Becky’s One Hundred and Sixty-Fifth Book Review: “Shopaholic Takes Manhattan” by Sophie Kinsella

“Shopaholic Takes Manhattan” by Sophie Kinsella is the second book in the Shopaholic series and it is just as wonderful as the first. Rereading this series reminds me why I fell in love with Sophie Kinsella’s writing in the first place. Her books without fail make me laugh aloud, no matter how many times I have read the book previously. I must have read the Shopaholic series at least five times and I still found myself giggling at the crazy escapades that Becky Bloomwood goes on.

SPOILER ALERT: I’M ABOUT TO TALK ABOUT THE END OF THE FIRST BOOK IN THE SHOPAHOLIC SERIES

When we last left Becky Bloomwood in Confessions of a Shopaholic, she had taken a new job as a financial advisor on a television show, Morning Coffee and she had recently begun dating Luke Brandon. At the beginning of “Shopaholic Takes Manhattan” Becky is amped up about her new career in television and still happily dating Luke Brandon. She has taken on a ‘philosophical’ attitude towards her career. ““People who want to make a million borrow a million first.”
Honestly, I must have a naturally entrepreneurial mind or something, because as soon as he said it, I felt this amazing chord of recognition. I even found myself murmuring it aloud. He’s so right. How can you expect to make any money if you don’t spend it first?” (Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, pg 15). I loved this. The Becky Bloomwood philosophy: if you want to make money, you have to spend it. A lot.

I find myself able to relate to Becky pretty well on most accounts. The biggest change you would have to make is trade out clothes/shoes for books. Replace shoes with books in the following quote and you’re describing me, Becky Bentrim. “What is it about shoes? I mean, I like most kinds of clothes, but a good pair of shoes can just reduce me to jelly. Sometimes, when Suze isn’t at home, I open my wardrobe and just stare at all my pairs of shoes, like some mad collector.” (Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, pg 17). It’s true. I have an addition to books. And it is reflected so well in Becky Bloomwood’s addiction to shoes and clothes.

I really enjoy how the Shopaholic series is written. There are letters throughout the novel along with the prose narrated by Becky. These letters are almost always replies to Becky Bloomwood’s absurd letters. When she discovered that she would have to deal with a new banker her reaction was pretty priceless. This is the reply she received when she wrote a letter to her former bank manager about her new bank manager. “I am sorry to hear that you are having such difficulties dealing with John Gavin. May I assure you that he is not a heartless android programmed to make your life miserable. If you ever were cast out on the street with nothing but a pair of shoes, I’m sure he would be concerned, rather than ‘laugh evilly and walk away’.” (Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, pg 131).

There is a part of me that finds Becky Bloomwood’s inability to take responsibility for her actions to be frustrating. At the same time, she is such a fun, relatable character that you cannot help but forgive her. Another thing that I really enjoy about the shopaholic series are Becky Bloomwood’s parents. They are so sweet and in a lot of ways remind me of my own goofy parents. “God, I love my parents. If I told them I’d committed murder they’d soon find some reason why the victim had it coming to him.” (Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, pg 225). Honestly, I really feel like my parents would do the same – supportive to an insane degree.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely – I love the shopaholic series. It is so much fun to just sit down and spend some time in Becky Bloomwood’s world. Her trials and tribulations make following her story ridiculously entertaining. She is such a fun character that you can’t help but want to be in her life learning about what crazy adventures she is going to go on next. Although Sophie Kinsella’s books fall into the category of ‘chick-lit’ I do believe that this series could be picked up and enjoyed by anyone.

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