I have really enjoyed reading the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella, so I was curious what happened to Rebecca (Becky) Brandon after she and Luke had their first baby. Did she lose her need to shop so compulsively? Did she drive Luke crazy with her need to purchase designer duds for their baby? Or, did she drive everyone over the edge with her zany ways? (You can tell, she would drive me crazy if I were friends with her!)
Synopsis: In this fifth installment, Luke and Becky have had a darling little girl. Said little girl though, is not an angel. In fact, she is rowdy, high-spirited, willful, and downright naughty. Not only is she hard to handle, but has developed a strange penchant for Starbucks and "pretty" things at the stores--like her mommy! Is it any wonder that Luke is hesitant to add a second baby to the family? To this hardship of raising a toddler is Luke's growing career, desire to get into their first home (and move out from Becky's parent's home), and a secret birthday party Becky is throwing for Luke. All these stresses only add to the chaos that is Becky Brandon--yet again, always out to be as stylish and hip as she can in the process!
Review: I can't say that I loved or hated this installment of the Shopaholic series. Honestly, I found myself so completely stressed out over the obvious lack of parenting skills displayed by Becky--well meaning or not--and her uncontrollable spending habits. Over and over again, Becky somehow tells herself that it's all okay, validating whatever bad behavior her daughter exhibits or extra dollar she spends on designer duds. As a reader, it often left me exhausted and unable to escape and enjoy the story!
One thing that I can say for Kinsella's series is that there is never a dull moment. I found myself laughing aloud at many scenes in the book, and can thank her for creating such memorable moments on insanity for me (such as having her toddler grasp onto a mannequin in a store and refuse to let go, to the point where the manager asks her to take mannequin and all, just to get her out of the store). I also still really like Luke. Honestly, I'm not sure how such a sensible, well put together, hottie like Luke could continue to put up with his wife's nonsense. By the end, I once again could see the love and connection between the couple, but there for awhile, I wondered if she wouldn't drive him away with her zany ways!
As one final point, I have to say that there is an obvious "cliff hanger" of sorts to this book. I'm not sure why Kinsella would end with so many things up in the air, other than the opportunity to come back with a sixth book. Really, I'll have to pick up whatever follows Mini Shopaholic just so I know what happened after the big birthday bash! To put it simply, be prepared for not much of a tidy wrap up. I'm sure there has to be more to come.
Overall, a fun book, but super frustrating if you take Becky too seriously! (Why can't she just get a grip and stop spending so much money?!? Seriously, the woman needs therapy. I'm not a huge spender, but will say that she makes me feel like a saving saint in comparison!)