18 December 2020

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

I actually treated myself to this as a $5 special buy at Walmart one day recently which is very unlike me but I just felt like reading some festive trash. I don't mean anything against Kinsella, who has done very well for herself and written a series that most women (myself included) love, but it's brain mush and that's why I love it. 

If you're totally unfamiliar with this series, which, what? then it's about a middle aged woman named Becky Bloomwood who is addicted to shopping. There have to be like, 10 books in this series (one with a baby, one with her sister, one about her wedding, etc.) but this is the most recent and as the title suggests, it's about Christmas.

In this book Becky has been given the responsibility to host her entire family for Christmas and immediately gets caught up in re-decorating, what her family will wear, fancy dishes, etc.  

As the women walk away, I start making a mental list- candles, throws, glogg- then realize I really need to start writing this stuff down. I'll buy a special Christmas planning notebook, I decide. And a gorgeous new festive pen. Yes. And then it will all fall into place."

I think what's always made the series so enjoyable is the way Kinsella scratches at all of our materialistic tendencies, because we all do have some whatever they may be. I really enjoy hosting dinners, parties, etc. but I know I too can get caught up in all of the frivolousness of "stuff" - telling myself it'll make my guests enjoy themselves more when it's really just a show I'm putting on for myself.



The one thing that I felt this book got away from was some sort of big anxiety-ridden dilemma. For example, in the first book, Becky convinces the guy she's into (now her husband) that she's a Finnish financial journalist or something along those lines. In the wedding one, she's been fully planning two full weddings, etc. I've always enjoyed the nail biter of wondering how she's going to get herself out of whatever she's got herself into and there just wasn't really that element in this book. She's going overboard on the event and losing the true spirit of Christmas blah blah but nothing actually problematic is happening.

Christmas isn't about finger painting. It's about sitting on the sofa, eating Quality Street chocolates, and watching Christmas specials on TV while the dads try to find batteries for all the new toys and break half of them and the children end up crying. That's tradition."

I haven't read a Shopaholic book in a long time and it was exactly what I felt like reading when I read it. They're consistently easy to read, funny and relatable. Kinsella keeps all the characters consistent so you really get to know them. Even though it's been a few years I felt like I was picking up right where I left off with the Bloomwoods. It wasn't my favourite in the series by far but it's festive, fun and perfect to crush in one night in front of the Christmas tree.

I really regret not putting this on any kind of Christmas gift guide because I think it would be perfect for any woman- except maybe Meghan but she's also a recovering Shopaholic so she's not above the concept.

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