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This book continues the series that is about Annie Valentine. I have read all the books in this series, and like them. The style of book that this is is just the kind of book I go for, which is a normal kind of chick lit book.
The book centres around Annie Valentine. Annie works as a personal shopper at a fancy department shop called The Store. Annie loves her job as she loves Fashion and helping people to look nice. Annie has quite a few loyal customers as well.
Annie has the chance of appearing on Television as a fashion advisor on a prime time TV show. Annie is so excited. This will be her big break. However all is not what it seems. In Annie's mind she will be seen by millions of viewers but in reality the budget is not so big for this TV show and it is on 1 of the lesser known channels. So it's not as glamorous as Annie was expecting. Still it's Television isn't it? Annie is full of ideas and hope when she starts the TV show, but she is not the star that she thinks that she is, and things aren't quite going to plan. Has Annie made a mistake?
This is another great read. Yes it isn't all that challenging to be honest, but I still wanted to read that bit more to find out what was happening with the book. Annie I feel is a likable character, but I find her a little bit breezy at times, and although I wouldn't want her to be a character that stressed and worried all the time, I just feel that she is a bit dismissive at times and I feel that her boyfriend Ed should perhaps stand up to her sometimes.
The other characters that were in the other books are still here which are Annie's 2 children, Ed, her Boyfriend, Annie's sister Dinah and Connor, Annie's friend.
So how did I find this book? I do like it, and although I would say that the first 2 books in the series are probably the best I feel that this is entertaining with the TV side of the story as well. Annie still seems her usual self and everyone else just fits in with Annie's life.
A good read in a good series.
After reading some of Reid's earlier books, I took the chance to read her latest offering when my friend bought it. It got mixed reviews in magazines, so I was keen to see what she'd done wrong...
Annie Valentine is a personal shopper to the rich, or at least she was. She's decided to leave her job and become a TV star, presenting a show which shows people what to wear, and what looks terrible. She's enlisted the help of Svetlana, a client with more money then sense, who always seems to be getting married!
It isn't as easy as Annie expected, however, and she struggles to balance a full time job with a shopping addiction and her family, husband Ed and her 12 and 16 year old children. So she's shocked when Ed suggests they have another child. He's feeling very broody, and has worked out the finances...but Annie likes having her own income, and sleeping through the night!
I won't give away the ending, but it was a good read, and Annie was an entertaining main character. She's endlessly cheerful, and the book is uplifting and a real feel good story. Reading a parents opinion on the teenage years was interesting, and the whole book is intelligent and heart warming. A really good read...I can't fault it!
Annie Valentine is a personal shopper at a major department store, but she's in the midst of a career move to become a television presenter for a new lifestyle show - along with her friend Svetlana. Her high hopes for the series don't play out as the planned debut on a big channel fails to materialise and the show ends up airing on a channel with not much of an audience and very little in the way of a wardrobe budget. As a personal shopper, this is a big blow for Annie but she soldiers on regardless, determined to do as a good a job as possible on what she's given. On top of this, she must balance her career with her family life. Partner Ed is making noises about having a baby together, while Annie has her hands full enough with her two existing children. Can Annie and Ed learn to compromise? Will Annie's television career take off? And who is the mysterious young woman who turns up on Svetlana's doorstep and becomes Annie and Ed's reluctant house guest?
Protagonist Annie was very easy to like and I couldn't help but feel engaged with her. The book is written in a chatty style (even though it's in third person and not told from Annie's viewpoint), and this makes it feel as though you're in the thick of the action. Annie's friend, Svetlana, seems to have something of a penchant for rich men and is in the process of divorcing one of her husbands and marrying another. Ordinarily, I would probably dislike this type of character but there is something quite comedic about her. This is helped along by the fact that her sometimes broken English is highlighted by the author ("I vant ...", instead of "I want..." etc). She is something of a character, as is the girl who arrives on her doorstep. I won't say any more than that about the girl, as it's not revealed on the back cover blurb so I don't want to give away who she is. At first, Svetlana seems to be purely Annie's sidekick, but she starts to become a central part of the plot with her own storyline as the book progresses. She is a tough character (as is Annie), but it is interesting to see some slight vulnerabilities in her personality at times.
***A note about the other Annie Valentine books***
When I picked this book up in my local supermarket, I wasn't aware that it was part of a series of books by the same author featuring the central character. In fact, I didn't actually realise this until after I had finished reading it. I'm not sure what that says about me, but I thought I'd point it out to anyone who is thinking of reading the book but isn't sure whether they need to read the others first. As far as I can tell, while they all feature the same protagonist, they don't seem to follow on from one another so you can read this particular installment without missing out on something vital plot-wise.
Annie Valentine is back! Annie, a successful personal shopper at The Store has hit the big time. She's been offered a slot on a primetime TV show as a fashion advisor, and she can't wait. But things go slightly wrong when Annie realises she has a tiny budget, unwilling participants and a co-star from hell. While she's trying to perform miracles, her ever patient boyfriend Ed is waiting for her at home with her 2 children... but Ed wants his own baby, even though it couldn't be further from Annie's mind. Is Annie able to handle the work and home pressures? Or is fame not all its cracked up to be?
'How Not To Shop' is the third book in the Annie Valentine Series by Carmen Reid. The first 2 are 'The Personal Shopper' and 'Late Night Shopping', and I've read both. I wasn't overly keen on the first book of the series but I was intrigued to see the direction of the next book so I read that which was much better. I really enjoyed Annie's second adventure so when I saw Carmen had a third book coming out I was excited. How Not To Shop follows Annie after she leaves her job at The Store so is a totally different setting, but it really works!
Obviously this book will make much more sense if you read it after you have read the first two books because of the chronological storyline. However, if you like the sound of this and haven't read the others, it is possible to enjoy this one, you just may not get some of the references to previous things that have happened to Annie and her friends/family. I managed to get into this book incredibly easily, and found myself slipping into the life of Annie quickly and seamlessly, and the reminders along the way helped bring the previous 2 books back for me.
Annie is the same as ever, funny, fame-hungry, mad and obsessed about shopping. I really didn't like her in the first book but I very much liked her in this one. It's very funny and Annie seems to lurch from one disaster to the other in an incredibly amusing way. You are endeared to her because of her endless disasters, and her attitude in this book was brilliant. She stands up for herself, does a good job and holds a family together, and is a likeable character which is essential for a book where the lead character is a female and is read by females! If you hate Annie, you might hate the book which isn't good!
The other characters in the book are brilliant and thread an excellent story between the main story of Annie and her TV career. Ed, her other half is the perfect man, and is the perfect contrast to eccentric Annie. He is a calming influence, and I defy any woman reading the book not to love Ed! Annie's children are less prominent in the book, but her best friend, Russian millionairess Svetlana is hilarious and has a shocking yet hilarious storyline throughout the book too which takes it in a totally different for a while which was fabulous to read and not what you'd expect from this book!
Despite the laughs and disasters of Annie, the book does have some more serious undertones for the readers that make it seem a bit more realistic. Annie's sister has fertility troubles and this is covered sensitively by Reid, and is a credit to her writing skills. She manages to convey the desperation for Dana to have a baby with Annie's unwant of one with Ed, and balances the two to create a mature and interesting storyline that will have you feeling every emotion along with the two. It was great to have this story running alongside the funnier ones because it grounds the book a bit and adds a more adult theme to the book.
For Reid, this is an excellent return to a brilliant character, and I loved every second of this book. It's my favourite of the series so far, and I would love for her to write a fourth as I think she's left it open enough at the end for that to happen which would be brilliant! All the shopping references as seen in the first 2 books are there - mentions of designer clothes, costs and descriptions are perfect, Reid must do some lovely and fun research to write these books! If you loved the first 2 books, this is a must-read for you and even if you haven't read them, this is a great light-hearted summer read, especially if you love your shopping!
ISBN: 978-0552158855. Published by Corgi in August 2009. The paperback has 416 pages and has an RRP of £6.99.
Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review.
Note: this review was written for my blog, http://chicklitreviews.com
Thank you for reading!