Review: Shopaholic & Sister by Sophie Kinsella

UK book cover of Shopaholic & Sister by Sophie Kinsella

So I’m not a huge chick-lit fan, but I do have particular authors whose work I know I’m going to love. Sophie Kinsella is definitely one of these, if not the highest ranking on my personal scale of Awesome. I haven’t read a single book of hers I didn’t immediately love – I’ve read all the Shopaholic books up to this one (read my review of Shopaholic Ties the Knot here) and Can You Keep A Secret? was the story that got me reading chick-lit in the first place. That said, I have to admit I didn’t like Shopaholic & Sister quite as much as the others, although the light and fun tone this series is famous for is still intact.

Becky thought being married to Luke Brandon would be one big Tiffany box of happiness. But to be honest, it’s not quite as dreamy as she’d hoped. 

The trouble started on honeymoon, when she told Luke the tiniest
little fib, about the teeniest little purchase. Now she’s on a strict
budget, she doesn’t have a job – and worst of all her beloved Suze has a
new best friend. Then she receives some incredible news. She has a
long-lost sister!
Becky has never been more excited.
Finally, a real sister! They’ll have so much in common! They can go
shopping together… choose shoes together… have manicures together…

Until she meets her – and gets the shock of her life. It can’t be
true. Surely Becky Bloomwood’s long-lost sister can’t… hate shopping?

So Becky Bloomwood can be a bit of an annoying character occasionally- she makes stupid decisions, gets herself into scrapes and then never owns up until it’s too late. She’s loveable (and I do sympathise with her faults more than I’d like to admit), but most of her troubles are down to her own lack of judgement. Not so in Shopaholic & Sister though, or not completely at any rate. That’s not to say Becky isn’t her usual spending self – she is. It’s just not really the focus of the novel. 

See, all her close relationships – her husband, her sister, her best friend and her boyfriend are all absolutely horrible to her in this book, for no apparent reason. It actually crossed the line into downright depressing. I mean, I know it’s a chick-lit book so chances were always that it’d all be resolved into fairy dust at the end, but it genuinely made me sad while I was reading. I can’t help but think it could have been toned down a little.

I think that, for me, the problem wasn’t that Becky’s sister didn’t like shopping. The problem was that Becky’s sister was an irritating, judgemental bitch. I wanted to smack her a good few times myself, and I wasn’t the one trying to befriend her! It just didn’t seem realistic that Becky would keep trying to reconcile, even though Jess shunned her more more than once. I just wanted her to get a backbone.

The ending is actually very good. Slightly over-dramatic and unrealistic (not to mention twee), but it successfully dispelled the dark cloud hovering over my head from the rest of the book.A true chick-lit ending – fluffy and happy-making!

I have to give a nod to Sophie Kinsella for this one – it must be difficult coming up with so many different premises for the Shopaholic books. It’s such a simple concept that I’m amazed her books haven’t just become the same thing over and over again. I know I’ve complained about how depressing this book is, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. Like I said before, I’ve never read book by this author I didn’t like. They’re just so fun and easy to read (bouts of depression aside).

Read my review of Shopaholic Ties the Knot or visit Sophie Kinsella’s website here.

Comments

  1. Sophia says:

    I agree completely, this was definitely the weakest of the Shopaholic series, perhaps even of all Sophie Kinsella's books. It's still way ahead of most chick lit but, as you say, it did get a mite depressing in the middle.

  2. Laura says:

    I've read the shopaholic books like a zillion times each (before I had a book blog and thought 'hey, I should probably read different books to like review them and stuff!') and I LOVED them, but I haven't read them for a while now, and the more I think about them, the more I just keep thinking 'WHY IS SHE SO ANNOYING AND STUPID?!' (although I agree, less so in this book). The thing is though, I reckon if I read them again now, I'd still just be like damnnn I love these books lol

    1. Hanna says:

      Exactly! I'm usually awful for loathing main characters the second they become even mildly irritating, but Becky Bloomwood seems immune to my hatred somehow. She does remind me of myself a little though – I'm terrible with money and I'd much rather hide problems than deal with them – so perhaps that's why!

  3. I have yet to read this one. The Shopaholic books are just so much fun!

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