deep!
Compared to the other Shopaholic books in the series this seemed funnier and more exciting...same unbelievable ending, but, that's ok sometimes. It had a great mixture of hilarious moments and character building emotional storylines. The majority of the hilarity comes from Becky's justifications for shopping and buying ungodly expensive designer things and from all the white lies she tells to solve problems she runs across. Mini, a typical two year old, has some good moments as well, involving such things as honey sandwiches and accidental e-purchases when she bangs on the laptop (as any two year old is bound to do).
The book was full of all the old characters from previous books in the series, but, there was one storyline that focused on Luke and his Mother. Giving us a bit more depth into both of their characters. Not much development with Becky, but, that's fine with me because I think she is one of the most hilarious characters on paper and I wouldn't want her to change.
*I listened to this on audiobook. I have to say, it was strange to hear a Brit attempting an American accent.