Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Review: Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Confessions of a Shopaholic (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Shopaholic Series)
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.
It kind of takes the fun out of it, doesn't it? You wander round, just looking at things, and it all gets a bit boring after a while. Whereas if they put price tags on, you'd be far more interested. In fact, I think all museums should put prices on their exhibits. You'd look at a silver chalice or a marble statue or the Mona Lisa or whatever, and admire it for its beauty and historical importance and everything--and then you'd reach for the price tag and gasp, "Hey, look how much this one is!" It would really liven things up.
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. Unlike her opposite number in Bridget Jones's Diary, however, Rebecca actually seems too scattered and spacey to reel in such a successful man. Maybe it's her Denny and George scarf. In any case, Kinsella's debut makes excellent fantasy reading for the long stretches between white sales and appliance specials. -Summary taken from Goodreads

I've seen the movie based on this book and I was surprised how much they had changed, and not for the best. I loved Becky as a Londoner as opposed to a New Yorker. Isla Fisher is darling but book Becky had the witty English humor thing going for her. She was lovable despite her irritating spending habit. However, most of the time I just wanted to shake her and scream that buying something that is 'buy one get one free' isn't like making money. Self control, people! 

By the end of the book I felt like Becky was a friend of mine and yet, I was constantly saying to her. "No! You don't really need that. Stop! Just STOP!" So, I had a bit of mixed emotions because I loved her but her constant spending just drove me crazy! I'm sure I'll be picking up the rest of the books just to see what kind of mess she gets herself into and then out of. It's fun, easy to read, summer, chick lit. Good times.

Oh, I also have a sneaking suspicion that Ms. Kinsella has or had a spending problem of her own. Some of Becky's reasoning sounded as though they could have come from some of the shopaholics in my own life. A lot of it felt all to real except, of course, for the unlikely way Becky gets out of her tough situation. I could only wish that my debts could be settled so easily buy the sudden appearance of a fantastic job for which I'm wholly unqualified for and paid a ridiculous amount. That really happens, right?

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