Author: Sophie Kinsella
Genre: Chick Lit
First Published: 2007
Page Count: 359
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Note: Book 5 of the Shopaholic series
Becky is up to her same antics in the fifth book of the series, but this time her struggles take on a more serious nature compared to the lighthearted entanglements she has found herself in before.
*Funny without being over the top *Bigger trials for main character then in previous books *Real character growth
“Some things are best left a blur. Births and Visa bills.” The queen of shopping, Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood), is having her first child with her husband Luke. Being pregnant means looking for a new family home and taking special birthing classes to prepare for the child, but, more importantly, it means an excuse to shop. Becky discovers a whole new world of things to purchase including luxury prams and designer cribs, and, of course, she has to have them all. But an unexpected blast from her husband’s past flips Becky’s life upside down, and causes her to question whether her future is as bright as she had expected.
After following Mrs. Brandon through four other novels, we’ve seen her face many struggles with wit and creativity. However, the problems she faces in this book, such as infidelity and the prospect of being a single mother, give the story a lot more power than previous novels in the series. The story has the same funny twists and turns that we come to expect from our loveable heroine, but watching her struggle with the fact that her love life might be crumbling around her during one of the most delicate times in a woman’s life made this book more of a page turner then the rest. I was practically breaking out in a cold sweat reading about all the trials poor pregnant Becky has to suffer through in this book. However, these serious obstacles she faces help her truly grow in this book. By the end, we see that her innocent superficiality drops down a notch as she finally recognizes what is important in life. She has more important challenges in her life now, and this helps close out this book in a less trivial way, which is refreshing for the series.
My only problem was the formulaic start to the book. Like all stories in the series, Becky is going about her wonderful life and most likely hiking up that credit card bill when suddenly she makes a decision that throws a wrench in her perfect life. This completely avoidable choice then sets off a crazy chain of unfortunate events that will most likely cause her to lie to her husband about something or other. It all gets very predictable. However, the book does pick up and take some unexpected twists which save the story, but the beginning did plod along at a foreseeable pace.
In the end though, when I read a book from the Shopaholic series, I’m looking for simple, quick entertainment. With Becky for a main character you get more than a few laughs, but it’s the turns the story takes in this novel that really set it apart from the other books in the collection. I had a stronger desire to keep reading because I sincerely wanted to know what was going to happen to the main character and not because of the hilarity of some frivolous mishap that Becky had found herself trapped in once again. This was definitely the best book in the series for me, and I highly recommend it for lovers of the Shopaholic series.