Friday, February 4, 2011

Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

418 pages
Published in 2010
by Dial Press a trademark of
The Random House Publishing Group

New York, NY

Mini Shopaholic is the sixth in a series of chick-lit/romantic-comedy-of-errors novels by British author, Sophie Kinsella.

The Plot:
"Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) thought motherhood would be a breeze and that having a daughter was a dream come true a shopping friend for life! But it's trickier than she thought as two-year-old Minnie has a quite different approach to shopping. She can create havoc everywhere from Harrods to Harvey Nicks to her own christening. She hires taxis at random, her favourite word is Mine, and she's even started bidding for designer bags on eBay. On top of everything else, there s a big financial crisis. People are having to Cut Back including all of Becky's personal shopping clients and she and Luke are still living with Becky's Mum and Dad. To cheer everyone up, Becky decides to throw a surprise birthday party on a budget but then things become really complicated. Who will end up on the naughty step, who will get a gold star and will Becky's secret wishes come true?" (Summary courtesy of Sophie Kinsella's website.)

My Thoughts:
I've said it before, I'll say it again. When it comes to reading I view books like one might view food. Some books are the appetizer, others are the entree, and still others are like a dessert. One cannot have a healthy diet if all you eat is why type of food, there must be balance. And so it is with reading. I try to balance out my reading by partaking in some classics, some biographies and non-fiction, and even some light-fluffy chick-lit from time to time.

The Shopaholic series is one such chick-lit that I've surprised myself by liking. When I first came upon the series in 2008 I had mixed feelings. I found Becky's story very funny and compelling and yet some of the choices she made really stressed me out. I know this is how a lot of readers feel, but unlike those who ditched Becky half-way through her first catastrophe I actually stuck it out. In some odd twist of irony I actually found myself interested. I had to know what happened next. And after the first book I picked up the second. It didn't take long before I discovered a pattern within the novels:
1. The story opens and we see Becky has a situation.
2. Becky tries to fix things, but gets into a mess.
3. Becky gets further into the mess.
4. When all else fails suddenly she's able to come out of the mess and everything works out just fine.
5. Happy ending promising the next installment.
Not to say this pattern should be interpreted to mean the Shopaholic series are brainless works of fiction because they are not, but neither are they meaty works of literature. Overall I've found them to be entertaining. A mix of modern comedy, romance, and lessons learned. The fun of the story is all in contained within Becky's latest adventure... so long as you can put up with all the drama.

I do have some objections to some aspects of these novels, but considering the world-view of the characters (and the author) nothing is a surprise. Readers should be wary that since this is a British novel there is a smattering of profanity that is a bit stronger than most American novels of the same genre. There are some other adult-content references within the story, but for the most part the story remains clean.

All in all, if you've read any of the Shopaholic series (or seen the 2009 film adaptation of Confessions of a Shopaholic) and enjoyed them and especially if you've made it as far as the fifth book (Shopaholic and Baby) you really must read Kinsella's latest, Mini Shopaholic.

For those of you who have tried to read, but given up on Becky, I'll just say don't bother I know you won't enjoy it.

And for those who have already read Mini Shopaholic, you probably already know that it isn't the end of Becky's story. I suspect in a year (or two) there will be a seventh addition to the series, which I confess I plan to read.

Reviews of Sophie Kinsella's books & Related Links:

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
Can You Keep A Secret by Sophie Kinsella
The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

The Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella:
(read in 2008 prior to this blog)
Confessions of a Shopaholic
Shopaholic Takes Manhattan
Shopaholic Ties the Knot
Shopaholic And Sister
Shopaholic and Baby

Other chick-lit novels I've read and reviewed.

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