Tuesday, February 1, 2011

In Memoriam Sophie Kinsella's Books

There are things I love - television shows, movie franchises, book series - that have disappointed me.  I mean, I started out loving them, and then . . . they falter. 

And I give them a second chance. 

And they suck even worse.

I've decided to give eulogies to the things I once loved that have been wrenched from my life because of shitty writing or execution.  Here are their sad tales.


I am a fan of lightweight reading.  I really am.  I think it's because I tend to dwell on misery in my own life, so I seek a way out, a place of joy or at least entertainment, when I'm reading. [My ego forces me to add that this doesn't mean I'm stupid or illiterate or incapable of reading something weighty or serious.  I will critique the shit out of whatever you put in front of me.  Feminist literary theory? A Marxist interpretation? BRING IT.]

Anyway, now that we've established that I'm smart and very self-conscious of being thought otherwise, I want to talk about one of my old standbys in lightweight reading:

Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series.

Well, at least the first book. 
I didn't use the Isla Fisher cover, even though I like her, because I didn't see the movie.  And this is the cover I have.
The second was o.k. 
This one was o.k.  Readable.  Barely.
By the time the third one rolled around, I was ready to smack Becky and her idiotic incapability to JUST STOP SPENDING SO MUCH FUCKING MONEY ON USELESS SHIT.

Honest to god, here is the plot of everyone of her books:

Becky spends and spends and spends. 

Friends/parents/husband admonish her.

She pretends to stop.

She spends and spends and spends.

She is found out.

Everything works out in the end.

I would have loved it if she ended up in rehab or an SA meeting [Shopaholics Anonymous?  Does that exist?].  Or if she got a huge comeuppance.  Or even if she just said, "Screw you guys, I'm married to a super-rich guy now, I'M SHOPPING."  That, I could respect.

Instead, it seems like Becky is one of those helpless, vapid, scatterbrained bimbos who, despite enough reinforcement that would have a RAT cutting up her credit cards and buying only with cash, cannot see that A [Problems with money] follows B [Spending too much money] EVERY SINGLE TIME.
Becky can never get to the star.  Never.  No matter how much cheese she follows.
So, while I recommend that first book, unless you are more forgiving of people's foibles than I, I have to regretfully say that I cannot recommend the rest.

[Twenties Girl was o.k.  Ish.  I listened to it during my trip to work and managed to get through the whole thing.]


Need to know more about what I think?  Head over to Secret Society of List Addicts, where I discuss accents.  No.  Really.


  1. Maybe Becky is being manipulated by her constant need to live up to Paltrow's advice on GOOP?
    I agree with you, I think Becky needs to check into SA or rather be put in Gen Pop in prison...now that would make for some GREAT reading!

  2. I enjoyed the first "Shopaholic" but found Becky to be very annoying. Though I know that was the point of the character. I had to stop reading after the 2nd book because she was just so...arugh!

    I did enjoy some of Sophie's other books. I think "Undomestic Goddess" was fairly decent. Though the character in 'Twenties Girl' was in par with Becky's annoying character.

    love your blog!!!

  3. Oh my gosh I agree SO much - I seriously read half of the second book and went, really? I mean, how stupid is that girl? How does that guy stay married to her? WHY FOR THE LOVE OF ANYTHING ARE THOSE BOOKS FAMOUS?

    You know, just a few questions.

  4. I feel the same way about Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. More of the same--nothing has changed even by #16. Not near as funny as the first few. I end up disappointed every time. And yet I STILL read the next one. I probably need reader rehab.

  5. i'm thinking about writing confessions of a asshole-aholic. same plot line change out shopping with dicking people over.

  6. Simone, I would *love* to read your book.

    I don't think I can really sympathise with shopaholics. Unless they're shopaholics who spend too much on groceries. Hmm.


    Sums it up exactly! I check these out from the library, not my $.

    I also agree with sherry stanfa-stanley about Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. For the love of god, make Ranger your boy toy and make us all happy. But I buy them hot off the press anyway.


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