Friday, September 2, 2016

Sophie Kinsella - Mini Shopaholic

Becky Brandon thinks that having a daughter is a dream come true: a shopping friend for life! But two-year-old Minnie has a quite different approach to shopping. The toddler creates havoc everywhere she goes, from Harrods to her own christening. Her favorite word is "Mine!" and she's even trying to get into eBay! On top of everything else, Becky and Luke are still living with her parents (the deal on house #4 has fallen through), when suddenly there's a huge nationwide financial crisis.
With people having to cut back, Becky decides to throw a surprise party for Luke to cheer everyone up. But when costs start to spiral out of control, she must decide whether to accept help from an unexpected source--and therefore run the risk of hurting the person she loves.
Will Becky be able to pull off the celebration of the year? Will she and Luke ever find a home of their own? Will Minnie ever learn to behave? And . . . most important . . . will Becky's secret wishes ever come true?

Comment: This is a book I've had to read for some time. My problem is always the same, not enough time to get to every book right away...
I've been a fan of the Shopaholic series mostly because of some scenes but I wouldn't rate the whole series more than average. This is fun and cute sometimes but overall, I feel it's too focused on the silly to be something I could enjoy more.

In this installment, Becky and Luke's daughter is two years old and already an expert on brands and her mother's routines. However, Minnie is too young to really appreciate shopping and like any little girl, she causes more scenes than her mother would expect.
While dealing with a little girl, Becky and Luke still need to find their own house because all deals don't work for some reason or another. And it's almost Luke's birthday and Becky wants to give him the best surprise party ever but with the costs and the challenges and the need for secrecy, can Becky organize everything or will she need to face the truth and ask for help?

I'm perfectly aware this is not going to win a literary award and despite mrs Kinsella dedication to the character of Becky and her quirks, the books have flaws.
I mean, the stories certainly match their purpose, which is to entertain and make us smile over Becky's adventures and attempts to shop more without being a responsible adult, but even funny and comic stories must have some balance or everything turns into a caricature.

After all the books I've read in this series - and some of the author's the single titles too - what makes this so popular is also what gets the most on my nerves. The characters aren't realistic enough and the more serious ones aren't enough to properly counterbalance the most silly/flighty ones, like Becky.
The idea is that Becky is always going to get herself in trouble or sticky situations that most of us would consider avoidable or too humiliating but that are supposed to be funny and comic. I can understand this idea, as I do the point of making hr see her issues close to the end of the book, where she can finally learn a lesson or act adult or become responsible for some chapters. But there's such an amount of time where she is inconsistent and reckless and rarely uses reason that I can't think positive things of her all the time.
Becky also has the problem of saying no, she just can't do it. I know it's complicated to battle peer pressure and just say what we feel and think but Becky takes it too the extreme to be what others want of her and she buys things and she does things to make her look good in certain situations, often along her own selfish addiction of buying more than she needs.
I applaud her decision here to not buy more things because she promised Luke but then she thinks getting a dress for Minnie's 21st birthday is a clever way to not buy things for herself. Minnie is still 19 years away from that event....

I could have topics of all the things I get annoyed at but the truth is that there are scenes here and there that make me think. There's a thin layer of angst when Becky tries to make things perfect for Luke and he seems to not pay attention to her and one can't help but imagine what it would be like to be in that position. The writing isn't all bad and yes, many scenes are interesting and worth reading. The too silly ones just happen more often.

All things considered, this is not the best book in the series (the previous one worked out so much better for me in terms of content) but it keeps up the same things we expect to see. I just think Becky could act more like her age and still be funny and sweet and addictive to shopping without bordering on the ridiculous and selfish as she currently does. 
It's weird to like this but then hoping to see an improvement in Becky's personality but if that doesn't happen, what's the point?
Grade: 6/10

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