Book Review: Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic to the Rescue

Book Review: Sophie Kinsellas  Shopaholic to the Rescue

Becky Brandon dumps her career as a Hollywood stylist and takes off on a true blue American road trip to find her loved ones.

Published: Thu 10 Mar 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 11 Mar 2016, 1:00 AM

We've seen crazy Becky, coming-of-age Becky, getting-married Becky, Hollywood stylist Becky, and now, our familiar, loveable ditzy-but-savvy shopaholic is back in a new avatar. In this road trip and do-gooder-filled adventure, Sophie Kinsella's most beloved fictional character loses her shopping mojo (shocker, shocker) and discovers new sides of herself in her usual breathless but inimitable style.
After moving to LA in the previous book (Shopaholic to the Stars) - where her perfect, PR guru husband Luke Brandon seeks new career highs and Becky reinvents herself as a Hollywood stylist
 The latest edition takes up from exactly where the last one left off. Becky's father Graham has disappeared on what he claims is a mission to "put something right", leaving her mother and best friend Suze - whose husband Tarkie has also flown off on this mysterious quest - in a big upset.
So a whole (Hollywood-style again) entourage sets off in a trailer to find Mr Bloomwood and Tarkie and bring them to "safety" and get to the bottom of this mission they've travelled across the ocean for. As expected, the story is full of humorous gags, quirky characters, a friendship gone sour, the essential bitchy villain, and even an outrageous plot in Ocean's Eleven-style! That's the quick witted Becky's brainwork, of course, and en route, we're treated to some happening incidents and characters - Las Vegas "debauchery", a proper Midwestern county fair, the plastic surgery-loving millionaire with the trophy wife, the eccentric artist, the yoga lady, Becky's haute couture designer friend with great comic timing, her super sophisticated but aloof mother-in-law, and more. Of course, Becky's long-time archrival, Alicia, is a constant presence, and threatens to usurp everything that Becky plans to put into action. An undercurrent self-dialogue that Becky keeps having with herself is about how she doesn't feel like shopping anymore, a possible after-effect of her time at Golden Peace, the obnoxious healing retreat in the last book.
Critics may cite an overkill of the series at this point, with too much of the sugary sarcastic brand of humour - which is less British and more American somehow - that is Becky's first person narration, but for fans, this book is just another highlight swipe in the chick lit series. It may be mindless fluff, but the sort of light read you might enjoy en route somewhere, or to take your mind off something. Just as shopping is an addictive experience, so is shopaholic Becky's crazy world of ups and downs and unexpected turns.
This is also the eighth book in the Shopaholic series, and from all the gossip we can see online, the fun, loveable series might have hit its finale with this one, or maybe the next. or the next.

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