Review : Mini Shopaholic

Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Pages : 416
Genre : Chick lit
Series : Shopaholic, book 6
My Rating :

What it’s about, in my Words :

Becky’s daughter is out of control : she’s only two years old, and her favorite word is “mine”! Between taking care of her little girl, living with her husband in her parents’ house and dealing with the economic crisis (meaning, no more shopping!!!), Becky should have enough on her plate to keep her busy. Yet, she decides to organize a super birthday party for Luke : a surprise party. Will Becky be able to pull it off in time, while keeping it a secret?

I usually don’t like reviewing a book if I haven’t reviewed the first ones of the series, but I had too many thoughts on Mini Shopaholic to pass on this fantastic occasion to discuss the latest novel of Sophie Kinsella.

I wasn’t charmed by this one as I had hoped to be, and I’m not sure who’s to blame here : was the book not up to the task? Or have I just had enough of Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) and her crazy, shopaholic, imaginative, manipulative personality? In the past, I have enjoyed most of the books in the series : while Shopaholic and Sister was a disappointment (wow that book annoyed me), Shopaholic and Baby had given me hope that Sister was only a bump on the course. Then last summer I read Twenties Girl, Kinsella’s recent stand alone novel, and it ended up on my best of 2009 list. So, alright, the expectations were a bit high.

My first thoughts were, “Wow Becky is annoying”. After six books, I think it is fair to expect her to have grown up a bit – especially since she’s now a mother. I wasn’t charmed. I wasn’t amused. I was 100 pages in and felt irritated, and had it been an other author, I probably would have given up. Out of loyalty, I stuck with the book, and around page 150, I began enjoying the story a little more.

I definitely thought the book was a bit too long and covered too many story lines. Even though most of them came together at some point, there were too many. Plus, with Luke being constantly, conveniently might I add, out of the picture, it was really hard to feel any kind of chemistry between him and Becky. Only close to the end did I felt the romance between them once more.

In the end, I have to admit that we saw some heartfelt moments with Becky, which was nice. There were some funny scenes, and Minnie seemed adorable to me, although a bit out of control (but I would blame Becky on that part). I just wish there was some progression to be seen. Becky always fixes things in the end, and “learns her lesson”, but then the next book starts and she’s back to her old self. I don’t want her to change completely – she wouldn’t be Becky anymore! – but I would love to get the sense that she’s learned a bit more from life. I want her to not be saved by the bell and have to face some consequences, then grow up!

How important is character development for you, through a series?

Series Reading Order :

  1. Confessions of a Shopaholic
  2. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan
  3. Shopaholic Ties the Knot
  4. Shopaholic and Sister
  5. Shopaholic and Baby
  6. Mini Shopaholic
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7 responses to “Review : Mini Shopaholic”

  1. Meg says :

    I read the first in the Shopaholic series many years ago and enjoyed it, but I have yet to pick up any of the subsequent books. I can see your point about Becky “learning her lesson” at the end of one book only to be back to her old tricks in the follow-up — and how annoying that would be.

    Character progression is huge for me through a series! Each novel should feel like a building block to the bigger, more amazing individual the book is highlighting. And if the person is just up the same old annoying tricks? Bleh. That would be really, really frustrating after a while.

  2. bermudaonion says :

    Sorry you didn’t love this as you hoped to. I bought it for my mother and she really enjoyed it.

  3. Melissa says :

    I’ve read the first 5 in this series and agree that the “sister” book was just awful. I think I’ll avoid this one, because even though “Baby” redeemed the series a bit, I think I’ve had my fill. I’ve really enjoyed some of Kinsella’s other book, but I agree that Becky never really seems to learn her lesson and I kinda want to smack her now.

  4. toothy says :

    i haven’t read any of the books in this series, although my cousin has been strongly recommending them to me. i don’t know if she’s read this one or not though. i’ll have to ask her the next time i see her.

    character development is huge for me, especially through a series. i love seeing the characters “grow up” and learn from their old mistakes.

  5. kay says :

    Meg : The series are hit and miss for me, but I think I’m getting tired of it a little. There are some really fun moments though! And you said it so well : “Each novel should feel like a building block to the bigger, more amazing individual the book is highlighting”. Completely agree!

    Kathy : I’m glad to hear that! I’m sure plenty of Becky’s fans will love it 🙂

    Melissa : Lol, I understand your feeling! Sister felt really forced and didn’t work at all for me, and the next two books haven’t regain the magic of the first ones. I’m guessing there’ll be a seventh book, but I don’t know that I’ll read it.

    Toothy : I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on it if you give the series a try! They’re really fun, especially the first few ones.

  6. Jessica says :

    Interesting review! I read this one too and I had some gripes, some the same as yours, others different. I actually could handle Becky, but I could NOT handle Minnie. She drove me absolutely nuts and it almost seemed kind of unrealistic. All in all, this wasn’t the strongest Shopaholic book, but I did enjoy reading it. I wonder if there will be any more. I’m guessing not?

    • kay says :

      Haha, I did think Minnie was a bit unrealistic, but it made things fun for me… but I have no trouble imagining why you thought she was annoying! But I wouldn’t be surprised if there was another book, “Shopaholic in Hollywood”! or something like that. It could end there and it would be satisfying, but there’s definitely materiel for book 7.

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