CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC by Sophie Kinsella
How Acquired: Book Relay
Reading Began: September 17, 2004
Completed Reading: September 22, 2004
Overall rating: Six out of ten
Recommendation to others: Just delightful! It’s definitely ChickLit, but the protagonist is so appealing and so EveryWoman that I couldn’t help loving her. And wanting only the best for her, despite being shocked by some of her behaviors.
Why I chose to read this book: The title alone makes this worth a read!
Further reading by this author: all of the sequels — Shopaholic Takes Manhattan; Shopaholic Ties the Knot; Shopaholic & Sister
Comments: I honestly couldn’t put this book down for very long. I related all-too-well to the main character, Becky Bloomwood, and her antics kept me laughing from cover to cover. She’s one of those great surreal characters that seems too unbelievable to be real and yet simultaneously a mirror-image. Her thoughts on not moving forward, not knowing what she’s good at and not being driven in a career hit home in the worst way. I could put myself in Becky’s 50%-off boots once too often. Sure, it’s fluff literature, but it’s tons of fun, and that makes for a terrific transition between heavier novels/topics. I’m endeared to these books now.
Favorite Characters: Becky is charming, but I fell for the too-good-to-be-true wunderkind Luke Brandon. It was his first appearance in the novel that hooked me for good—Becky’s fleeting description of him—but, ultimately, his charming mannerisms and self-confidence did me in.
I look up, and almost choke on my champagne. It’s Luke Brandon, head honcho of Brandon Communications, staring straight at me as if he knows what I’m thinking. Staring straight down at me, I should say. He must be well over six feet tall with dark hair and dark eyes and…wow. Isn’t that suit nice? An expensive suit like that almost makes you want to be a man. Chapter Two (p. 17)
God, we have fun. We line up eight suitcases in a row, and give them marks for looks, heaviness, quality of lining, number of interior pockets, and efficiency of wheels. Then we look to see if they have a matching holdall and give that marks, too.
The prices don’t seem to matter to Luke. Which is a bloody good thing, because they’re astronomical—and at first sight, so scary, they make me want to run away. … But today is Luke’s shopping trip, not mine. And, strangely enough, it’s almost more fun choosing for someone else than for yourself. In the end, we narrow it down to a dark green leather case, which has the wonderful trundly wheels, or the palest beige calfskin case, which is a bit heavier, but has a stunning silk lining and is so soft, I can’t stop running my fingers over it. And it has a matching holdall and vanity case—and they’re just as beautiful. God, if it were me, I’d…
But then, it’s not up to me, is it? It’s Luke who’s buying the case. He’s the one who’s got to choose. We sit down on the floor, side by side, and look at them.
“The green one would be more practical,” says Luke eventually.
“Mmm,” I say noncommittally. “I suppose it would.”
“It’s lighter—and the wheels are better.”
“And that pale calfskin would probably scuff in a matter of minutes. Green’s a more sensible color.”
“Mmm,” I say, trying to sound as though I agree with him.
He gives me a quizzical look and says, “Right, well, I think we’ve made our choice, don’t you?” And, still sitting on the floor, he calls over the assistant.
“Yes, sir?” says the assistant, and Luke nods at him.
“I’d like to buy one of these pale beige suitcases, please.”
“Oh!” I say, and I can’t stop a smile of delight from spreading over my face. “You’re getting the one I liked best!”
“Rule of life,” says Luke, getting to his feet and brushing down his trousers. “If you bother to ask someone’s advice, then bother to listen to it.”
“But I didn’t say which one…”
“You didn’t have to,” says Luke, reaching out a hand to pull me to my feet. “Your mmms gave it all away.”
His hand is surprisingly strong round mine, and as he pulls me up, I feel a slight swooping in my stomach. He smells nice, too. Some expensive aftershave, which I don’t recognize. For a moment, neither of us says anything. Chapter Eleven (p. 157)
In spite of myself, a part of me starts wondering if maybe Elly’s right and I’m wrong. Maybe I should be talking about property ladders and growth funds, too. Oh God, I’m missing the gene which makes you grow up and buy a flat in Streatham and start visiting Homebase every weekend. Everyone’s moving on without me, into a world I don’t understand. Chapter Twelve (p. 174)
“Oh,” I say, and swallow, inexplicably disappointed. “Oh, I see. Well, I…I suppose I might be free tonight.”
“Good,” says Luke. “Shall we say the Ritz?”
“If you like,” I say offhandedly, as though I go there all the time.
“Good,” says Luke again, and his eyes crinkle into a smile. “I look forward to it.”
And then—oh, God. To my utter horror, before I can stop myself, I hear myself saying bitchily, “What about Sacha? Doesn’t she have plans for you tonight?”
Even as the words hit the air, I feel myself redden. What did I say that for!
There’s a long silence during which I want to slink off somewhere and die.
“Sacha left two weeks ago,” says Luke finally, and my head pops up.
“Oh,” I say feebly. “Oh dear.”
“No warning—she packed up her calfskin suitcase and went.” Luke looks up. “Still, it could be worse.” He gives a deadpan shrug. “At least I didn’t buy the holdall as well.”
Oh God, now I’m going to giggle. I mustn’t giggle. I mustn’t. Chapter Twenty-One (p. 278)