Saturday, July 11, 2015

Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella

Goodreads Description: Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) has stars in her eyes. She and her daughter, Minnie, have joined husband Luke in LA — city of herbal smoothies, multimillion-dollar yoga retreats, and the lure of celebrity. Luke is there to help manage the career of famous actress Sage Seymour — and Becky is convinced she is destined to be Sage's personal stylist, and go from there to every A-list celebrity in Hollywood! But things become complicated when Becky joins the team of Sag'’s arch-rival. How will charming and supportive Luke deal with this conflict? Is it possible that what Becky wants most will end up hurting those she loves most? Shopaholic fans old and new will devour Sophie Kinsella's newest adventure!

My Review: Becky is back! I was thrilled when I realized at the end of Mini-Shopaholic that there would be another Shopaholic book...and I was not disappointed. Becky Bloomwood has turned into a sort-of friend over the years. You know those characters that become so familiar and lovable to you, it's almost as if you know them? They're comforting. They're safe. Becky is one of those characters for me. I love the Shopaholic series. They're chick-lit with heart and a lovable heroine. 

A lot of people actually didn't seem to like this one for reasons that...well, I DID like. Essentially people complained that this book wasn't even about shopping and that Becky was really selfish and cruel in this book; her antics weren't funny anymore, they were just obnoxious.

Hmmm. I'd disagree. Don't get me wrong, her shopping addiction is what made me love her in the first place—but I'm really glad that this book didn't focus on a shopping problem. I mean, come on, we've had about FOUR books where buying too much stuff is the biggest issue. How much more of that plot can you take before it gets boring? Becky keeps buying and buying, Luke gets exasperated and annoyed, Becky figures out some way to get rid of the stuff and fix the problem. Come on. We've read that story before. If Becky came to Hollywood and focused on SHOPPING, that would have been ridiculous. She's been exposed to expensive clothes before but she's never been surrounded by stars! Of course she'd be dazzled by that life. 

And I understand her fascination with Hollywood. Most people will say that that life is too shallow and fake for them but I will openly state that I've thought it'd be fun to be famous in Hollywood. I'm not silly enough to believe that everyone is a fake jerk (to be fair, Kinsella did write some nice, normal stars into her story) and I think it'd be nice to get attention for what you love! (Also, I love acting.) So when Becky felt frustration that no one seemed to take her fantasies seriously, I understood her. Perhaps she wasn't being sensible but she's not the first person to get starstruck and she really HAS always loved styling people—so who wouldn't want to be a big-name Hollywood stylist, you know?

I'm just saying that I understood some of her motivations.

Anyway, overall, I thought the book was pretty good! Not the best one in the series but I laughed till I was breathless quite a few times (always a good sign) and the plot was interesting. Becky was thoughtless and careless—but no more than she normally is, in my opinion. I wasn't too fussed. She's Becky, she messed up, this is why we love her. And what I love most is that she ALWAYS comes back to reality; she's a good person at heart. No one is perfect. 

I have to admit, the book took a somewhat shocking, dark turn near the end. I wasn't really expecting it to veer off into that territory—it got almost creepy. And then it ended on a cliffhanger! Which is just... AAARGH. I need to know what happens next. So I will most definitely be reading the 8th book when it comes out! 

Also, Luke Brandon deserves an award for being the most patient husband on the planet of Earth. OH, and I'm calling it now: Alicia is still a fake. I'm with Becky on this one. But we'll see in Shopaholic to the Rescue

Cover: So not impressed. I'm actually really annoyed because it doesn't follow the format the other books in the series have (and all from the same publisher). The font is different, there's no artwork, they used Times New Roman for the blurb—it all looks and feels really cheap and hastily-put-together. Come on. They could have tried harder. I'm even more annoyed because the British cover is so much cuter! I want that cover. 

Overall Grade: B+ 

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