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Book Review: Confessions of a Shopaholic

September 27, 2008 1 comment

Confessions of a Shopaholic, Sophie Kinsella; Fiction

Confessions of a Shopaholic was a surprisingly delightful read. They say that you should never judge a book by its cover, but in this day and age of calculated marketing, it’s not a stretch to assume that a cover that looks like this book’s will be a certain kind of book. On the contrary, Confessions… was a quick but thoroughly enjoyable read, both smarter and better written than others I have read in the so-called “chick-lit” genre.

From the Publisher: Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London’s trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season’s must-haves. The only trouble is that she can’t actually afford it—not any of it. Her job writing at Successful Savings not only bores her to tears, it doesn’t pay much at all. And lately Becky’s been chased by dismal letters from Visa and the Endwich Bank—letters with large red sums she can’t bear to read—and they’re getting ever harder to ignore

The most surprising part of this book was how much I liked the characters. At first, I was worried that Becky’s constant obsession with shopping and her detailed descriptions of clothing and outfits would become annoying. Instead, Kinsella crafts her character in such a way that she always remains endearing and adorable. I think this is because Becky knows she has a problem, but her issue is that she just can’t find a way to fix her problem. She always finds a way to justify buying a new scarf, or a new notebook…something we all can identify with. I even loved Luke Brandon, the “love interest or is he?” in the book, who could really be a jerk at times. Of course, at this point I’d already seen the movie trailer, and so I kept imagining Hugh Dancy during these scenes, so maybe that’s why I just couldn’t hate him :D.

The book is from the UK and set there as well, so I wasn’t familiar with many of the shopping references, like names of stores or designers.  I also had to keep making mental calculations, converting Becky’s spendings from £’s to dollars. I guess it’s standard to leave money amounts in their original form, and I understand why, but how much things cost really matters in this book, so at times it was a little awkward.

I picked this book up after seeing the trailer for the movie (trailer below), starring Isla Fisher. I think the movie looks really good, although it clearly differs from the book a bit (which I’m totally okay with…i think expecting the film and book to be identical, for any book, is a bit ridiculous). I think the actors are well-suited for their parts, particularly Hugh Dancy as Luke (and I’m not just saying that because he’s incredibly handsome…really…). We’ll have to wait a while to see though…the movie doesn’t come out until February.

But back to the book…there are four more or so in series. Even though I really enjoyed this first offering, I don’t really feel an immediate need to run and get the others. Everything was wrapped up really well here, and I don’t really think one sequel was necessary, letalone four. Reviews I’ve read all say that the first one is the best of the lot, so I don’t think I’m going to miss anything if I don’t read the rest.

Here’s the trailer for the Confession’s film: