It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Sophie Kinsella, and as soon as I heard there was another book in the Shopaholic series coming out in early September, I started skulking around bookstores to get my copy.
Mini Shopaholic is the sixth book in Kinsella’s wildly popular Shopaholic series, following the books The Confessions of a Shopaholic (in UK it’s The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic), Shopaholic Takes Manhattan (UK Shopaholic Abroad), Shopaholic Ties the Knot, Shopaholic and Sister, and Shopaholic and Baby.
While my favorite Sophie Kinsella books are outside of the Shopaholic series (I love Undomestic Goddess, and the last one, Twenties Girl), Becky Bloomwood has grown on me as I read the novels. I was a bit outraged at her addiction to shopping in the first two books, but well, later on, I realized there’s a little Becky Bloomwood inside of me: the book shopper (hahaha!). And I really love the supporting cast in the series — the dreamy Luke Brandon, the delightful Suze and Tarkie, the oddballs Jess and Tom, Becky’s folks Jane and Graham, their next-door neighbor Janice, the wild and wacky designer Danny Kovitz, and dear old Derek Smeath!
Mini Shopaholic takes place two years after Shopaholic and Baby. Becky and Luke are still living with Becky’s parents in Oxshott, as their attempts at househunting are still in vain and Luke’s PR firm is still recovering from a crisis with his old client, the Arcodas group.
Becky and Luke’s daughter, Minnie, is now a toddler in her terrible two’s, creating havoc everywhere she goes — getting banned at several Santa stations, squirting ketchup at unsuspecting people, grabbing handbags at her own christening, attempting to order a truckload of stuff from Ebay — and her favorite word appears to be “MIIIIINE!”
A huge financial crisis hits London, and everyone is down in the dumps, but Becky has a plan to cheer everyone up: a fantastic party for Luke’s birthday. Ever independent, Becky wants to do it all herself. But between keeping Minnie in control, struggling with her job as a personal shopper in the middle of an economic slump, putting together a surprise party on a budget and keeping it a secret from Luke, Becky must admit she can’t do it all alone.
Becky needs help — and fast! — and her friends are all ready to pitch in, but Becky has to decide whether she should accept the help she needs the most from an unexpected source that has the potential to hurt her loved ones.
I must admit I had trepidations about this latest Shopaholic book, especially after a lackluster Shopaholic and Baby (and a not-quite-there Remember Me?), but I decided to take the chance that Kinsella got her groove back after the fabulous Twenties Girl and snapped up a copy the day I got newsletter notifications that it was already in stock at certain bookstores.
The verdict? Apparently, Kinsella really has gotten her groove back, because I thoroughly enjoyed Mini Shopaholic — it was the perfect book for unwinding after a thoroughly stressful week, and I was in gales of laughter even from the first few pages and right to the very end!
I think Mini Shopaholic brings back the candidness of the Shopaholic series, the little funny moments that make readers guffaw, bite their lip in trepidation, or just go “awwww…” Becky makes a strong comeback in this novel, and her crazy resourcefulness and determination, bolstered by the support of her family and friends, once again save the day.
I say it’s a must read for all Shopaholic fans! At the end of the novel, there’s a hint at a forthcoming addition to the series, and it’s quite exciting, too. I’m definitely looking forward to the next Shopaholic novel.
Mini Shopaholic, trade paperback (US), 5/5 stars
Book #111 of 2010
*cover photo from sxc.hu