Friday, June 22, 2007

Shopaholic Ties the Knot

After reading two heavy juvenile (juvenile!) books, I am resting my psyche with Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic Ties the Knot. I recently read Confessions of a Shopaholic and Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, but now I’m starting to question whether these books are actually pleasure reading. I feel immense amounts of stress as I read the misadventures of Rebecca Bloomwood.

I’m not spoiling the series when I say that Becky Bloomwood has shopping—and subsequently debt—issues. I have no debt; true, I don’t have as much savings as I would like (thanks to grad school tuition), but I am not in debt. Yet, from the moment I started Confessions, I felt anxiety. I was anxious about my financial situation. I was worried that I, like Becky Bloomwood, did not have enough money. I, too, needed to either spend less or make more. I even started dreaming about my financial situation. I haven’t dreamt about a book since reading The Eyre Affair—and I blame those dreams on my brain's SciFi/Fantasy immaturity.

Not only does Becky’s debt perturb me, but I’m not sure I should even like her. To be blunt—Becky is a liar. I’m only 75 pages into Ties the Knot, and Becky has already lied dozens of times. Considering all the lies she tells him, I’m not sure Luke Brandon should even be interested in Becky romantically. (To be fair, I’m also not convinced Becky should be interested in a workaholic like Luke.)

Yet, despite all the stress these books cause me, I am on the third in the series—and will more than likely read all five books. Maybe what attracts me are Becky’s imperfections. I know—and love—both shopaholics and workaholics. I have been known to tell a lie or two in my time. Maybe what ultimately comforts me and thousands of readers is that Becky can have so many flaws and make so many egregious mistakes but still be a likeable and loveable character. If people can love someone as flawed as Becky Bloomwood, surely they can also love someone as flawed as you or I.


Lisa said...

Okay, so I can't decide from your review. Read the series or not?

notaconnoisseur said...

When I was looking for something to read recently the Bookrater suggested that I check out "Confessions of a Shopaholic" from the library. I am only 56 pages into the book and I have had to stop and read what the blog has to say about the books. Like the bookrater, I am feeling so extravagant in my own life and I am examining my own financial situation. I am extremely stressed out about Becky's debts and she is not even real! Well, I suspect that she is very close to reality in too many people's lives. Should I take this stressful book to bed and hope that I fall asleep reading it or not? Maybe I should stick to murder mysteries. They don't worry me in the least. Apparently I feel much more threaten by financial woes than I do about someone attacking me in the dark.