on August 14, 2003
This book is really perfect for people who have been in debt, or can perhaps relate to the main character. I found that this book was hard for me to read not because of its predictability or silliness, but because I was frustrated with the actions. I did not understand why she could not simply do something about her shopping obsession, or why no one stepped in to help the heroine control her debt.
The story is really quite trite. Besides being predicable, it was boring. Some of the ironic things in the book, such as her job in finances, and attempts to save money by going to a museum (which turn out disastrously) were funny, but just not enough to elevate the plot. The book did however inspire me to stay out of debt as I was able to see the downward spiral of her life, and I do not want that to happen to me. I learned a bit about myself too, in that I may need to read more books about people with problems to help me with patience and problem-solving skills.
Rebecca Bloomwood, the main character, has some nice friends, and people who do support her. It is surprising to me that they could not step in and help her, which irks me. I feel that while the book would not have been as long if she had gotten help, it might have been more realistic. The shopping setting was intriguing though, especially as it takes place in Europe.
I think that in the age of chick-lit, there are many better picks. I did not like this book because it was so clichéd, and irritating to me. However, someone who likes shopping, or feels they could relate to the in-debt spender may enjoy it. I did find many parts of the book to be humorous though, so if one can stick through the other parts, I did find myself laughing aloud. Of course, that is just my teenage opinion; I could be wrong.
on January 1, 2003
This book tries very hard to copy the style of Bridget Jones' Diary, but it lacks the fast plot tempo, engaging secondary characters, and interesting subplots of Bridget Jones. It follows the twenty-something singelton Rebecca Bloomwood as she shops her way into debt in London. The first 250 pages of the paperback edition were nothing but repetitious scenes of her spending and debt problems. Ok, we get it, how much more do we need? Becky is also not a character you can relate to--she is lazy and incompetent at her job, and her major character transformation occurs toward the end of the book, in less than a dozen pages, and very unconvincingly. Like Bridget, she just happens to find herself a job in tv (the Cinderella ending for our media obsessed culture), and she just happens to find a multimillionaire boyfriend to go with it, although how she can manage to attract someone like this is a mystery, as is the boyfriend himself, whose character development gets lost in the pages devoted to Becky's shopping.
Other, more minor dissatisfactions I had: the constant overuse of brand names for London products, shops,tv game shows, and restaurants that, even with context clues, don't mean all that much to an American reader. Clearly, we're supposed to peg a shopper's socioeconomic class with them, but it's almost like reading an in joke when you're a member of the out crowd--it doesn't compute. Kinsella also manages to use the revoltingly ugly verb "gabble", that first made its appearance for me in Bridget Jones, not once, but several times. I think that's taking imitation too far.
In short, I'd borrow this book from the library if you want a mildly entertaining read for those days when you don't want to tax a single neuron, but I'd never pay money for it. Get Bridget Jones'Diary instead, if you want a funnier and snappier rendition of English single life.
Becky Bloomwood seems to have a pretty good life. A nice apartment in a trendy London area, a good job writing for Successful Savings, socialite friends and tons of clothing.
The only problem is, she can't afford the clothes, the only reason she has such a nice flat is because she shares it with a rich debutante and she absolutely HATES her job. So, she shops! and shops!
I tried very hard to like the main character in this book. I failed.
Although the story is told in a fun way, you never feel an ounce of sympathy for Becky. She comes across as self-centered, living in her own little world which, frankly, borders on the silly. I often found myself thinking that this character could never possibly exist in the real world.
Similarly, all the people in Becky's life seem to float around her in their own little worlds. She doesn't seem to connect with any of them until the very end, where magically, all falls into place.
The only redeeming feature of this book was the breezy, often funny descriptions of Becky's shopping trips.
on July 27, 2001
I read all of Helen Fieldings books in a matter of days and was in search of something of the same caliber. Well, this is a very similar story but it is NOT the same caliber of writing. I found the first 150 pgs of the book to be a little "ho hum" and frustrating. For 150 pgs the book dwells on her addiction to shopping, but you know she has to overcome it - that's the whole point of the book, right? So you read and wait - serious overkill detailing her addiction - and wait... Finally she hits bottom (3/4 of the way through the book), starts to pull it together, and love is added to the mix. The love story comes too late and ends too abruptly. The rest of the book's underweavings never come to a conclusion. When I finally started liking the book - it was over. I was left unsatisfied and wanting a complete conclusion. Read Helen Fielding's books - enjoy Bridget Jones (or Cause Celeb for something different) and save your money on this one.
on May 4, 2003
While I enjoyed certain aspects of this book, the thought that constantly hovered over me was, "this book is almost exactly the same as Bridget Jones's Diary!" Let's see, young single woman works a crappy job, has difficulty controlling various aspects of her life, is constantly lying and then getting caught in lies, hits rock bottom and then all of a sudden, quite miraculously by chance her whole life is turned around by a well-timed (and lucky) decision and simultaneously lands gorgeous millionaire....sound a bit like Bridget Jones? Yeah, I thought so too. The only difference is that BJD is so much funnier and more believable and more LIKEABLE. I can't see why this book was ever published. If you're in the market for a funny read go with Bridget Jones's Diary and the sequel, The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding. Much, MUCH better.
on July 31, 2001
I completely agree with the few others who said the book doesn't begin to get interesting until the final chapters, then ends too abruptly. I've also read Bridget Jones Diary and this book is not in the same league, as far as writing caliber and humor are concerned. The majority of the book is focused on the main character trying to control her wild spending habits, with little else to stimulate readers. After the rationalization of approximately her 50th purchase, this tends to get a little tedious. This book might be entertaining for those who want a light summer read and excessive detail on the main character's shopping purchases, but there is no extensive character development and no wickedly funny humor, as found in BJD. I'm surprised to find this book comes so highly recommended.
on August 7, 2001
I was so looking forward to reading this book while on holiday. I read a glowing review at my nail shop in a People magazine (I should have known!), and bought it to bring to New Mexico. I love London, and did appreciate reading all about the shops, neighborhoods and tube stations, but that was about it! This character really does have a problem that could have been dealt with in a more humorous and realistic manner, but instead we are treated to a compulsive personality that never truly gets clarity. There are also some parts of the story that don't get wound up at the end, so frustrating! Don't waste your time (especially your vacation time!) on this borer, instead read or reread something by David Sedaris. Cheers!
on February 7, 2002
My friend reccomended this book to me, saying that if I liked "Bridget Jones' Diary", I'd love this. She was sorely mistaken. While this book also takes place in London, that's where the similarities end. Becky Bloomwood is a whiney, unsympathetic charecter who I have absolutly no pity for. Two thirds of the book is discriptions of what shes bought and how they're such an "investment". Her methods of making more money are pathetic, desperate and unrealtistic. And why does she get the guy? Not only do they supposedly hate each other, the author makes it perfectly clear that Luke still thinks Becky's something special, making the ending no suprise whatsoever. Maybe some people like reading about spoiled brats. I don't.
on March 15, 2004
A friend suggested I read this "light" novel for fun and I found this book incredibly boring. The heroine, Rebecca Bloomwood, has a fluffy personality and doesn't even have her head on straight when it comes to her work as a financial writer. Her thought process in making valid reasons why she is a compulsive shopper were humourous in the beginning but half way through the book, I was getting tired of having the same old point drilled to me that Rebecca buys things to compensate for self worth.
"Confessions" is unrealistic and the other characters in the book are not developed enough to make it worthwhile to remember their names. This book is understandably meant to be just a quick read.
on July 14, 2004
This book was terrible. I always finish the books I read, it was done painstakingly with this book. Her lying was just annoying!! I don't even understand how she ended up with the guy in the end. Truelly terrible book