Tag Archives: Mini Shopaholic

Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

It’s time to review another book for the Chick Lit Challenge. This time I’m discussing Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella.

From goodreads.com

 Mini Shopaholic (Shopaholic #6) by Sophie Kinsella Nothing comes between Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) and her bargains. Neither act of God nor budget crunch can shatter her dreams of wall-to-wall Prada. Every milestone in her well-shopped life (travel, long-lost sister, marriage, pregnancy) inspires new vistas to explore in the name of retail therapy. But now she faces her greatest little challenge yet: Becky’s two-year-old daughter, Minnie.

While motherhood has been everything Becky dreamed it would be—Baby Dior, Little Marc Jacobs, and Dolce & Gabbana for toddlers—adorable Minnie is wreaking havoc everywhere she goes, from Harrods to her own christening. Her favorite word is “MINE!” and her penchant for Balenciaga bags, Chanel sunglasses, and online purchases has no rival under age five.

Becky is at her wits end. On top of this, she and her husband Luke are still living with her parents. Thankfully it appears house buying attempt number four is a go! Until a huge financial crisis causes panic everywhere, and nobody wants to shop—not Becky’s personal shopping clientele, not her friends, nobody. And with Luke in the doldrums, it’s time for Becky to step in—with a party: A surprise birthday party for Luke (on a budget) is the perfect antidote to everyone’s woes. At first.

Will Becky manage to keep the party of the year a surprise? Can she hire jugglers, fire-eaters, and acrobats at a discount? Will enlisting the help of Luke’s unflappable assistant to convince him to have another baby realize her dream of matching pom-poms? Will Minnie find a new outlet for her energetic and spirited nature (perhaps one with sixty percent markdowns)? She is, after all, a chip off the old shopping block. And everyone knows a committed shopper always finds a way.

Sophie Kinsella has written six books in her Shopaholic Series. The first three books were cute and endearing. Becky’s various dramas and inability to save money were amusing. Her skill at finding a way to fix everything at the last minute had you rooting for her throughout the story. I found these books to be quite enjoyable.

The last two books in the series were a different story. Becky showed little growth as a character. Her antics–which started off as funny–became repetitive. When I’m reading a story, I hope to see the main character grow and change; something Becky seems unable to do. Her lack of growth led to books that felt repetitive and formulaic.

This disappointing pattern is not broken in Mini Shopaholic. The only difference in Becky’s latest adventure is the addition of a two-year-old accomplice. Becky is now able to excuse her shopping habits by passing them off as her daughter’s. This small addition is not enough to make the plot interesting. I struggled to get through the first half of the book. I kept hoping that the “How does Becky get herself out of trouble this time” storyline was enough to continue reading. Luckily it was worth the wait.

The first half of this book was mostly a tale of self-indulgence and reckless behavior. By contrast, the second half was interesting and moving. I enjoyed how the relationship between Luke and his estranged mother was explored. This story grabbed my attention and made me want to keep reading. The storyline did not entirely save the book, but made me glad I stuck with it.

As always, the book ended as a setup for another addition in the Shopaholic series. I would be interested in reading this next book to see what is in store for Luke and his mother. Unfortunately I feel this followup story will again focus primarily on Becky and her flighty tendencies. I would have hoped by now that she had learned something, but clearly not. Perhaps the next tale will be the one in which we finally see Becky grow as a character.

Review: I feel as if this book would be more enjoyable to someone unfamiliar with the series. As a standalone story, the plot is interesting. As part of a series, it feels recycled. There are only so many times I can read about Becky’s repeated mistakes before I start wondering why she has yet to learn anything. For fans of the series, I suggest this as a library read. It is OK but not worth the $13.50 purchase price.

Books of Summer

As a book lover, I am very excited for this summer. Not only does the summer offer many opportunities for lying out in the sun and reading, it also brings a bunch of new book releases! I am eagerly awaiting many of these releases as they are from some of my favorite authors.

Heart of the Matter book coverThe first summer release that has me excited is Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin. Although this book has been released — its release date was Tuesday, May 11th– I still feel it is worth a mention. I discovered Emily Giffin’s first book, Something Borrowed, while waiting in line for the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I picked up the book initially just to help me pass the time while waiting in line. An hour or so later I was engrossed in the story. I ended up buying it, and it has since become one of my favorites. I often find myself returning to this book for an impromptu re-read. I have since purchased and enjoyed Giffin’s other three releases. The author’s ability to depict relationships between people in her novels has consistently amazed me. This skill always translates to characters that I can relate to. I can’t wait to see if this is true of her new novel.

Insatiable Book CoverThe next summer release on my calendar is Insatiable by Meg Cabot. Due in bookstores on June 1st, this will be Cabot’s third release this year. Though Cabot has quite the collection of published works, none feel “cookie-cutter” in plot. I have read over thirty Meg Cabot stories and I have enjoyed them all. Each book or series has a different feel to it which really helps them stand out. That is certainly true of her newest novel. Cabot promises that Insatiable will take on the topics of Supernatural and Vampires in a new way. I can’t wait to see what that is!

Promises to Keep by Jane GreenThe third summer release I am excited about is Promises to Keep by Jane Green. I have read many of Green’s books and love how I have always been able to relate to her characters. When I was an unmarried college student, I was able to connect with the single women in her stories. Once I was married, I enjoyed her stories of the trials and tribulations newlyweds. As I leave that stage of my life, I am enjoying her stories of mothers-to-be and find them to be delightful. I hope that Promises to Keep: A Novel helps to continue that trend. This book is scheduled to be released June 15th.

Fly Away Home book coverJuly 13th is the release date of my next anticipated summer release Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner. Weiner’s ability to describe the complex feelings of relationships is a reason why she is among my favorite authors. She uses this skill in In Her Shoes to tell the story of two sisters, making this book a favorite of mine. In her novel Little Earthquakes, she is able to show the connection between young mothers with the same realism. I am interested to see which relationship she tackles in this new release as it is sure to be as moving as her previous works.

Mini Shopaholic book coverThe last summer release I am eagerly awaiting is Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. This book, to be released August 24th, is the latest in the author’s “Shopaholic” series. As a fellow shopaholic, I find main character Becky Bloomwood endearing. I have related to many of her antics and travels throughout the series. I have been wondering about Becky the birth of her daughter in the end of Shopaholic and Baby and can not wait to see what she has been up to in the time since.

These are the five summer releases that have me excited. Are any of your favorite authors releasing books this summer? What are your most anticipated summer releases? Thanks in advance for sharing!