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I liked the first book better
Shopaholic Abroad - Sophie Kinsella
Member Name: diamond_sparkles
Shopaholic Abroad - Sophie Kinsella
Disadvantages: Could have been better
This second book in the Shopaholic series was less easy to follow than the first. It as, by every means, as entertaining and fun as the first book, but a bit less gripping and much more serious. The reason why I like this book is because it shows a different side of the main protagonist- a more serious, mature and slightly more boring Rebecca Bloomwood. In all the five books, this one is definitely my least favorite, but by no means does this imply that it is not a good read. It certainly is an amusing novel and true to the spirit of the overall series, but there was this little something lacking, maybe some of the typical quirkiness of the author. The ending was also a little too dragging and the book failed to captivate me as the others. Having said that, I will not advise you to skip this installment because it (obviously) follows into the remaining books!
Becky's life is looking up. Her love life with Luke Brandon is perfect and she's even on great terms with her bank manager Derek Smeath- whom she refers to as Smeathie now. And she's still a full-fledged shopaholic who's slowly but surely amassing bills. But things will soon change very drastically for her: Smeathie is replaced by a tougher bank manager and Luke suddenly announces that he's moving to New York. What will Becky do? If she moves with Luke, what will her life in the Big Apple bring?
Romance-wise, I would say that this book really enhances the budding relationship between Becky and Luke. In fact, the lack of quirkiness might be replaced by the romantic dimension and provide quite an interesting read. I would say that this novel is more plot than style or character-driven; While I usually admire Kinsella's style of writing, she was quite disappointing with this one. Some sentences are so long that they drag on across paragraphs and this is one of the rare books where the author ends up bombarding the reader with details. In my previous reviews on Kinsella's books, I said that I really admire the manner in which she provides just the right amount of details without going overboard, but the excess of detail provided with this book did put me off a little bit.
The main protagonist, Becky, is much less developed than in the previous book. I actually fell in love with the first Shopaholic book because of the amazing manner in which Kinsella painted a witty, quirky protagonist who literally forces you to care about her. However, after the stunning character portrayal in the first book, this one was an extreme let down. Other minor or secondary characters were more developed than Becky. Moreover, in the few instances where Kinsella gave an in-depth character portrayal of her protagonist, she drastically changed Becky's attitude towards certain things. I understand that this was in line with the overall happenings in the novel, but I would have preferred a more gradual change within this character.
I know I'm being highly critical about this book but that's mainly because of the drastic manner in which certain things changed from the first one. However, it does have its share of entertaining moments, and as I previously mentioned, it shows a more mature side of Becky. There are actually quite a few changes to head her way in this novel. Having read all five books in the series, I have to say while this one lackluster, it certainly lays down a solid enough foundation for the three books to follow.
Overall, I will recommend this if you're interested in the other Shopaholic books. It may not be as witty and fluffy as the first one but provides some decent entertainment with a few twists and turns. Quite predictable but also an average, decent read.
~Thanks for reading~