Shopaholic To The Stars by Sophie Kinsella (2 out of 5)

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I really need a Goodreads shelf for “chick lit”.
I also need a reality check on what books I really want to dive into these days.
Sophie Kinsella has always been a “fun, escapist” type author for me. You don’t take her books seriously, you aren’t supposed to. She’s a more fun Helen Fielding, in my opinion. However, the last Shopaholic, while it won some stars for originality in having Becky dealing with something she couldn’t control- pregnancy- I felt hollowed out, like a eaten Chocolate Easter Bunny, when I was done with it. I thought at that time “It’s fine, it’s a light, fun read, and life is tough, so why not?”
Well, I think my reading standards are jumping up into meteorite status or something, because this was fun, but this was torture to get through. I’m not taking anything away from Kinsella, she’s true to all of her characters, but she’s just whittling the same story out of a wooden ship that she has been for all of her previous entries, and I’m bored, bored, bored. Becky’s character needs to be shaken, stirred, staked, and blurred, before she can capture the reader’s whimsy as she used to.
This time around, Becky and Luke are living in Los Angeles, scene of all of Becky’s celebrity crushes, crazy dreams, and the like. Luke is consulting with Sage, a popular celebrity, and so far he is resisting Becky’s pleas to introduce them so Becky can convince Sage to let her do her personal shopping and worse yet, be her “best friend”. The exact formula Becky has used in the past, comes back full circle. Luke is still the same nice guy who isn’t quite sure how to tell his wife she needs to let the celeb fascination go and deal with her life as it is. The best friend Suze, Danny, her friend and gay designer extraordinaire, in previous books so entertaining, fall flat here. Not sure what the hell is up, but not the plot. Before she knows it, Becky’s overtures land her a job doing personal shopping for Sage’s archrival…things get real rocky once Sage realizes this, and of course, Becky’s actions put Luke in an uncomfortable professional quandary. This is nothing new for the character- in almost every single book, she jeopardizes her personal happiness with ill-thought schemes of grandeur, and the poor nice guy pays the price. It’s just really missing something. And it’s not a good something.
Again, Kinsella is not to blame. The characters are genuine, and act as you would expect them to. And that is part of the problem here. I predicted most of what was going to happen, and sadly, it did. There were no surprises, no shake-ups, just a lot of fun reading and predictability. These are books that used to make me laugh at the silliness of the fixes Becky got herself into; now it’s just like reading the same story with a new location and new supporting cast members. Another thing that really bugged the hell out of me is that Becky, being a new mother, should have her daughter Minnie around more, and she seems to be out of sight the entire novel, only as a forethought. Excuse me, that’s your kid! It’s not realistic in that regard either. Luke doesn’t seem to be real concerned about where the hell Minnie is for half of the book, either. What happened to the hearts of these two characters? Luke’s is beating a thousand beats a minute for his Curve IPhone, and Becky, well, if it yields anything near a shopping venue, you have her. I wish Kinsella would jump-start the franchise and bring it back to the glory days it once yielded for this reader.

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~ by generationgbooks on November 16, 2014.

2 Responses to “Shopaholic To The Stars by Sophie Kinsella (2 out of 5)”

  1. G – have you read anything by Lianne Moriarty???? She is a great author whose books are fun easy reads, but really well written. Highly recommend…

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