Confessions of a Shopaholic, by Sophie Kinsella

Cover ImageFinished 4-4-10, rating 3/5, fiction, pub. 2001

Book 1 of the Shopaholic series.

Becky Bloomwood is a 25 year-old Londoner who has a job she hates, is deeply in debt, and can’t seem to stop herself from spending money she doesn’t have.  She writes for a financial magazine but knows next to nothing about the field and she is just going with the flow even though her overdue notices are piling up.  She decides to take control and curb her outlandish spending, but in doing this she spends even more money.  Then she decides to find some part-time work, but is a failure at that too.  Becky is a mess.

I expected a funny book and it was, but I could not seem to gather any love for Becky.  She drove me crazy.  She didn’t seem to have a clue.  She lied a lot, threw away bills and considered them gone, and got fired from a job after a few hours for doing the stupidest thing.  On page 256 she has an AHA moment, but I just didn’t believe it.  There was nothing before that made me think she was capable of such insight.  Do I sound judgmental enough? 

Everyone seems to love this book and series, so I feel like a total scrooge in just thinking it was average.  The writing was funny.  It was just Becky that drove me crazy.  Maybe it’s because I am not a huge shopper myself so I didn’t really get the compulsion.  Or maybe I was expecting too much. 

This book is from my personal library and was chosen for me by Kathy, Kerri, Julie H., Kathrin.  Here’s what they had to say…

“Good, clean fun.” Kathy

“Funny.” Kerri

“Hilarious and a quick read!” Kathrin

“You won’t be able to stop and you’ll have to read them all.”  Julie H.

30 thoughts on “Confessions of a Shopaholic, by Sophie Kinsella

  1. Margot says:

    I’m very glad you didn’t like Becky. This whole spend-spend idea bothers me. I know a lot of people who live for “retail therapy” but if you can’t afford it, it seems immoral. Actually, it seems immoral even if you can afford it. How can it be fun to buy “things” when there are so many children in the world who need the basics? There is a book (I’ll have to find the title) that looks at the opposite of this idea. It’s the story of a couple who went a year without buying anything other than the bare basics needed to stay alive. Very interesting.

    • stacybuckeye says:

      That book sounds interesting Margot. I’m not sure I thinking shopping is immoral. There are times when nothing will make me feel better than going out and buying a little something for myself 🙂

  2. Staci-Life in the Thumb says:

    I have a copy of this one….now I really need to get it out and read it to see what I think about Becky!!!!! I’m seriously considering not getting any library books for the month of May and just reading from my shelves…if I do, then this will be one to read!

  3. Kathy says:

    I enjoyed this first book in the series although I agree with you about Becky. I just never connected with her.
    I read a couple of the other books in the series but gave up because they were more of the same.

  4. Kathrin says:

    I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as we others did! I agree, Becky was a bit over the top, but the situations she got herself in with the whole shopping etc were simply hilarious, IMHO. Did you read Can You Keep A Secret?? I think the main character was less over the top, but it was still a great book! (My first Kinsella, btw!)

  5. fleurfisher says:

    I liked this, and when it first came out it was a little different, but the sequels go downhill fast. Avoid! But did you know that Sophie Kinsella also writes under her real name – Madeleine Wickham – I think you’d like those books more.

  6. Melody says:

    I’ve read two of the series so far and it’s been years ago. I didn’t follow the rest because I think the books are more or less the same.

  7. Kristen says:

    I liked this one when I read it years ago but found the sequels to be very repetitive. I suspect that if I was reading it now for the first time it would annoy me more than it did then. But when it came out, there wasn’t the glut of chick lit that there is now and the light and frothy take seemed so refreshing.

    • stacybuckeye says:

      Maybe that was the initial appeal. I felt like I should have liked Becky, just couldn’t make myself do it.

    • stacybuckeye says:

      Outlandish is good – I like the Srephanie Plum series – just didn’t want to be friends with Becky 😉

  8. Heather says:

    I really didn’t like the movie…I had the same thoughts that you had. I didn’t sympathize and I thought that the author trivialized the real reasons why people spend outrageously…lots of deep issues there as well. Too trivial, too happy-ending for me. So have never wanted to read the book! Great review!

  9. Bonnie says:

    I read this several years ago and felt the same way you did Stacy! I only read the first book and didn’t read anymore in the series. I couldn’t relate to Becky in any way and found her annoying and her actions deplorable for the most part. There were some funny parts but it wasn’t enough to have me really enjoy this book.

    • stacybuckeye says:

      Not going to continue with the series, but will check out other Kinsella books at some point. I did enjoy the writing.

  10. Jenners says:

    I’ve never read anything by this author … and now I’m not sure I want to. She sounds a bit awful .. even if she is supposed to be “funny.”

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