When Luke said he was going to work with Sage Seymour and we were going to move to Hollywood, I thought we’d be seeing her every day. I thought we’d be hanging out by her pink pool in matching sunglasses and going for mani-pedis together. But even Luke hardly seems to see her; he just has meetings with managers and agents and producers all day long. … When I got a tiny bit frustrated the other day, he said, “For God’s sake, Becky, we’re not making this huge move just to meet celebrities.” He said “celebrities” like he was saying “earwigs.” He understands nothing.
(from Shopaholic to the Stars, pages 10-11)
Quick summary: In the 7th installment of the Shopaholic series, Sophie Kinsella brings back Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood), this time moving her, husband Luke, and two-year-old daughter Minnie from London to Los Angeles, where Luke is doing PR work for actress Sage Seymour. Becky hopes to use her experience as a personal shopper to become a stylist for A-list celebrities, and of course, she gets caught up in the Hollywood lifestyle, from classes at a new age spa/rehab center to sneaking onto the red carpet. When she gets embroiled in a feud between Sage and her rival, Becky becomes obsessed with being famous, pushing her relationships to the breaking point.
Why I wanted to read it: I read the other 6 books in the series.
What I liked: Shopaholic to the Stars offers plenty of laughs, as in true Becky fashion, she constantly makes a fool of herself. Hollywood is the perfect setting for Becky’s excesses and antics.
What I disliked: I felt that the series started losing steam with the last book, Mini Shopaholic, and this newest installment did little to change that feeling. Even while I laughed at Becky, I couldn’t help but think that the character has become pretty sad and even flat. From book to book, Becky doesn’t change; she doesn’t learn from her past mistakes and is easily swept up in the moment. At close to 500 pages, Shopaholic to the Stars became a bit of a chore to finish, mainly because Becky and her lack of character development started to grate on my nerves. I would’ve liked for Luke to have taken on a bigger role in this story, but his character fell flat for me, too, and I couldn’t remember why I liked him so much in the earlier books. Most of all, given the length of the book, I felt cheated in that one of the big plot lines was left unresolved, simply as a means of continuing the series. I don’t mind a segue into the next installment, but for the first time in this series, the ending was so unsatisfying.
Final thoughts: Overall, I was able to enjoy Shopaholic to the Stars for what it was: a humorous book that didn’t require me to think too much (which was a major plus because I’m still recovering from a bad cold and couldn’t focus on a book with more substance). I can’t help but like Becky; I just didn’t like her as much this time around. I’ll probably read the next book in the series because I want to find out how that dangling plot thread is eventually tied up. I just hope this installment marks a turning point for Becky and that there is some evolution in the character by the time we meet again.
Disclosure: I borrowed Shopaholic to the Stars from the public library.
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