After a busy day, or week, there is nothing better than relaxing with a good book.
I must admit, I am not a great reader. Mainly because I just don’t have the time, but when I do, there is nothing better than being taken away into a different world. It helps me switch off and forget about the stresses of normal life.
For me a good book needs to have characters that you can relate to, and a gripping story line. When I say gripping, I am not talking about a thriller, or mystery, but something that draws you back to the book.
When I’ve had a busy time I like books that are fun, however I have also been known to read biographies, history books etc – books on Stalin and Di Vinci are 2 of my favourites, along with Richard Branson who I thought was so inspiring.
I have recently just completed a series of books from Sophie Kinsella. Shopaholics is a serious of books which takes you through a period of Rebecca Bloomwood’s life. There are 8 books in the series. What is really clever is that you could independently read the books, or as I did read them as a series.
I have just finished the final book and feel like I have lost a friend. Now that is the sign of a great book, or in this case a series.
In my head, I know what Rebecca looks like, her husband, daughter, family and friends. I feel I know them personally. I felt their pain, happiness and all their dreams. I know what their homes, cars and clothes look like too! Well in my head I do!
What is even more exciting is that I have now just found out that there is a movie based on the books! I’m also a little nervous as the characters in the movie may not live up to my own expectations of them now!
So who is Shopaholic and what did she get up to that made the books so good? I will give you a brief overview of each book, but I won’t go into too much detail. It would only spoil the pleasure of your own experience reading them!
The Secret Dreamworld of a shopaholic
We meet Rebecca Bloomwood for the first time in this book. She is a single young lady, working as a financial Journalist. When you know her, that in itself is quite funny.
Becky as she is known, lives in a flat with her best friend Suzie. Suzie is from a very well off family, so doesn’t really have to work. That said, she is a really loyal and supportive friend to Becky, who has as you may have guessed it has a problem with shopping! Actually, to Becky, its not a problem. She absolutely loves shopping. The buy 1 get 1 free offers, or free gifts if you spend a certain amount, are just too tempting. I mean they are a bargain. Why wouldn’t you buy them? Whatever they are? You never know when they may come in handy!!
Considering her job, she has no financial planning skills for herself. She has credit cards coming out of her ears, and cupboards full of things she doesn’t need, but couldn’t resist!
It is in this book we first meet Luke. Initially, I didn’t see the pair of them together, but as it takes you through, they are a perfect match. As with most relationships though, nothing ever goes to plan!
Life has certainly changed for Becky. She has a fabulous job on morning TV, her bank manager has become quite fond of her and she has changed her thinking on shopping! ‘Buy only what you need’! Ha Ha!!
Then she has the opportunity to go to New York and be a personal shopper! What more could a shopaholic want than to help others buy clothes!
Ok, anyone that has been to New York will also know that for someone who loves shopping, there are a couple of temptations such as Saks and Bloomingdales, to name just 2!
Becky does have all the right dreams when she initially arrives. She is going to do all the touristy things. Of course she is! Except those shops just keep getting in the way!
We follow Becky with her adventures and nightmares, as her shopping habits get her into even more trouble!
Shopaholic Ties the Knot
Becky finally gets her man in this book – Luke. With a wedding to plan, all her shopping dreams should come true, but as with Becky, nothing ever runs smoothly!
She is torn between giving her parents the dream wedding in her home town of Oxshott. or keeping her mother-in-law to be happy!
Her mum wants the wedding in the back garden with all her family around her. Luke’s mum, who he has had a difficult relationship with, wants a society wedding in New York, in the best hotel – The Plaza. Luke’s mum has plenty of money so she knows that this options would be absolutely spectacular. Does she choose a wedding where money is no object, or a smaller more traditional affair back home with her true family and friends?
As in true Becky style, she doesn’t make it easy. It was always going to be a difficult decision. The trouble she gets herself into will have you in stitches.
Shopaholic & Sister
Out of all the books, the story for this one really surprised me. I wasn’t expecting it at all!
Becky returns from honeymoon. She hasn’t told anyone she is coming home, and is expecting a big reunion from her parents. Instead they are distant, like they are hiding something from her. Becky’s fears are confirmed when they announce she has a sister!
Becky’s dad had a child before he met her mum, which none of them knew about.
After the initial shock, Becky is delighted to have a sister. She has planned this perfect sister relationship in her head. The problem is, Jess is the complete opposite to her! She hates shopping and wasting money.
You have to feel sorry for Becky in this book. As she tries to build this perfect relationship with her half sister, things just don’t go to plan!
Shopaholic & Baby
If Becky thought New York was an adventure, wait till she realises she is going to be a mum!
After the shock she realises that she has another reason to go shopping! I mean, babies need so much stuff don’t they! Everything has to be so perfect for their new addition to the family.
It all starts to go wrong though when she hears about this amazing obstetrician to the stars. She just has to have that doctor. I mean, look at all the famous people she will meet and become fabulous mummy friends with! What she doesn’t know is that this doctor was an ex of Luke’s, and she still has desires on him!
Becky is hormonal as all pregnant women are, and starts to doubt Luke and her relationship. This doctor is beautiful and intelligent. Becky’s body is changing and she feels insecure. It doesn’t help the games the doctor is playing either. You can’t help getting emotional and feeling like you want to give her a big hug.
Who does Luke choose? You will have to read it to see!
So the baby has arrived. A beautiful little girl called Minnie. What is more is that she is also a mini version of Becky!
The book takes you through early motherhood and the developing personality of Minnie. As she gets more and more like her mum. You can just imagine this little girl sitting on her mums lap or shopping in designer shops, in her pretty dresses with bows in her hair!
Finances become strained at an already difficult time for her and Luke. They end up moving back in with her parents for a while too which adds more pressure. In true Becky style though, there are many adventures to be had including arranging a surprise party for Luke on a budget!
This was truly a funny book!
Shopaholic to the Stars
When Luke’s work takes them to Los Angeles, Becky sees an opportunity for her own career to take on as a stylist to the stars.
Luke is the agent to a big star, Sage Seymour. Becky feels that they will become best friends and she too will become famous.
Becky becomes so focused on her dreams that she doesn’t see what is going on around her. As her own marriage and that of her friend Suzie falls apart, she only sees stars in front of her eyes!
What should have been a dream time for her becomes a nightmare. Slowly without her even noticing things start falling apart bit by bit until something shocks her back to reality.
What’s nice about this book though, is that throughout it, you see that Becky has started to mature. I no longer see her as this young women, but a wife and mother, and a good daughter and good friend, who has just got lost.
Becky needs to make a choice, her career and fame or her friends and family? Who does she choose?
Shopaholic to the Rescue
Becky’s poor choices in the last book cause this adventure! She has to put things right!
Los Angeles didn’t turn out how she thought it would be, and she had paid a big price. She potentially was going to pay a bigger one if she didn’t do something about it.
When Becky’s dad and Suzie’s husband go missing, there is only one thing for it. She has to find them. She has to build relationships too!
This book takes them to Las Vegas, for more adventures.
Secrets from the past are exposed, and her relationship with Suzie is really tested.
One thing that Becky is good at, is problem solving. She might have off the wall ideas, but they do actually work some of the time! She also never gives up.
You see Becky finally mature in this book.
I won’t spoil the ending, but I have to say by the end of it, I felt that I had lost a friend. No more Becky!
If you want a really good read, these books are for you.
Becky is someone you can really relate to! The author Sophie has written it so well. You are really drawn in to all her adventures.
Its not all plain sailing for Becky. She will dig quite a few wholes along the way. Whatever happens though, she has a true heart. That is what her husband Luke sees in her.
She may get lost sometimes, but don’t we all!