Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chick Lit Time: Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella

While I mostly read Young Adult fiction, I love to read a good Chick Lit novel from time to time. I started Chick Lit Time to feature those books on my blog.

There are books you like. Books you love. And then there are the books that will always stay with you, books you'll never forget. When I picked up my very first chick-lit novel eight years ago (just because I felt more grown-up than I actually was), I didn't expect it to be the start of a series that I'll always love.

This includes a few spoilers for the series.

Confessions of a Shopaholic was, and still is, a fantastic novel that combines light-heartedness and romance with a slight dose of embarrassment and never failed to make me smile. When you have a main character like Rebecca Bloomwood, the story never gets boring - her problems seem to be waiting for her wherever she is.

The first novel of the series, Confessions of a Shopaholic, is definitely my favorite. We get introduced to Rebecca's world and her problems: She has a job she doesn't really like, no boyfriend and a "very tiny" shopping addiction. And how do you forget that you don't have enough money to pay all the bills? Well, Rebecca does what she loves to do: She just buys a little something to make her smile.

In the second novel of the series, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, Becky gets the chance to live in New York with her boyfriend Luke. While Luke was only introduced in the first novel (and it took quite a while for Becky to like him), we get to see more of him. 

But, just like for a reader, for Luke it's not very easy to deal with her shopping. New York is a paradise for our little shopaholic and doesn't take long until Rebecca has to deal with the consequences. But just like she did in the first novel, she realizes that she has to get herself out of this mess and does this her typical charme.

I know that, so far, this sounds like a very superficial series. And I have to admit that in certain moments this is true. It appears as if clothes, shoes, make-up - shopping - are the most important things in Rebecca Bloomwood's life. But once you take a closer looks at how she deals with the problems and how important it is to her that her friends and family are feeling good, it's easy to see that other things are still more important to her.

In Shopaholic Ties the Knot, the third novel of the series, Rebecca and Luke are now officially living in New York, she is working at Barney's (finally a job she likes) and to top all of this off, Luke is proposing to her. Now she can finally marry the man of her dreams.

But what happens when suddenly both, her own mother and Luke's mother are planning to seperate weddings? What would you prefer? A huge Plaza wedding with every single dream come true, thanks to the cold Elinor, or rather a small but beautiful wedding at home planned by her own mother, who alwys dreamed to do so?

After all, we are talking about Becky Bloomwood, so everything works out in the end. But of course not without a few embarrassing moments and a lot of fear that everything will go horribly wrong. This is one of the novels where you can really see Becky's character: Yes, she makes mistakes, but in this case it's rather because she doesn't want to hurt anyone. And she does everything she can do to clean up the mess. Of course again with the help of her best friend Suze who you can't help but fall in love with a little bit.

I have to admit that the fourth novel of the series, Shopaholic & Sister, is my least favorite. It's good as well and you get to see even more of Becky's love for her friends and family, but somehow I'm not a fan of the "lost sister found"-storyline.

The amusing thing about this novel is that her half-sister Jessica is Rebecca's complete opposite. She hates shopping, saves her money instead of spending it and doesn't even seem to want a connection with Becky (who is completely enamored with the thought of having a sister).

Again this novel stresses how important it is for Becky that people she cares about like her. Despite the differences between her and Jessica, she doesn't give up and continually tries to make her half-sister see that they could be friends. To do that she doesn't stop at literally life-threatening actions (just let me tell you that Jess likes to climb mountains, Becky... not so much).

At the end of the first novel Becky realizes that she is pregnant and the fifth novel of the series, Shopaholic & Baby, deals with her pregnancy. Just imagine all the clothes and furniture and toys she can buy for the unborn baby!

But the real problem starts to show itself when Becky is adamant that she should go to the obstetrician all the stars go to - Venetia Carter. Too bad that this very pretty doctor actually is Luke's ex-girlfriend and still seems to have a thing for him. The situation gets even worse when Luke starts to behave weirdly and Becky assumes that he has an affair with Venetia.

And again Becky doesn't give up. She's afraid that Luke would leave her for Venetia, but she continues to fight for their marriage - even though her attempts might be a little bit confusing for dear Luke. In the end, everything works out of course and their baby girl Minnie is born. 

But Minnie isn't the sweet, innocent daughter Becky had thought she would be. Just like her mother, Minnie loves to wreak havoc wherever she goes - especially in boutiques and shopping centers which annoys Becky but never fails to make a reader laugh.

While this makes sure you are amused while reading the novel, this story concentrates a lot on working out Becky and Luke's relationship, showing that they can stick together even during "bad times". In Mini Shopaholic we can witness again how important it is to Becky that the people she loves are happy.

All in all, the Shopaholic series is the one series that I can always re-read, no matter how often I have already read those novels. Becky's adventures always make me laugh and I hope that there'll be many more books in this series. Yes, at times it might seem like a little bit superficial, but to be honest: Sometimes you need something that doesn't make you think to much. And if you're able to see what's below the surface, you might fall in love with those books just like I did.

Have you read the Shopaholic series? What did you think about it?


  1. I love this series too!! Just finished "Mini Shopaholic" last week and can't wait for the next book ... it's safe to say that Becky will be having lots of fun in Hollywood :-D !

  2. I need to read this series. I absolutely loved the movie, even if it may have been different from the book, but I laughed so hard. It sounds like the books would be funny too :)

  3. I love this series, my favourite is Mini Shopaholic.
    The movie is amazing, too.
    I still haven't read Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, though..

  4. I love this series!
    I am still to read Mini Shopaholic though, I wasn't a big fan of the lost sister storyline either.

  5. I've read the whole series minus the last one, and I've got the entire series minus book 2 and the last series and I loved it! It's funny and an easy read. I've since read other Sophie Kinsella books and I just love her stories. Another author similar to her is Cecilia Ahern.

  6. I love the series!
    Becky Bloomwood is hilarious!
    I need a new book! And I need it fast!!
    OOh btw I HEART your blog header!


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