Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

“Okay. Relax. I can handle it.” Except, she can’t. The stack of credit card bills all marked in red, the shoes she just has to have, the $2,000 bag that others will envy…Becky Bloomwood has to have it all. “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” by Sophie Kinsella, is a sharp, witty look into one woman’s high stack of credit card bills and the shopping splurges that create them. Becky’s roommate, Suze, discovers her best friend’s credit card woes and tries to help her clean up her act, telling her to reorganize and get rid of things she doesn’t need to show her that every purchase she makes can’t be made on a whim. Becky just shoves all of her materialistic endeavors into the closet and later ends up under a pile of them.

Suze is a likable character and her hilarious motivation to get her friend to stop overcharging but then wanting to squeal over every unnecessary purchase is realistic. Many girls watch their friends fly into debt and try to help, but at the same time can’t help be a bit jealous of their cool shoes, handbags, clothes and jewelry. Becky is a financial journalist and while trying to break ground in her credit card bills, also discovers a particular story of interest on her parents’ next door neighbors.

They’ve been discarded by a company that, after they made a bad decision to change on Becky’s advice, steals their money. Becky decides to research the story and becomes famous after it is printed. However, as it turns out, her new-found fame is partly brought down by the fact that her love interest, Luke Brandon (a sexy business type) is the person in charge of the company she’s out to ruin.

Following Becky’s destruction of over-shopping and charging everything in sight is a fun, hilarious journey. Along the way, she has bad dates, a few laughable purchases, and deals with the downfall of situations she has created. There are three stories (so far) that follow the first book in this comedic series. “Shopaholic Takes Manhattan” follows Becky and Luke to New York where Becky finds herself in a whole new world of shopping troubles (and just when you thought she’d learned her lesson).

“Shopaholic Ties the Knot” is an endearing look into Becky’s elation over Luke’s romantic proposal and the predicaments that follow. This book is funniest of all, with the comedic genius of Kinsella adding to Becky’s credit card woes in her determination to have the perfect wedding, only to get mixed up in the wedding hoopla and somehow winds up being committed to throwing two different weddings.

Kinsella’s most recent creation is the Shopaholic series, entitled “Shopaholic and Sister,” which takes a nice dive into Becky’s family life and begins a year into her marriage to Luke. Here Becky discovers that her father had a child (unbeknownst to him) before her.

This book has an intense amount of heart, mixed in with the silliness that is the wonderful character of Becky. The book certainly ends as a cliffhanger and allows the reader to hope for another book in this terrific series. Watching Becky get out of each predicament, that in reality she causes for herself, is a hoot; the reader can probably relate to the hysterics that Becky has to go through in order to solve each problem. Sophie Kinsella writes Becky with a beautiful touch of realism.

She is an insane shopper, who somehow always winds up causing some sort of destruction for herself, or for Luke, as the case may be, but who is also someone every girl knows, a girl who is strong and fights for what she wants. These books are for every girl who finds herself walking out of the stores with an amount of bags beyond belief, full of lovely but unnecessary items, despite their high cost.

Each character has its own quirk (Becky is the shopper, Suze is the realist–unless Becky just bought a new pair of shoes that she just has to borrow, Luke is the strong business type who has a heart-stopping love for Becky).

The characters are fun and the books are charmingly fast paced and hard to put down. You can find each of these four books in any bookstore. Definitely pick them up!

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