Shopaholic to the Rescue is the latest book in Sophie Kinsella’s best selling Shopaholic series. This time Becky is galavanting around the West Coast of America, trying to find her Dad and her best friend’s husband, who have gone off on a secret mission together. After Becky’s behaviour in LA, Suze is no longer speaking to her and has become best friends with Alicia (a total bitch). Her Dad refuses to tell his family what he’s up to and Suze’s husband, Tarkie, refuses to contact Suze at all. They know that this mission has something to do with setting something from the past right but they have no idea what it could be and are all very worried about the pair. They follow a trail from what they know of Becky’s dad’s past but all leads end up being dead ends. As per usual, Becky has a plan…
I’ve only read the first book in the Shopaholic series so I was a little worried about diving in again at book number eleven. Yes, there are a grand total of eight books in the Shopaholic series so far. The great thing about this series is that you can pick up any book at random and read it as a standalone novel. There were occasional references in Shopaholic to the Rescue to things that had occurred in the previous book but these were minor details, all of which had been seamlessly integrated into this story and properly explained without detracting from the new story in any way. This means that existing and new fans of Rebecca Bloomwood can enjoy this story, which can’t be said for a lot of other longstanding series.
Kinsella’s writing is light and fun as usual and this story is very easy to read. I’d say some of themes dealt with in this book are slightly more ‘serious’ than in her other novels e.g. divorce, family etc. but she still manages to tell the story in a light-hearted manner. The story can be a little ‘silly’ at times, but let’s be honest, Rebecca Bloomwood has always been a bit of ridiculous character. She uses lots of cunning strategies to try and find out more about her dad’s whereabouts, which, when you take a step back, seem farfetched, but when you’re engrossed in the story it seems entirely normal! I guess that is the magic of Kinsella’s writing.
There’s an element of mystery in this novel which I don’t think the other Shopaholic books had and Becky turns into a bit of a detective. All their leads seem to point towards one thing though nothing is certain, however, in the end the story turns out to be something completely unexpected. You would think that this sort of chick lit would be entirely predictable but in actual fact this is not. There are a few twists and turns along the way and whilst they’re not the most dramatic of plot twists, you’ve got to give Kinsella credit for keeping the ending hidden throughout the story.
What is slightly disappointing is that this story seemed a little less about Becky herself. Of course, she is still very much the protagonist but the entire story is about helping others as therefore we get a little bit less of Becky herself, which is a shame. She’s also not much of a shopaholic in the story but I guess she had to grow up one day. That said, she is just as determined and strong-headed as she’s always been and she’s still an inspiring young lady. She’s now a mother and wife and has responsibilities but this is balanced with the old frivolous Becky we first met to make a quirky and very ‘real’ character.
All in all, this is a fun, girly read that is perfect for anyone looking to unwind for a few hours. You’ll flip through the pages quite easily, eager to find out more about Becky’s dad’s adventures, but there’s nothing you have to think too hard about. This is a story about family and friendship, about righting wrongs and doing good for other people. It’s a heartwarming tale and you will no doubt be rooting for Becky and her friends and family throughout. This is a slightly different Rebecca Bloomwood story but it is a good read nonetheless and I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking for an easy, relaxing afternoon read.