Shopaholic Goes to Hollywood (And I Went with Her)

I’ve already confessed my literary sin of reading the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. And since I recently went through a rough reading rut, during which I had no desire to read anything, Kinsella’s newest book in the series, Shopaholic to the Stars (2014), was the perfect antidote to my malaise. I’d had it on hold at the library for a while, and my turn finally came to take it home and laugh my pants off.


The book centers around Kinsella’s indomitable protagonist, British style-maven Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) who has a shopping addiction and a personality much like that of Lucy Ricardo from I Love Lucy, one of my favorite shows. Becky is constantly getting into trouble because of her schemes, and her selfishness, but the books always end with a lesson learned and a feel-good reconciliation.

In this book, Becky and Luke move to Hollywood, temporarily, for one of Luke’s clients, a high-profile female celebrity. Becky wants to perform some meaningful work while she’s there and while their daughter Minnie attends a posh, upscale preschool. Becky sets out to be a celebrity stylist, but finds that it is harder to break in than she imagined. She finds herself in Lucy Ricardo–type situations, star struck and making a fool of herself in front of celebrities.  She sneaks around a production studio’s lot in the hopes of finding work as a stylist, dashes onto the forbidden red carpet, and confesses to being the victim of “petism” at a fundraiser to fight discrimination. (Apparently, her hamster was the source of the discrimination she experienced.)

Later on, Becky finds herself the sole witness to a shoplifting incident by a young celebrity, and the press won’t leave her alone. She attempts to use the attention to launch her career as a celebrity stylist, but all interviewers want is her story about the crime. She’s stuck in the limelight for all the wrong reasons.

All of these zany occurrences make the book fun and hilarious, although they are overtly comical and somewhat corny. I tend to be a serious and introverted person, but these books, despite their low-brow status, always improve my moods and get me laughing. Kinsella has a real talent for writing slapstick comedy in a way that I appreciate.

The only disappointment of this book is the end, which leaves a lot of loose ends. The Shopaholic books don’t usually do so, but I realized that the ending leaves questions of her father’s experiences and Suze’s husband’s going off the rails because the next book will be about Becky and Luke traveling to Las Vegas to solve those problems. It seems that Kinsella has already planned the next adventure, and it will be a stop in Sin City for the Brandons.

I can’t wait to read it.

What books constitute your “literary sins”?

36 thoughts on “Shopaholic Goes to Hollywood (And I Went with Her)

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  1. I love these shopaholic books also! Guess we are coming out of the closet so to speak! haha Haven’t read this one yet but now I’ll be getting it! Thanks for the review Emily! ~Elle

  2. I LOVE the shopaholic series too, haven’t read this one yet but intend to get on it soon, and I always believe never apologize for a book you love! 😀

  3. Sometimes it’s nice to read something that can make you laugh, and there aren’t that many out there that can do the trick. I really think that writing funny is a huge talent. I haven’t read all her books, but my favourite was Twenties Girl. I’ve also enjoyed a few of Marian Keyes, but she’s not quite as reliable. More recently, I have read a couple of Will Ferguson’s books, which I thought were funny and clever (Happiness and Canadian Pie). I am always interested in hearing about funny books, because I think they are much harder to find than serious, depressing ones.

    1. I think you’re right about happy books being harder to find. I might even say they are harder to write! I will have to try Will Ferguson. I have not heard of him. Thanks!

  4. When my dog had an accident and was on lock down for a few weeks I read my first novel by Mary Kay Andrews. I think it was “Little Bitty Lies.” I was totally hooked and read about 5 of them in three weeks. They are formulaic in exactly the way I like: lots of talk about houses and antiques, a romance, lots of misunderstanding, and dogs. And Andrews’ writing is good enough that it doesn’t set my teeth on edge. They are my go-to when I have one of those “I’ll never find a book again” periods.

    Now: delete this post so none of my literary friends see it! 🙂

  5. I have also read some of the Shopaholic books. The pleasure is allowing myself to read easier and lighter material. Sometimes I’ll go to Sue Grafton’s crime books for a lighter read. They are just as important to me as the literary fiction that I read. Sometimes I just want a great laugh. Jen Lancaster’s books are great. And sometimes I just want to relax with a novel that will do the work for me when I’m not in the mood to read something that I have to focus on. Reading for enjoyment is just as valid as reading for the intellect.

    1. Absolutely! You are so right. The literary stuff is great, but sometimes we just need to forget ourselves within a silly or light book. I’ll look into Lancaster.

  6. I see nothing wrong with reading these books because they make you laugh! Sometimes that’s all you need from a book. I’m glad this one delivered.
    I’m very much with you on the ending of this book but otherwise I really felt like Kinsella was back on her game (Shopaholic and Sister almost made me stop with the series altogether). I’m glad to hear that she’s already planned the next book to wrap things up! Good lord, Becky in Vegas??

    1. Vegas and Becky will be a toxic combination. I always wonder how Luke puts up with her, and then I realize they are fictional! 🙂 Glad to hear that you like this series too. I like all of Kinsella’s books.

  7. Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series for me! I’ve even been known to schedule a day’s vacation from work the day following a new release–I buy it on the release date on my way home from work, start reading that night and finish the next day OR finish reading it that night, then “sleep in” the next morning! 😃 I’ve kinda avoided Kinsella, but might try one just to see now…

    1. What a fun idea to schedule a vacation day to read your book! I confess that I have always avoided Evanovitch. Perhaps we need to swap our guilty pleasures and compare notes.

  8. I haven’t read the shopaholic books but perhaps I should. I like a light fun read. My literary sin is definitely the Twilight series. Yes I read them and liked them. I didn’t analyze them, I just snarfed through them and set them down thinking it was a fun story to add to my ridiculous knowledge of vampire lore. How did Meyer’s vampires stand up to Rice’s, or Stoker’s? That’s about as deep as I delved into questioning them and that was about the right amount I think. I get a lot of flack for liking them because it’s unexpected from people who know me. Apparently I’m too cerebral or serious or educated? Is it because they’re considered YA and I’m definitely not YA, myself? I don’t know but it’s almost as fun to shock my friends and family as it was to read the books. I’m glad you enjoyed your fun read and I’ll have to check them out.

    1. You might like these if you liked Twilight. I enjoyed the Twilight movies more than the books, and I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that, but it’s true. They were fun!

  9. I’ve read them! We can’t eat veggies and fish all the time, so it stand to reason we can’t read War and Peace without a bit of mind candy to keep us going. I love this series and almost any cozy I can pick up and read in a weekend 🙂 Don’t feel guilty, I don’t!

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