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text 2020-07-07 20:21
'My Not So Perfect Life' by Sophie Kinsella - this one's not for me
My Not So Perfect Life - Sophie Kinsella

I put this aside at the 10% mark even though it's very well written. Actually, I put it aside because it's so well written.


Katie Brenner's need to reshape herself until she fits into the perfect London Life that she knows should be hers once she's earned it, was too raw for me to find it amusing. She's like Cinderella's step-sister, ready to cut off her toe to fit the glass slipper if it will win her her charmed life. 


The London that Sophie Kinsella summons up is vivid and believable. It brought back to me all the reasons I loved and hated in the five years I spent living in London. The excitement of being in one of the world's iconic cities, so often seen in movies that, like Katie, I could easily imagine myself to be on a film-set. The misery of commuting on the Tube, crammed together with people determined to pretend to ignore one another while fighting for every inch of space. I remember watching the pedestrian traffic flood over London Bridge and hearing Elliot's poem in my head:


Unreal City
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.


Sophie Kinsella gives this a more humorous tone but still captures the purgatory that is the London commute.


Then the is the creative agency that Katie works in. The way Sophie Kinsella described it brought back to me all the meetings I've had with marketing people who pushed 'creativity' as a reason why what they were recommending didn't have to make any sense.


All of that was in the first hour of an eleven-hour book. I hope life gets better for Katie and that she leave the insanity of London and the Chimera of its perfection far behind but it touches too many sore points in my own history for me to want to travel along with her.


If you're up for the journey, I recommend the audiobook version. Fiona Hardingham does a wonderful job with the narration. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear a sample.

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review 2020-03-05 16:08
Shopaholic & Sister
Shopaholic and Sister - Sophie Kinsella

I tried to re-read this again last night but only got half way through. Wow. I forgot how aggravating Becky was in this book. Selfish is not the word. We also get a ridiculous plot point included in this one with adding a character that was not needed at all. I still say that Kinsella adding Jess was the death knell to this whole series. I honestly thought she had better sense than Becky (which isn't saying much). 


"Shopaholic & Sister" follows Becky 10 months into her honeymoon with her husband Luke. Becky thinks about going back home, but they still have 2 months to go. She and Luke though are getting tired of living out of hotels (poor things) and do miss their family. We find out that while they were away Suze had twins that are now about 2 months old. They decide to return home after Becky obsesses about a stupid bag. Of course Becky is shocked that things have moved on while she was away. Suze has another friend (another best friend it seems) and her parents appear to have secrets from her. Becky is finally told though that she has a half sister and that her name is Jess. Since Becky is feeling wounded over Suze she decides that she and her sister will be best friends and do tons of things together. Sometimes I forget that Becky is not 12 in this series even though she acts like it. Of course Jess is nothing like Becky and she hates shopping. 


Becky is still obsessed with shopping (seriously there's a whole thing going on with regards to a stupid angel bag and Becky once again landing Luke in trouble cause she doesn't think) though Kinsella weirdly makes Becky way less likable in this one. She says and does a lot of terrible things to people in this one that I was just over. She apparently went to multiple countries and bought a ton of crap. Luke rightfully puts her on a budget after cutting up her credit cards and she gets all resentful about it. I just....look I will be here all day if I get into this, but she sucks.


The other characters have barely anything to do in this one since we just follow Becky around while she acts like an ass and lies about a lot of things.


The writing just lost it's sparkle for me in this one. The flow was okay, it's easy to read and ignore I think.

The ending made me roll my damn eyes. I think I was supposed to be all, yes Becky and all of that, but she's ridiculous and never pays any consequences for her behavior. 

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review 2020-03-05 15:59
Shopaholic on Honeymoon
Shopaholic on Honeymoon (Short Story) - Sophie Kinsella

Ehhh. So this was kind of the beginning of the end for me with this series. Becky was just insufferable in my mind on how she was behaving while on honeymoon with Luke. The concept of money just does not factor into her head. And this book sets up the problems that will be front and center in the next full novel, "Shopaholic and Sister." Becky sees something and imagines her as the girl with the Venetian glasses or the girl with the art easel and she realizes her reality is not like the fantasy in her head. I applauded how well she took care of things in the last book, but she said some nasty things IMHO to Luke in this one.


The big fight in this one though goes back to Becky wanting to take a year long damn honeymoon. At this point in the story they have taken a month off. I don't know what else to say except I was not weeping for Becky or her ridiculous self by the end of this one.


I read somewhere that Kinsella was going to end the series when Becky and Luke got married and she really should have. Up until this short story and the next novel you don't see how selfish and honestly manipulative Becky is.

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review 2020-02-18 21:27
Shopaholic Ties the Knot
Shopaholic Ties the Knot - Sophie Kinsella

Nothing to say here really except it was a great book to jump back into the world of Becky Bloomwood. I think the next book was when the bloom fell off the rose for me. Becky's antics got more and more absurd and it felt like she learned nothing from previous issues. This one was a great way to move forward Becky and Luke's story. I loved that Becky realized that cutting off a person in Luke's life was not the best thing for him. She did something for him because she loved him that much. It was great to read and I did chuckle here and there.

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text 2020-02-14 23:57
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Shopaholic Ties the Knot - Sophie Kinsella

Solid third book!

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