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Watch out New York, here comes the Shopaholic
Shopaholic Abroad - Sophie Kinsella
Member Name: tinkerbell18
Shopaholic Abroad - Sophie Kinsella
Date: 22/06/10, updated on 22/06/10 (88 review reads)
Advantages: Enjoyable to read, more about Becky Bloomwood's antics
After enjoying the first Shopaholic book in the series, I found that the next logical step was to read the next book - which happens to be Shopaholic Abroad. Cue a quick trip to a bookshop! Coming to read this book I had a better idea of what to expect from Sophie Kinsella, but I think this allowed me to enjoy this book more than the first because I already knew that it should be an enjoyable book.
Shopaholic Abroad begins where the last book left off; Becky Bloomwood is now a minor celebrity, giving out financial advice on a popular morning TV show, as well as dating the handsome & successful Luke Brandon. With her friend Suze watching over her, Becky is even managing to control her spending - well, a little more than usual anyway. And yes, she does still have an overdraft, and perhaps even a few store cards, but she is more in control - or so she says. Life couldn't get much better, until Becky gets the opportunity of a lifetime - the offer of a job on American TV, and a move to New York, the home of big designer labels & sample sales with massive reductions. Will Becky - and her bank balance - be able to cope with a new life in the Big Apple?
Shopaholic Abroad is written in much the same way as the first novel. Most chapters begin with letters from Becky's bank manager or from some of her favourite stores, often providing a little side-line amusement. I enjoy the first person narrative as it allows you to feel more involved with Becky & her thoughts, and makes the story seem more real. I honestly do not think that this series of novels would have worked anywhere near as well as they do if they had been written in third person. The use of first person is a refreshing change, especially amongst my book collection.
The book is well written, and has a good balance of emotions throughout. I found myself giggling at Becky's exploits one moment, and at other times anxiously biting my nails in anticipation of what would happen next. I even felt embarrassed at times along with Becky. Sophie Kinsella doesn't make the book too predictable; there are again a couple of shock twists in the book that when the book is read again you can spot a few innocuous events that hint at what's to come, but especially during the first read through you have no idea about what is going to happen until it does.
This second book has allowed 'supporting' characters to be developed more, as well as the character of Becky herself, improving the book as more characters are bulked out, and this enables you to gain more insight into Becky's world. I do enjoy the fact that all the main characters make a reappearance, whilst some perhaps random characters make an appearance too, creating a more elaborate continuity from the previous book.
At 329 pages long, this book is a good book to curl up with on a rainy day, or on holiday, or whenever you just need to relax. I do tend to finish it in a few hours, but this is both because I'm a fast reader & I love the story so much I can't put it down, and I always find myself re-reading the entire series (even though this means that for a few days no-one is able to disturb me).
Shopaholic Abroad definitely has marked similarities with the first novel (such as the bank letters and Becky's excuses) but it is definitely not a clone. There is a distinctly different storyline, although Becky's shopping habit is a key factor in the storyline.
I would definitely recommend this book, although I would suggest that to fully appreciate this book, the first in the series (Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic) must be read; although this isn't necessary to enjoy the book it does explain some references to previous events and provides the reader with more of a back-story.
Summary: An extremely good sequel
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