Saturday, November 1, 2014

If You Must Read The New Shopaholic Novel...

...check it out of the library.

It is difficult to put my disenchantment with the series into words.

There was a time (in the first three books) when I was quite smitten by Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) and her world.  I identified with her desire to own all the new clothes that were in the pages of fashion magazines, her inability to balance a checkbook, and her quirky approach to problems she encountered.  I laughed as she planned two weddings in effort to please everyone.  I cracked up at her uncanny ability to rationalize her unending purchases and her foibles in love and friendship.  She was a character who lived in a world of impossible coincidences, heightened reality and imagined drama.  I ate it up.

Then the books took a turn.  More characters were introduced.  A sister she was unaware of.  A child who mimicked her every move.  These weren't exciting additions to me, but I kept reading because Becky was a character I loved to root for.  She was completely out of touch with reality, but she was lovable, kind hearted, and did everything with a generous spirit even though she often wonked things up.

In the latest novel, Shopaholic to the Stars, Sophie Kinsella has managed to make Rebecca completely unlikable.  For the first time since I began reading the books over ten years ago I rooted against Becky.  I not only wanted her to fail but I spent most of the novel hoping her poor husband Luke would throw in the towel and leave her in the states to fend for herself.  I can't understand how a character I loved so much could morph from a charming kook into a shallow lying cheat in the span of a few hundred pages.

I threw the book across the room in frustration when I found out that there will inevitably be another terrible book to follow this one.  The story ends abruptly with no resolution whatsoever save a tidy "Becky will return!" ad for the next book which will probably sell thousands of copies.

I will not be buying one.

I am a completionist.  I want to read all the books in a series.  I simply can't give this author any more of my money.  If I read the next book it will be because I checked it out of the library or traded for it on the Paperback Swap site.  I will read it with the hope that this character can be redeemed for me but with the assumption that it's a lost cause.

That's a shame, and a huge disappointment.

This book now has an "I wish I hadn't read this" tag on my Goodreads shelf.

What a bummer.  I hope you all are having a good weekend filled with good reading.  On a positive note I joined the NaNoWriMo site tonight.  I am going to try my hand at writing a novel, or more appropriately a collection of short stories.  I'm thinking of getting an actual word processing program but for the moment I'll be hunting and pecking away on Notepad.  I'm enjoying the everyday process of writing and I figured I have nothing to lose by penning some stories.  I don't know if they'll ever see the light of day, but it can't hurt, and a short term goal seems like a good place to start.  Wish me luck!

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