Yet another fellow senior from my good old university that I am proud of (erm … somewhere in Oxford, UK), I swear I might have met Sophie Kinsella or rather Madeleine Wickham back in my college days. Make no guess of how old I am please. Onto her fifth installment of the shopaholic series, this time round, our all-too-famous Becky Brandon is back … with a baby. To be honest, I am more interested in the success formula of Sophie Kinsella rather than the book itself.
Sophie Kinsella must have been one of the most consistent writers I have come to know and such an achievement is not at all easy to attain. I have started with her Undomestic Goddess and now onto 5 of her shopaholic series. Every single book is as entertaining as ever making me laugh-out-loud unfailingly – something that I don’t usually do unless the book is really funny. I make a note that I shall read Can You Keep a Secret? next – a book that is sitting in my bookshelf somewhere. And I am certainly looking forward to her yet-to-be-released-novel Remember Me?
On average, each chapter is about 10 to 30 pages long and each chapter may have 2 to 3 sub-sections. Each section is engaging on its own – however sequential it is. Sophie Kinsella creates her main character (always a female so far) not without flaw, but yet commands her readers to fall in love with that character. That, is art. If I could do what Liz Phair did to a song-by-song reply to the Rolling Stones’ 1972 album Exile on Main Street, I would write a series of books with titles as follows (okay, private joke between the shopaholic fans and me):
- The Secret Binary World of a Geek
- Geek at Silicon Valley
- Geek found a Soul-mate (who is into Tetris)
- Geek and his Long Lost Brother
- Geek and his Techno-baby
On a serious note, “Shopholic & Baby” is certainly a good read. On surface, it is the typical Becky loves shopping, Becky encounters a problem that cannot be surmounted, and Becky comes out to be the hero once again. Deep inside (OK, you can’t go that deep for a chick-lit), “Shopholic & Baby” is not too much into shopping but more into her love relationship. For those who have complained that there isn’t enough character development for Becky’s husband Brandon, rest assure that in Sophie’s latest installment, there is more into that.
Overall, I enjoy reading “Shopholic & Baby” immensely. Certainly a light read for one of my trips to the SeaWorld and the Taman Safari. If you despise any of her previous work on the shopaholic series, you probably won’t like this one either. I do recommend reading from the beginning of the series because the storyline will make more sense to you.
Are her books memorable? Probably not. Do her books entertain? A million yes.