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Isla Fisher has a LOT to answer for!

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15.10.2010

Advantages:
Still features the very funny Becky Brandon !

Disadvantages:
The storyline was a nothing !

Recommendable No:

Detailed rating:

Would you read it again?

Story

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Author

Sophie Kinsella is not her real name. She wrote her first novel The Tennis Party and it was published in 1995 under her real name Madeleine Wickham. She went on to write another 6 books under her real name. She actually submitted her first ‘Sophie Kinsella’ novel anonymously to her existing publishers and they snapped it up without realising she was already one of their authors. It wasn’t until she released Can You Keep a Secret in 2003 that she revealed her true identity. Sophie/Madeleine was born in London and still lives there with her husband and two sons.

Her first book in the Shopaholic series was The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic released in 2000. Since then there have been another 4 before this new release Mini Shopaholic in 2010.

Story

Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) thought motherhood would be a breeze and that having a daughter was a dream come true, a shopping friend for life! But it's trickier than she thought as two-year-old Minnie has a quite different approach to shopping.

Minnie has her own personality and her favourite word is mine! In addition to her challenging two year old, Becky’s husband Luke is busy with the banks when they experience a big financial crisis hitting the UK.

Becky and Luke are still living with Becky’s parents while they try to secure their own home. However, when the family members start ‘cutting back’, things go downhill quickly. Becky decides that the answer to all their problems is to pull off a surprise birthday party for Luke. The only problem is, she has no clue what to do, how to organise it or least of all how she is going to pay for it.

Opinion

Well my opinion is really divided. I have read all of the books in the Shopaholic series and have enjoyed them all. I thing the biggest winner in the series is the character Becky. She is so loveable yet clueless and she manages to get herself in all sorts of bother.

The other side of the coin for me is when I sat on a plane and decided to watch the film that had been made from the book Confessions of a Shopaholic. The film, albeit not the worst I have seen, wasn’t great either. As usual the character I had built in my head was a major disappointment as I saw Isla Fisher trying (and failing) to play the part of Becky Bloomwood. Maybe this has been what lingered in my head the longest as I picked up the latest instalment in the Shopaholic series. Overall I have rated this book lower than I expected to but I suppose every series has its limits.

When we are re-introduced to Becky we see her back to her usual tricks of shopping for ridiculous things that she doesn’t need. We also meet her daughter Minnie who was written reasonably well and had taken on all of her mother’s traits, including screaming "mine" at regular intervals. We also see Luke her husband busy with his business Brandon Communications. As an ever patient person he tends to ignore a lot of Becky’s strange stories as this is part and parcel of who she is.

I still love the character Becky and think she is incredibly funny and her one-liners that she uses to get herself out of trouble are funny. However, this particular instalment of the series only had that to fall back on, Becky herself. The storyline was the weakest I have seen in a long time, with seemingly no structure at all. The whole plot is centred on Becky planning a surprise party, which considering the title is not what I expected. Yes we do see Minnie and her tantrums along with the addition of Nanny Sue who is a childcare expert. But that is it, literally!

I found myself dragging my heels and wondering when something was going to happen. Sophie Kinsella definitely has the skills as a writer but I am beginning to wonder whether this series has now had its day. I think the film production was what ruined it for me and from looking at other opinions it seems I am not the only one that feels that way. There were some redeeming qualities and that was things we have seen in previous books such as the relationship between Becky and her parents as well as her friendship with Suze and Tarquin. I also love the letters that are randomly inserted into the book as responses to Becky's outlandish requests. I just felt that overall as much as Becky Bloomwood is still great, the storyline severely impacted on the book and is what let it down.

It only took me a day and a half to read this book but I ended up feeling quite disappointed, and felt that I had only finished it out of obligation. I can only hope that Sophie Kinsella either creates a new series or continues with her stand alone novels.

Book

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Bantam Press (2 Sep 2010)
Language English
ISBN-10: 0593059794
ISBN-13: 978-0593059791

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Comments about this review »

ames123 22.02.2011 13:31

It wasn't the best in the series and centring it on a party was a little weird.

TheChocolateLady 21.11.2010 09:47

Doesn't sound very appealing, I'm afraid.

chocoholic 20.10.2010 15:31

Sounds like she needs to try something new... An excellent review :o)

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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

This is the much-anticipated new Shopaholic novel. Becky Bloomwood is back - with a mini shopaholic!

Product details

EAN 9780593059791
Type Fiction
Genre Modern Fiction

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Listed on Ciao since 26/06/2010

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This review of Mini Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella has been rated:

"very helpful" by (100%):

  1. Digbycat
  2. ames123
  3. silverstreak

and 90 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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