on November 14, 2004
While the flighty yet well-meaning Becky is back in similar style to the first three books, Kinsella's choice of contrasting her with the ultra-practical, unbelievably thrifty Jess has made it difficult to enjoy Becky's character as in the previous books.
Perhaps it is that Becky is now married and it is difficult to justify her half-truths towards her husband. Perhaps I'm expecting her to have grown a little along the way. In the first few books, I sympathized with her and saw a little of myself in Kinsella's shop-at-all-cost Becky. It was a little bit of fantasy. Wouldn't it be nice to spend and buy and spend and buy and not feel guilty or suffer the consequences? Now, she just seems immature and irresponsible. The fact that she always manages to land on her feet, despite silly choices, seems unrealistic.
Check your brain at the door and this instalment of the Shopaholic novels is light, fun read, albeit not quite as enjoyable as the first three books. Think about it too much and it may just border on annoying.
on October 2, 2004
Sophie Kinsells's Shopaholic books are always little guilty pleasures, aren't they? Fun, light, silly, charming, and a breeze to read. This latest installment in Becky Bloomwood's life is no different. It may not be high literature but it's pageturning, adventurious, and consistently entertaining, so I definitely recommend Shopaholic & Sister wholeheartedly.
Also suggest you get your hands on Jennifer Paddock's latest, A Secret Word. Lots of fun and some tears, about three young women prevailing over life's travails.
on October 26, 2009
Alright, by the fourth book Becky is just wrapping up her year-long around the world honeymoon with her husband Luke, and finally they're heading back to England. Of course, Becky couldn't resist her favourite activity while on the Grand Tour, and as we all know, there are definately consequences for buying TOO much...
However, the shopping doesn't exactly stay the main focus. Instead, a "sister" is introduced, and Becky tries to bond with this new sister (Jess) with her own unique ideals and her "Becky-factor". Unfortunately, things don't always go as they plan...
Well, there was the extremely short summary of the book, which is also the two main points of the review. I feel that after three books, shopping itself is just not going to hold up. I mean, its fun to watch Becky shop in the first two books, blowing off most of her money in exchange for luxuries that most of us could only DREAM of (I loved the part where she was at Barneys, anyone else?), but its starting to get old. The third book managed to redeem itself by the craziness of the wedding, which while still involving some shopping, actually has another direction for Becky. Becuase a person could only shop so much before its just plain tedious.
Another thing is that while Becky is still warm and friendly, with her completely unique approach, her "simple" outlook and solutions are rather tiring. I mean, after going through nearly bankruptcy and saying several times that shopping should NOT be the main focus of your life, you'd think that she would actually TAKE her own advice and grow up a bit. For this book, Becky's character just feels flat as she continues to be the girl that lives her life based on her whim. That seems like a contrast from the Becky that FINALLY learned a lesson in the last book, where she should appreciate her marriage more etc. etc.
As for the character Jess, she just serves as a complete opposite of Becky that allows the latter to befriend the former. While I'm reading the book, I don't know who I'm disappointed/bored by more: Becky or her sister.
The book does have its usual quirks, and there is stil some humour along with a side story that is more enjoyable than the whole sisterly bonding, but its not quite the earlier books of the series. It seems like the author is trying to branch off into more "serious" topics while keeping the book light and easy, and managed to not quite reach the target for both goals. I personally think that she should keep it as a chick-lit, because that's the real shining point for the SHOPAHOLIC series.
on November 19, 2005
Shopaholic & Sister, like all the previous Shopaholic books was pure pleasure to flip the pages through although like Shopaholic Takes Manhatten, it was unneeded.
Still, it was a warm welcome for the old characters again. Becky Brandon is still the same girl she was from the beginning... Only she has a half-sister, Jess, who appears to be interested in nothing but rocks, border collies, working out, and computers. And the worst part of all---she hates shopping! Becky is certain they can still have fun and be friends, but Jess doesn't seem to feel the same way. Plus, all those souvenirs from the 10-month honeymoon with Luke---in particular, that Angel bag that cost 2000 euros is now getting her in trouble with Luke in a way you'll find out once you read the book. :)
As always, Becky is still minorly immature which makes her delightfully relateable, and many designers are mentioned which will be great for anyone who likes pop culture inserted in their books. Very light, very fun, very chicklit, very Sophie Kinsella! Which is good.
on October 18, 2004
This is the worst of the series so far. One question, can Becky Bloomwood get any dumber? In "Confession", I assumed the auther was having fun with the personality. It was fresh and cute. As Becky's life progressed, her IQ was dropping from one book to the next. She becomes the typical "air-head". It seems that all she knows is nothing else but fashion (don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of Harvey Nicks and Harrods too). Her life seems to be flat and uninteresting. Sophie Kinsella may want to do more research if she wants to write the 5th shopaholic. It is very evidental that she has been taken over by a lot of British writers who can come up with better plots and characters.
If you like the same stylish/ modern British chiklit, you can try Helen Dunne or Clare Naylor. Their writings are way better than Kinsella's. If you really want to read this book, wait for the mass market copy.
on August 2, 2006
As much as I loved the first 3 Shopaholic books, I felt like this one was just unnecessary, almost as if Sophie Kinsella was trying to squeeze every last drop out of this series. Although the story was ok in itself, I started to dislike Becky by this point because it seems like she just NEVER learns and is really just a shallow idiot whoes marriage deserves to fail because she lies to and keeps so much from Luke. I know I'm probably analyzing this book as though it were meant to be more than just entertaining chick-lit, but still I just wish it was never written, for the sake of the great 3 books before it.
on June 25, 2004
Another chronicle in the saga of Rebecca Bloomwood....the sister twist is a bit far-fetched, and you just want to shoot Luke (the stupid husband!) but it's the thoughts that just pop into Rebecca's head that make you howl with laughter. It's a good thing there has been a break since the last book, because she is starting to get a bit tired and repetitive....the end of the book does leave LOADS of room for the next installment. Kinsella should stick with creating new characters that are equally as witty (like Can You Keep A Secret?). Still, a GREAT summer read! I bought it on-line from the UK because I couldn't wait and then read it in one day!
on July 9, 2004
I bought this book while vacationing in Ireland and I'm so glad I did. You would think that after three Shopaholic books that Becky and her antics might get a little dull, but that is absolutely not the case. Shopaholic and Sister is just as funny, witty and absorbing as Confessions of a Shopaholic. Becky is hysterical and I found myself laughing out loud at many, many points in the book. I mean, mountain climbing in turquoise kitten heels with diamanté straps? Who wouldn't find that funny? I am thrilled that Sophie Kinsella has returned to Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) and I look forward to the next chapter in her life.
on October 25, 2004
The fourth in the SHOPAHOLIC series, Kinsella has done it once again with the "& SISTER" installment. While I'm normally one to stick with some bestseller in fiction like "The Plot Against America" or "The Bark of the Dogwood," I HAD read the previous Kinsella books and decided that I had to read this one as well. While I understand the "chick-lit" label, I nevertheless enjoyed this colorful romp--eventhough I'm a guy. What can I say?
Would also recommend BARK OF THE DOGWOOD and RUNNING WITH SCISSORS for some other interesting reads
on July 20, 2007
I'm sorry but im really not fond of Jess. I like the idea that they were different but Jess was just plain out annoying and rude sometimes. this was my least favourite book in the series. I think the series could've been just fine without this book. I must say that i did enjoy parts of the book (the parts that did not involve Jess)and it really did make me laugh.
I was even surprised that Jess had a part in shopaholic and baby. i was like, what is she doing here, i thought she said she didnt know for a fact who her dad was. oh well, overall it was okay.