Well, it’s good to know that even Becky Bloomwood’s spending habits are being hampered by this recession.
Bex is back again, and if you’re a Shopaholic fan, you won’t be disappointed. Mini Shopaholic focuses on Becky and Luke’s problems with their now two-year-old Minnie, who has developed into a mini-Becky, coveting everything she sees on the boutique shelves. Luke, who is, of course, light years more reasonable than Becky, says her spending needs to stop, and they have to get Minnie’s behavior in order. Becky has trouble not using Minnie’s desire for everything as an excuse to shower both of them with new stuff. She makes a vow to wear everything in her closet at least three times, but predictably has a hard time sticking to her promise not to buy.
Becky continues her job as a personal shopper, meanwhile developing an unhealthy habit of sneaking around, telling white lies to Luke while thinking about her latest big ticket item: an extravagant birthday party for him. She tries her hand at bartering to afford the party, and in her efforts, you can certainly recognize the Becky of books past; she’s getting herself into tight situations, but finding a way out through her charming, endearing, and wacky nature. She takes action while thinking she’s solving a situation, only to realize she has screwed it up even more than before.
I was a bit disappointed however, that we didn’t see much more growth in Becky’s character in this book. You’d think this one would be setting Becky up for a major life change: her kid is finally getting to an age where she’s developing her own issues– turning into a mini-Becky! While we all know Becky has a huge heart, it’s hard to forgive her for not taking more action towards preventing Minnie from growing up with these problems. It’s easy to laugh at Becky when she’s in her younger twenties, overdrawing her account for a pair of Manolos she’s only going to wear once. It’s another thing when she’s got a kid, and limited money, and a great, successful husband, and she still can’t seem to get it together.
There were lots of chances for better development of the relationship between Becky and Minnie in this book as well, but it unfortunately doesn’t go much further than Minnie being a spoiled, two-year-old carbon copy of Becky. Don’t get me wrong– this is often hilarious! But I wanted to see Becky’s attachment to Minnie and her sense of a mother become a little more fleshed out, since this is the second book with Becky and Minnie.
All in all, if you love Shopaholic, you’ll definitely enjoy this book and should pick it up. It’s the Becky you know and love, dealing with the same old desire to spend, this time under the pressure of a hurting economy. On a sentence to sentence basis, it’s well-written and fun to read. You might get the sense though, that Sophie Kinsella is milking the Shopaholic series for all it’s worth by not giving Becky any room to change or develop as a character.
Rating: 3 out of 4. Great Becky antics, and super funny situations. But Becky’s a woman and a mom now, and her unchanging, irresponsible behavior can be frustrating for readers.
Joy Paley is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on accredited online colleges for the Guide to Online Schools