Sunday, June 8, 2008

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

The term "shopaholic" is a bit of an understatement for Rebecca (aka Becky) Bloomwood. She has shopped herself into a large amount of debt from a number of stores, credit cards and her bank. Almost every day, she receives letters or calls from her creditors letting her know that she is overdue on her bills. The ironic part of her situations is that she is a financial journalist. Her job is writing columns for a finance magazine called Successful Savings. However, financial journalism is far from her dream job. She would much rather be writing for Vogue, or any other well-known fashion magazine. Becky strongly dislikes her job and doesn't have a boyfriend, so so she finds her happiness in shopping, even though she is "up to her eyeballs" in debt. Her father tells her there are two ways to escape her financial crisis--cut back, or make more money. The rest of her story revolves around her attempts to do both. Neither option is easy, but Becky realizes she must use her imagination and whatever willpower she can find to get herself out of the mess she has gotten herself into.

I am sad to say that my first foray into the "chick lit" genre this year was a bit disappointing. Confessions of a Shopaholic was predictible and unbelieveable even for me, and I tend to have no idea what's coming in most books. I just couldn't understand why Rebecca kept buying more and more expensive items when she was in so much debt! Now, there have been times when I have made purchases that were a little pricey or impractical, but not every single day, and not when I know I really can't afford it. Also, many of the people who know Becky seemed to think she is quite intelligent and a financial genius. From what I read, I can't understand how anyone would get that impression--she knows next to nothing about the financial world. I'm actually surprised she hasn't gotten fired from her job! While I was reading the last 50 pages or so, I couldn't help rolling my eyes more than once. I won't give away the ending, but you'll probably figure it out if you start reading the book.

There were definitely positives to the book as well. I found it to be a light, entertaining read. Shopaholic would be perfect for a day at the beach, or for a long flight. There were one or two instances when Becky's actions were similar to things I've done myself--such as buying something I don't really need just because it's on a good sale. The book was amusing at times. And in the end, I found myself liking Rebecca, even though throughout most of the book, I really wanted to sit her down and help her make a plan and actually stick to it! I would recommend this book to true shopaholics out there, or to those looking for a very light vacation-y read.

Date completed: June 8, 2008
# of pages: 312
Rating: 2/5

When I was searching for a picture of the book, I discovered that there is a movie in production, starring Isla Fisher set to release in 2009.

If you've read and reviewed this book, please let me know, and I'll post your link.


Anonymous said...

I've never read this series and don't plan to anytime soon. I just can't seem to connect with a character who shops non-stop. It seems just ridiculous!

raidergirl3 said...

You nailed that pretty good. I couldn't believe someone could really be that way, but a friend of mine loved the book because she was just like Becky! I am afraid for her.
But, Kinsella does a great job of keeping your interest, and I've read the whole series, even though I think the same way. By the end of the book, I am enjoying myself and trying to see how Becky gets out of the next mess.

Becca said...

I'm glad that you pointed out that this would probably be a good read for true shopaholics. When you've been in Becky's shoes, you can laugh right along with her because you know how incredibly ridiculous you can act with an addiction like shopping. From about age 18 to age 23, I had a serious shopping problem, and when I read Confessions of a Shopaholic I was horrified because I realized how incredibly close my life related to hers. The situations she got into made me laugh out loud because I had done a number of them (including trying to win the lottery, buying things because in the long run it would save me money, hiding my shopping bags from family and friends, etc.). It may seem like a frivolous thing, but shopping can consume you just like any other addiction, and you try to hide it just as much (this is why Becky's friends probably didn't realize how bad it really was). It seems ridiculous and completely unbelievable to someone who hasn't been there, but to me the book was completely believable and made me laugh because I'd been in her shoes 100 percent (except for the happily ever after ending).

Anyway, sorry about such a long comment.

Laura said...

~Stephanie--I think the people who most enjoy these books have a deep love for shopping. Though I enjoy shopping myself, I definitely don't get the thrill from it like Rebecca does! Now if we start talking about food--that is a different story!

~Raidergirl--I do know there are others just like Becky--I have a few friends in the same predicament as well. It was fun to see what crazy thing Becky would do next and how successful she would be.

~Becca--Even though Becky's situation was nothing like I've experienced myself, I can see how shopping can be an issue for many people. I think this is especially an issue with those in college or recent college grads. I am far from perfect with handling money, so there were a few times when I could connect with Becky's thoughts.

I suppose you are similar to Becky in other ways as well, right?? Besides sharing a name and writing occupation, maybe you will find that happily ever after ending too! :)

Trish said...

I have heard that although Becky is rather annoying she can become endearing or likeable. I have a tough time reading books where I can't relate to the main character at all--and it seems as though this might be the case with this book. Now...if it was confessions of a bookaholic...I might be able to relate! :) Bridget (my bff) is a little (lot) ridiculous, but I think there is also something relatable about her. Thanks for the review!

Becca said...

Laura: Heh. I may find happily ever after, but probably not with the type of guy Becky found. I'm a little more down to earth these days. Oh, and not only do I share her name, but her sister has the same name as my little sis! And her sister is very practical like my sister. I know you didn't particularly like the first book, but if you make it to Shopaholic and Sister you'll see what I mean.