Newest Review: ... In this book she is pregnant so although i'm sure she is happy to be having a Baby, she now has an excuse to Shop. As the title would sug... more
Shopaholic does it again!
Shopaholic and Baby - Sophie Kinsella
Member Name: blonde_girl774
Shopaholic and Baby - Sophie Kinsella
Advantages: Likeable characters, good plot line & steady pace.
Disadvantages: Slight irritation with some of the characters.
During a recent trip to the January sales I found myself browsing Waterstones, despite them possibly being the only store not to participate in the January sales theme! They did however have a 3 for 2 offer on the majority of books which saw me queuing at the till with 3 books to occupy my time before going back to work. The first book I decided to read was the most light hearted and certainly made for the easiest reading, ease myself in gently I thought...
Shopaholic and Baby is the fifth book in the Shopaholic series from Sophie Kinsella. All the books revolve around the central character Becky Bloomwood who has a particular obsession with shopping - hence the title! Despite getting into debt practically all the time she doesn't seem to be able to stop spending. In the previous books we've seen her mix her love of shopping with going to work abroad, getting married and discovering her long lost sister.
The opening of the book sees Becky pregnant and absolutely loving her life, she's got her dream job at head personal shopper at an exclusive (but somewhat failing) London store, her marriage with Luke is going perfectly and they're looking to buy a house to start their new family in.
The story progresses with as much drama as we're used to from Becky, complete with numerous shopping trips and splurges. While shopping Becky overhears two women talking about an obstetrician Venetia Carter who holds exclusive parties for her clients, including actresses and supermodels. Of course, being Becky, she just has to get on Venetia's books!
Becky later discovers that Luke and Venetia went to University together and even dated for a year! What follows is a humorous look at just how jealous a woman can get in modern day society and the lengths she will go to when she wants the truth. With support from her crazy friends and her slightly unhinged family we see Becky on a mission to find out the truth.
Becky is ultimately the star of the show and simply manages to steal it with her impulsive shopping and outrageous ideas. The things that seem to crop up in her head are totally unique and I find it hard to think that many people actually exist like her. She's a loyal friend and a loving wife, an upbeat character that is entertaining to the very end. However I did find myself becoming a little irritated with her excessive shopping, although it was entertaining to an extent it did begin to annoy me a little as she just seemed to cut off from reality.
Luke is Becky's husband and seems to be your typical high flying business man with the majority of her attention being focused on his growing empire. He does care greatly for Becky and this is evident at several points throughout the book, however at several points I did think he was perhaps a little harsh or a little uncaring and do wish Becky would perhaps make a stand to him at times.
Venetia is a new character to the series and presumably won't be making an appearance in any further books. She's the woman we all love to hate - she's beautiful and has a fabulous career, what more could you want from a bitch?! She clearly has her sights set on Luke and seems determined to get him off Becky, regardless of any cost or pain inflicted onto her.
We also see repeat appearances from Becky's friends and family including her best friend Suze, her sister Jess, her parents and their neighbour Janice.
I really enjoyed this book and managed to finish it within 3 days of starting it which shows how keen I was. Despite the book being part of an ongoing series it's not imperative to have read the previous books, although they will undoubtedly help build your appreciation and understanding of this book. There are frequent references to events that occurred previously although they are kept short and explained in a sense that you can gather the gist of them without any prior knowledge. I would however recommend reading the previous books first, just so you can get to know the characters and therefore see how they've evolved.
The characters in the book are arguably what really determines how good that book is and in this case I'd say they were well portrayed, generally likeable and easy for the reader to empathise with at all times. I genuinely felt Becky's hatred towards Venetia and her determination to find out the truth about her relationship with Luke. At times my irritation with Becky did start to rise when she insisted on buying not one but five prams or when she spent a small fortune at a baby fair. However it's impossible to not like someone that is generous and good natured, if a little misled.
The length of the book was just right in my opinion; it was long enough to see Becky through the majority of her pregnancy without dragging at any point. The way time passed in the book was really subtle, the author would talk about an event the following week and suddenly that event would be here, without the reader even noticing that a whole week had passed. The pace of the book was just right, important events were well documented whereas a mere mention was made of those that were less important or just not significant to the story.
The book is written largely from the viewpoint of Becky, although at the start of each chapter there are various letters and emails to add to the comedy of the book. These are from various people with whom Becky has had financial dealings and tend to be along the lines of "I don't think Topshop jewellery would be a suitable investment for your unborn child." It's a refreshing break at the end of each chapter and certainly did add to the humour of the book.
I'd certainly recommend this book, although I would suggest that you read the others in the series first.
Thanks for reading!
Summary: The fifth shopaholic book in the series by Sophie Kinsella.