Customer Reviews: Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic, No 1)
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on March 4, 2006
This book is fun..I mean great fun and not just the girlish giggle type of fun but the LAUGH OUT LOUD fun. Its THAT good! It got me hooked on Sophie Kinsella.I have now all her books in my shelf and can't wait for her to write more!

This book, first of all, is the same book known as "COnfessions of a Shopaholic ".(just a different title) I dont know why it has two different titles but anyway...

I have started reading humourous chick-lit after I read the two Bridget Jones Diaries. To be honest I was sure I wouldnt find a funnier book than those two but, happily, i found i was wrong :)

Kinsella has the touch. I've read "Can You keep a Secret?" and the first two of the Shopaholic books and I'm still craving for more. (thankfully i still got "Shopaholic ties the knot" and "shopaholic & sister" to keep me going)

This is a book for those people who want to have a good, healthy laugh, who want to forget for a while the worries and troubles of everyday life. Yes Rebecca Bloomwood has no sense as regards to her personal finance . Yes she becomes totally and irrevocably irresponsible as soon as enters into a shopping mall. But heck, this is what makes the book such fun. We can actually feel good about ourselves because we can never be as bad as her....(some of us at least ;)

Her replies to the letters she recieves from her exasperated Bank are hilarious and equally so her reasonings that actually when she is spending she is in fact investing. Her attempts to control her spending are so funny I couldn't stop laughing. The Curry recipe part is really incredibly funny....

I think that most females will find themselves in Rebecca. I bet most of us have thought once or twice on the same lines as Rebecca does when she tries to excuse one of her mad urges for an expensive but not so practical item.

All i can say more is go on an read it a perfect light book with humour and also a dash of romance which will warm your heart like whiskey ;)
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VINE VOICEon March 20, 2001
I started it last night and stayed up till 3 a.m. to finish this book! I really enjoyed this book ~~ it was funny, lighthearted and cute! I laughed out loud in some places and found myself shaking my head in other places.
Rebecca is a girl who overdraws her bank account and maxes out her Visa card. I am not a big shopper (unless you call shopping for books a shopping spree ~~ then I am!) of clothes but it was funny just to hear her describe her clothes like she is posing for Vogue or Cosmo or even 17. Her justification for buying things are hilarious and the scene where she was trying to make curry made me laugh so hard! (I'm a cook and that scene just cracks me up because I've done the same thing she did!) Sophie took a character riddled with anxieties and insecurities and made her so likeable ~~ you can't help but laugh at some of her excuses. She has a vivid imagination which really carries the book through.
I can see why some of the critics didn't care for this book ~~ it does sound like something from a fashion magazine, but Sophie is a good, clean writer. I really enjoyed this book and would like to read more of hers. Her sense of humor is a lot like mine and it is a refreshing read! I recommend it for a light, easy reading and if you're looking for humor, this book has it all.
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on April 23, 2012
that this is the SAME book, then entitled Confessions of a Shopaholic, that started the whole series--just re-published in 2012 with a different title. This is a disingenuous move by the author and publisher, and tricks the reader (read some of the other reviews) into thinking that Sophie Kinsella has written a NEW book for the widely popular series. I'd rate less than 1 star if I could. Bad form!
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on May 16, 2004
First of all, the main character is rather irritating, especially because she seems to force other people to go out on a limb for her selfishness (for example, the banks to whom she owes money and the future love interest who lends her money to buy a scarf that she claims is for a sick relative and her friend who makes frames for her). The book is a succession of tedious shopping lists stating prices and then many complaints of having no money. The only reason I continued in the torture of reading the book was due to the fact that I wanted to see character progression and find out if maybe she would become a better or at least more interesting person. It does not happen. She is rewarded for her selfish, irresponsible ways with a cute boyfriend and a sparkling future. Morality is nonexistant, coincidentally so is any trace of a plot. I would really have given it 1/2 a star, but that is not an option. Save your time and just skip this vapid, annoying novel.
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VINE VOICEon October 3, 2007
"Confessions of a Shopaholic" is a funny, mindless book about Rebecca Bloomwood, a rather silly girl who works for a finance magazine in London and spends about five times as much money as she makes. Becky just can't say no to piles of magazines, heaps of designer clothes, and dozens of frothy cappuccinos. It doesn't take long for Becky to run up some pretty huge debts, but instead of dealing with her financial problems head-on, she opts to use the avoidance tactic by telling creditors that her dog died, tossing her monthly statements into the trash bin, etc. Eventually Becky decides to cut back on her spending, but somehow her "responsible financial plan" ends up costing her even more money. Unfortunately for Becky, she can't hide from her problems forever, and eventually the unhappy creditors literally drive her into hiding. But of course, books like these almost always have happy endings, and things miraculously come together for Becky in the end.

I enjoyed reading this book: it's light, humorous, and fun. Becky's crazy rationalizations are pretty hilarious, but after a while I got a bit tired of how completely dense she could be about everything. It was also very obvious how the book would end pretty much from the start. Still, Becky made me laugh, and her outlandish situations and slightly over-the-top love interests were quite entertaining. Overall, if you're looking for fluffy chick lit, this book is definitely up your alley, but it really doesn't amount to much more than that.
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on November 8, 2001
That's what our heroine, Rebecca Bloomwood, does fifty times a day. Clothes, make-up, scarves, boots, anything that has a price tag is fodder for Rebecca's shopaholic paradise. Unfortunately, Becky has maxed out her Visa, is getting threatening letters from her bank, and has borrowed from her roommate. Even more unfortunately, she can't curb her addiction to shopping. Sophie Kinsella gives us the funniest, most messed-up, and yet most endearingly vulnerable heroine of the year. If you've ever aspired to be trendy and glamourous but didn't quite have the budget to accomplish this, you'll laugh and cry along with Becky as she attempts the two biggest ways to achieve financial security---Cutting Back and Making More Money. Her attempts are disastrous, her failures hysterical. So, what does she do? She gives herself a little consolation prize...just a tiny little purchase, and another, and another....cause Becky was born to shop and couldn't stop if her life depended on it. As an added joy, she is also a financial journalist who writes articles advising others how to manage their money. Light, clever, and totally disarming, this is a quick, fun read sure to please anyone who gets an adrenaline rush walking into a mall.
I can't wait to read the upcoming sequel "Shopaholic Takes Manhattan" for more side-splitting fun shopping with Becky!
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on December 16, 2007
Only buy this if you want to own a version of the British publisher's printing of this book. The American printing is "Confessions of a Shopaholic." Wish I'd paid more attention and read the reviews. Still, I do collect books, and it's a nice addition to my Sophie Kinsella/Madeleine Wickham books. If you want to read more Sophie Kinsella and you've read all your shopaholic books, get Madeleine Wickham, that is Sophie Kinsella's real name, I believe. In any event, it's the same author.
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on May 29, 2013
This book was almost painful to read. Not humorous. Very annoying. I only finished it because the description on the jacket indicated that there was some life-changing event that occurs when she writes about a story she cares about. That does happen but not until the final 1/4 of the book. The first 3/4 is monotonous and frustrating as there's no satisfactory character development. The lead character appears to have no redeeming qualities. She tells lie after lie with no end. I was hoping for a light, entertaining summer read but this was truly not it.
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on January 24, 2009
I read Remember Me? (Kinsella's latest novel) a while back when it first came out. This is the book that introduced me to the genre of chick lit, and I greatly enjoyed it. Perhaps Lexi Smart wasn't the deepest of characters, but the majority of the book was an unfolding of her discovering what it is she really wants out of life, mixed in with some very original humor to keep the pace going.

Confessions of a Shopaholic is NOTHING like that. I admit I never finished the novel because after reading a particularly despicable act on the main character's part, I got off the train at Penn station and threw it in the trash. I have never not finished a book out of sheer disgust ... and interestingly enough, I fell into a deep relaxation afterwards knowing that I would never have to deal with Rebecca Bloomwood's retarded problems ever again.

The whole book reads like one car crash after another. The main character is obviously mentally unstable and a pathological liar, which I found neither funny nor endearing as the author seemed to have intended. The typical situation in the book plays out like this: Rebecca sees store, Rebecca goes in and buys too much, Rebecca berates herself, Rebecca goes into deep played-out delusion about how she'll hit the lottery jackpot, win at the casino, marry rich, etc etc etc ... , Rebecca's bubble bursts by some way too obvious event, Rebecca goes into an internal panic attack of massive proportions, Rebecca conjures up new way to lie to her friends, family, coworkers, and so on, to make herself feel better. For about a hundred pages in the middle of the book this whole cycle goes from start to end every two paragraphs. I'm not kidding. I lost count of how many mini-meltdowns our "heroine" had. Not to mention that after the first few chapters there's nothing that comes out of this girl's mouth that isn't a lie. It was the epitome of exhausting and disturbing at the same time ... I got a little more than 2/3rds in before I realized life is too short.

I suppose the first couple of chapters were mildly amusing ... seeing a glimpse of what someone who's in financial trouble goes through. But the humor stopped after realizing the main character's a pretty horrible person in general. I reckon I read in other reviews that the story wraps up with her getting her dreams come true, getting a hot rich boyfriend, all for not reason, blah blah blah, no repercussions, blah blah boring! I won't even go into how laughably bland and alike every single character in this story is. I just hope that the movie is only loosely based on the novel because the message doesn't need to be going out to the masses that it is cute and socially acceptable for young women to be idiots about their finances and unbearably selfish with their loved ones.

The author can do much better than this, so go read Remember Me?; an immensely more well-written story with a better plot line to boot than this garbage.
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on June 26, 2008
I really should have known from the title that this wasn't the book for me. In the immortal words of Eve Dallas, "I don't shop; I buy. There's a difference." But I enjoy chick lit, and I've liked other characters who aren't like me, and everybody loves these books (4.5 stars with over 800 reviews), so I decided to give them a shot.

Rebecca Bloomwood is, as the title states, a shopaholic. She's also a financial writer, though she mostly fakes her way through her job. She's deeply in debt. Mostly, she's a pathological liar. She hides her bills and apparently believes that if she never opens them, she's not liable for them. She convinces herself that she's actually saving money by buying an expensive scarf that's on sale. She stiffs her best friend and roommate on the rent and her share of expenses, but goes out and buys frivolous things on credit anyway. She buys a lottery ticket and is absolutely certain that she's now a millionaire--to the point where she's devastated when it doesn't win, and is sure it must be a mistake.

She decides that the way to get out of debt isn't to spend less; it's to earn more. So she goes about trying to accomplish that by even more lying. And in the end, she succeeds--gets a great job and gets the guy. This isn't a spoiler--you knew it would have a happy ending.

What is a spoiler, but a worthwhile one, if it keeps others from being as disillusioned as I was, is that Becky never learns a darn thing in the book. I'm not at all trying to convince anyone not to read this--obviously it doesn't bother the vast majority of readers--but since expectations have so much to do with one's enjoyment of a book, you should know not to expect Becky to grow or change.

So there are two reasons I didn't like this book:

1. I couldn't sympathize with the main character at all, or even understand her. I've been in debt before--who hasn't? And I've bought things I couldn't afford. But the incessant lying and complete disregard for anyone besides herself made her utterly unlikeable from my perspective. She didn't have any redeeming qualities that I could see. You know, I like stories with characters who start out as unlikeable, then grow and change and develop into someone I can like. But she doesn't. Which leads me to:
2. The structure of the story. It's about a static character. Things happen to her, and she reacts to them. More things happen. She reacts some more. Her problems get solved, but not by her own efforts, rather in spite of them. There's no conflict, no value change, no antagonist. A maxed-out Visa card is not an antagonist.

Periodically, while I was reading, I could appreciate the humor in certain situations, and I enjoyed that while it lasted. It's not the worst book I've ever read, but I'm not going to be in any hurry to get the other Shopaholic books out of my TBR pile.
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