Book: Shopaholic Series Books 1-6
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Genre: Women’s fluff
Morality Rating: PG-13
Readability Rating: 4 Stars
Buy it: Amazon
Shopaholic Book Summary
Becky Bloomwood is a smart woman, but sort of a flake. She loves high-fashion and isn’t afraid to sacrifice her financial future to get it. Her obsessive ways get her into scrapes and trouble with friends, family, and relationships; but somehow, she just can’t stop. Will Becky be ruined by her shopaholic ways, or will something always swoop in at the last second to bail her out?
I started out reading the first book in this series, and while it depressed me more than I thought a fluff book should, it hooked me and made me binge-read the entire series within a week. As the series went on, the activities of Shopaholic became less realistic, which actually made the books more enjoyable for me. Just be prepared; Becky’s life is nothing like yours.
Plot: The first plot in the series was somewhat realistic. Becky works as a financial journalist (in 1999, which is way different than the writing scene today) for a small magazine. She basically rewrites press releases for about $40,000 a year, which is completely unrealistic in today’s writing world, but times have changed. Anyway, while working there, she runs across a handsome gentleman who is a bit at odds with her, which of course, means they are destined for romance. However, the romance was actually not the central focus of the book, which I appreciated. After the first book, her experiences only become more over-the-top, which threw all realism out the window, but made for a fun story. Each book has her get into successively higher and higher financial stakes, which was a lot of fun.
Characters: There are only a few real main characters in the book. Becky is self-centered, and I think the absence of other characters shows that. The only “normal” character in the story is her boyfriend Luke, but I am not sure how he can stand to be around everyone else, honestly. Becky’s friends, family, and neighbors are fun characters to read about and are what you would expect from an English humor book.
Setting: Most of the books take place in England, aside from “Shopaholic Takes Manhattan,” which takes place in Manhattan. In actuality, most of the book takes place in either her apartment or the numerous fashion shops in London. I was pleased that I recognized many of the labels mentioned in the books. I liked the Manhattan book’s setting the most- because it is fun to see what other countries think about America. But honestly, I don’t know why anyone would leave England if they had the ability to live there forever.
Writing: The writing in the Shopaholic series is simple and straightforward, but still intelligent. It is written in present tense, and all from Becky’s mind, which is pretty fun. Her thoughts are pretty hilarious. However, my favorite part of the book was the letters written to Becky from the various financial institutions that she wrote to along the way. I hope no one actually writes letters like that, but if they did, I bet it would give a bank manager a more interesting day. I like it when books include extra elements like that that aren’t particularly essential to the plot, but add depth to the story.
I’m not sure how to classify the Shopaholic books; there is definitely some romance in the book but I wouldn’t call it a “romance book.” However, I don’t think men would care for the series at all, which I suppose makes it women’s fiction? There is nothing serious or all that realistic in the book, so it is definitely something to read just for fun, but I like the option to read something fluffy and fun.
Therefore, if you are looking for something fluffy and fun to read, this is the perfect series. And if you like your romances a little cleaner, Shopaholic has no descriptive sex scenes. However, it does have a lot of swearing.