Becky’s One Hundred and Eighty-Eighth Book Review: “Shopaholic on Honeymoon” by Sophie Kinsella

“Shopaholic on Honeymoon” by Sophie Kinsella is a fun short story that takes place between the third (Shopaholic Ties the Knot) and the fourth (Shopaholic & Sister) shopaholic books. I know I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge fan of short stories, but I was pretty pleased with this one. This is also a rare situation where I wouldn’t recommend this short story as a way to get a taste of Sophie Kinsella’s writing. The main reason being that the entirety of the shopaholic series is a lot of fun and I feel like starting in the middle would just be a bit crazy. As an alternative, I would point a potential Sophie Kinsella fan to one of her stand-alone novels to get a sense of her writing. They’re all wonderfully entertaining and reading one book is not as much of a commitment as starting an entire series.

SPOILER ALERT: THERE ARE REFERENCES TO THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE SHOPAHOLIC SERIES THROUGHOUT THIS REVIEW. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED

The premise of the short story is all in the title, “Shopaholic on Honeymoon”. The story opens up on Luke and Becky in the very beginning of their honeymoon. At the conclusion of “Shopaholic Ties the Knot” Becky reveals that she returned all the gifts they received as wedding presents and used the cash to buy round-the-world tickets for the two of them. The proposed plan is to take a year off and spend it traveling. In “Shopaholic on Honeymoon”, Luke is having difficulty coming to terms with not working for any period of time. “The truth is, Luke’s not brilliant at going on holiday. He doesn’t really get the whole chilling-out-and-doing-nothing thing.” (Shopaholic on Honeymoon, loc 109).

Most of the story is dedicated to Becky trying to get Luke to relax and enjoy himself rather than rushing back into work. She finds herself trying to balance between getting Luke to relax and enjoy the honeymoon and getting him to understand the importance of souvenirs. Of course rather than hauling all their goodies around for the whole trip, Becky has been sending things back home. ““Won’t it be fun when we get home and open everything we’ve bought?” I turn to Luke. “It’ll be like Christmas!”
“Yes.” Luke looks a little doubtful. “Becky, we must keep track of everything we send back.”
“Of course we will!” I say, a bit impatiently. “I’ll remember everything.” Luke has such a way of inventing problems that don’t exist.” (Shopaholic on Honeymoon, loc 78). I liked this reference to “Shopaholic & Sister” where Luke and Becky return home to find that they ordered quite a lot during their honeymoon. It is one thing that Luke is less than happy about when they return home.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, I thought it was a fun addition to the Shopaholic series. It was nice to have a short visit to Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood)’s world while I wait for the next book in the series to come out. I do highly recommend Sophie Kinsella’s work. She provides a great blend of problems and humor to keep you coming back again and again to the worlds she creates. I really enjoy her sense of humor. This one quote discussing museum visits I just have to share: “…There’s just the right amount of art. Enough that you can nod and go “Mmmm” and appreciate it and everything, but not so much that your eyes start to blur over and you start wanting to die.” (Shopaholic on Honeymoon, loc 117).

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Becky’s One Hundred and Sixty-Seventh Book Review: “Shopaholic Ties the Knot” by Sophie Kinsella

“Shopaholic Ties the Knot” by Sophie Kinsella is the third book in the Shopaholic Series. I have read this book several times. When I read this book this time, I found myself enjoying it on a different level. Maybe that is because I am so excited to read the new shopaholic book that is coming out. Maybe that is because I am finally one of those people happily reading about engagements and marriage without feeling stonily jealous about the impending marriage I am reading about. It’s probably one of those reasons. Let me adjust my sparkly engagement ring as I write the rest of my review.

SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE FIRST TWO BOOKS IN THE SHOPAHOLIC SERIES AND ARE PLANNING ON IT

When we left off with Becky at the end of the second book, she had decided to take her career in a new direction by becoming a personal shopper at Barney’s in New York City. Luke Brandon and she had renewed their relationship and were planning on living together in an apartment in New York City. Living together is a new challenge for both Becky and Luke.

Part of what makes Becky Bloomwood so entertaining is the way that she daydreams. She goes off on a tangent where she pictures the future and it is amazing. This quote is a great example of Becky going off in a crazy direction while she is out shopping and picturing what her life will be like with the addition of this very important piece of furniture. “Just think, if we had one of these in the apartment it would change our lives. Every night Luke and I would mix martinis, and dance to old-fashioned songs, and watch the sun go down. It’d be so atmospheric! We’d have to buy one of those old-fashioned record players with the big horns, and start collecting 78s, and I’d start wearing gorgeous vintage tea dresses.” (Shopaholic Ties the Knot, pg 8). I love this. Becky Bloomwood is known for her ability to get lost in her daydreams and this quote really helps illustrate that.

It is obvious that Becky Bloomwood is getting married by the title of the book. What the title doesn’t tell you is how many weddings that Becky is having. The main problem that she finds herself dealing with in this book is having two weddings being simultaneously planned in both New York City and in London. Although I frequently find myself relating to Becky, I have to say that this is a problem unique to her. She is constantly trying to make the decision and I thought that this quote helped emulate how Becky behaves when she has a problem. She just sticks her head in the sand whenever possible. It does get a bit difficult to empathize with Becky in this situation.
“I bury my head in my hands. It isn’t any easier on paper.
In fact, it’s harder, because it’s thrusting the dilemma right in my face, instead of where I want it – which is in a little box at the back of my mind where I don’t have to look at it.” (Shopaholic Ties the Knot, pg 121). That is exactly how Becky behaves throughout the series. She has a problem, and instead of dealing with it as an adult, she finds ways to hide from her problems. This does result in hilarity, but at the same time her irresponsibility makes me a little frustrated as I read it. I would love to have the problems that she has. That being said, I couldn’t help enjoying the ride.

Becky’s plans for getting out of trouble are pretty entertaining in themselves. There is a part in the book when Becky is about to talk to Luke about the problems they are having with the wedding, mainly the fact that two are being planned simultaneously. Always one to prepare, these are the thoughts Becky has before meeting up with Luke. “So I’ve written out a speech, a bit like the State of the Union address and I’ve memorized it word for word, with gaps for interjections from Luke. (Or applause. Thought that’s a bit unlikely.) As long as I stick to my text, and no one brings up the question of Ugandan policy, then we should be all right.” (Shopaholic Ties the Knot, pg 241). I just thought this was so funny.

Would I recommend this book? Yes I would, I am a big fan of the shopaholic series and “Shopaholic Ties the Knot” is no exception. The series is a lot of fun. Reading about Becky trying to figure out what she is going to do for her wedding is ridiculous. The best part of this series is the fact that I find myself laughing aloud at Becky’s adventures. This book makes me giggle in public and that is the mark of a good comedic adventure.