Jen’s Book Nook | Confessions of a Shopaholic

Once upon a time I filmed Book Nook videos where I would talk about recent books I had read, but I got out of the habit a couple of years ago.  I thought it might be fun to bring my Book Nooks back in blog form.  In these book reviews, I’ll share my personal opinions about the books I read.  Please keep in mind that not everyone enjoys the same literature and we may not agree.  I’ll also do my best not to give away any major spoilers, although I will discuss the basic plot and certain character traits.  We’ll see how it goes!

Please be advised that some of the links provided are affiliate links and I do receive a small commission if you make a purchase using those links.  I very much appreciate your support of this blog in doing so!

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I finished up the fourth installment of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice & Fire series, A Feast For Crows, about a week ago and was in the mood for something on the lighter side.  I’ve had Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella on my “to read” bookshelf for quite some time, as you can probably tell by the “Soon to be a Major Motion Picture!” badge.  The movie apparently came out in 2009.  So, yeah, it’s been on my shelf awhile.  I remember buying it on a whim since I’d heard so many people saying good things about her series.  The reason it sat and sat on my bookshelf is that I’m not hugely into majorly fluffy chick lit like this.  That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy chick lit, because I absolutely do, but this kind of read is pretty much all fluff and I’m only in the mood for that every so often.

The book is a super fast read, which would make it a great beach/pool/vacation option or something to take to a pedicure appointment.  It only took me a couple of hours cover to cover.  In all honesty, I really didn’t like this book all that much and the only reason I finished it is because a) I cannot seem to start a book and not finish it, no matter how much I dislike it, and b) it was so short I knew it would be over soon.  That’s not the best endorsement, I know, but I want to give my honest opinion with my book nooks, as with all of my content.  Please remember that this is my personal opinion and I’m in no way meaning to make a statement on other people who might very well really like this book.

The story is set in London from September 1999 to April 2000 and follows a young financial journalist named Rebecca Bloomwood as she navigates the slippery slope of major personal debt coupled with a pretty drastic shopping addiction.  I love to shop, too, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve never bought things that were not comfortably and realistically within my means.  It was hard for me to relate to the main character because of this.  Rebecca takes shopping to a whole new level.  The fact that she is so majorly in debt is highlighted throughout the book by letters from banks and credit card companies attempting to get payment from her.  I cringed every time she convinced herself she just had to have another ridiculously expensive thing she couldn’t afford.  I think Kinsella wants the reader to have that sort of visceral reaction, but also really like Rebecca at the same time and feel conflicted about it.  I did not, however, find myself smitten with Ms. Bloomwood’s character.  It wasn’t like she was a bad person, but her compulsive lying and inability to take care of herself combined with her rather flippant attitude towards both really bothered me.

As with most chick lit I’ve read, there was a romantic interest, but in this case it really only blossomed into focus at the very end of the book.  This was the only part of the book I liked at all, because it showed more emotion and depth in Rebecca, which I felt the story lacked up until this point.  The entire storyline reminded me of Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding (which I think is much better written) as it revolves around a young British woman floundering in her career and love life and then finally finding her way as well as landing a gorgeous man through a series of both unfortunate and laughable events.  Confessions had its funny moments, too, but my distaste for the protagonist made it hard for me to really enjoy them.  I don’t think I’ll be reading any more of the books in this series.

I’ve never written (or filmed) such a negative book review before, but to be fair I haven’t read something I disliked quite as much as this in a long time.  I never saw the movie and after watching target=”_blank”>the preview on YouTube I think I might actually enjoy it more than the book.  Have any of you seen it?  I usually like movies with Isla Fisher.

Just finished: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Next on my list: Inferno by Dan Brown

I’d love to know what you thought if you’ve read this book.  Please don’t feel discouraged to share your opinion if you really liked it just because I wasn’t a fan.  As I mentioned, we all have different tastes when it comes to…well, anything, really.  The fun part is being able to share our individual points of view and in doing so, learn more about ourselves and each other.  So, let’s share!  I’d also love to know what you’re reading now and any book recommendations you have.
Happy Reading!

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* This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *

39 comments

39 thoughts on “Jen’s Book Nook | Confessions of a Shopaholic”

  1. Hi Jen,

    I like that you’re bringing back the Book Nook, even if it’s just on your blog. I haven’t read the Shopaholic series because they really didn’t interest me. Have you read “Gone Girl?” I would like to read that soon and haven’t seen the movie (and won’t until I read the book.)

  2. Thanks for the honest review. Have you seen the movie? I saw it a handful of years ago on TV. It’s cute and girly, but (like the book it seems) nothing to write home about. I’ve contemplated whether or not to get the book for a quick girly read, but it seems my time will be better spend elsewhere.
    http://www.divaandthedivine.com

  3. I don’t think the author or most authors for that matter care, or want the reader to be able to relate to their protagonist. Judging a book in such a manner seems futile. I read the book when I was in middle school, so I would probably have the sentiments as you now!

      1. Perhaps it was your wording. Because I like the Scarlet Letter doesn’t mean I am like Hester Prynne. Or because I like William Burrough’s Naked Lunch doesn’t mean I am a junkie like William Lee. I didn’t care for Becky either, but not because I cannot relate to her shopaholic nature, but because she is a ditz haha! Everyone wants to feel a connection to the protagonist, but not in a literal sense; that is where the futility is seen.

  4. “I cringed every time she convinced herself she just had to have another ridiculously expensive thing she couldn’t afford… It wasn’t like she was a bad person, but her compulsive lying and inability to take care of herself combined with her rather flippant attitude towards both really bothered me.”

    That sounds like someone I know! lol! I agree that Becky was annoying at times, especially the way she constantly tried to justify buying things she didn’t need. I wish one of her friends had called her out on that to her face. People like that always get on my nerves especially when they’re spending money that isn’t theirs. Racking up credit card debt you can’t afford to pay off is akin to theft in my opinion! She was also very manipulative and greedy. The way she lied to everyone was rather upsetting. If this wasn’t chick lit I think she would have lost all of her friends and ended up alone with nothing but stuff to keep her company. Perhaps that would have been a more compelling ending.

    Despite the protagonist’s shortcomings I did think this novel was cute when I read it several years ago. It was a pleasant bit of fluff and who doesn’t want their own Luke Brandon? Swoon!

    1. I agree, but in real life it’s tough for people to comment or advise friends or kin on money issues without causing series rifts because people get very touchy about money. Her compulsive lying bothered me the most. Luke Brandon, however, didn’t bother me in the least 😉

  5. Hey Jen,
    I’m super excited about you bringing back your book nooks. I’ve been really wanting to start reading again…having a little one around doesnt give me much of a chance. I’ve srarted the House of Night series, I seen one of the books in a box that you received. I’m on the second one and really enjoying it. Love your blogs and YouTube channel. 🙂

  6. I think it’s so interesting to read your review to see another reaction to the Shopaholic books. I actually love them because I think they are funny/entertaining, but understand that everyone might not see it that way, and see it as kind of ridiculous. 🙂

    As far as the movie, however, it’s much different than the book (which bothered me a lot!) especially because it’s not set in England and they are Americans. But since you didn’t enjoy the book, I wonder if Isla Fisher might make Becky more likable for you!

    Can’t wait to see your book nook on Inferno. You will probably love the settings in Italy since you were there! 🙂

    Are you on Goodreads.com?

    Love all your blogs and videos, Jen!

  7. Wow relieved that someone feels the same way about Rebecca as I do. Sadly for me I’ve read the entire series including Shopoholic to the stars simply because I want to complete a series. I find Rebecca incredibly annoying in the sense that she lives in fantasy land, and there are many cringeworthy moments. The movie is better though. I do recommend you see it.

  8. Hi Jen, I think this book is for a much younger reader. I read it when I was 18 and I remember I quite enjoyed it at the time. However it is not something I feel that I would enjoy now that I am in my early 30’s and at a completely different place in my life. I have recently enjoyed ‘the husband’s secret’ by Liane Moriarty. I felt this was a nice easy read.
    I love to read but unfortunately I do not have as much time to indulge in this pastime since by baby son arrived. When I get the opportunity to read I very much enjoy a good detective novel.

  9. I really enjoyed the first 3 books in this series. But they’ve gotten kind of redundant, as Becky never seems to learn from her past mistakes. She does eventually get better control of her shopping addiction, but she still keeps getting herself into hot water and lying about it to all the people close too her, which is frustrating. What I do like about this series is the realistic portrayal of shopping addiction. The way Becky justifies buying the things, in her mind. And the way a nice department store can put a person with a shopping problem under it’s intoxicating spending spell. It’s all displayed so nicely, and feels so luxurious, you want everything! I appreciate your review Jen. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  10. I wouldn’t bother with the film either 😉 It’s not as good as the book. I did enjoy the book but I read it a long time ago and have recently tried to read some Sophie Kinsella and I didn’t like it at all. It must be an age thing 🙂

  11. Hi Jen! Loved seeing a cookbook from Don this week and now a Book Nook! Thanks for the honesty, I have three kids and don’t like to waste my time on books that may not be worth it! Keep the Book Nooks coming & Cook Nooks

  12. Hi Jen, Discovered your site by stumbling upon your carry-on luggage challenge. Love all your travel posts! I just read “Where’d You Go Bernedette” while on vacation. It was such a fun read! Full of travel adventures, drama and loads of laughs! Great beach read. I highly recommend it.

  13. Hi Jen!

    Loved reading your review, even though it was a negative one! But I agree, I also read this book and didn’t enjoy it that much, but i would highly recommend the film, it is brilliant – I love Isla Fisher!

    I’ve currently just read The Orphan Choir by Sophie Hannah. It is a bit of a supernatural book (if you like that sort) but I found it really interesting and liked the protagonist.

    I hope to read more of your reviews soon, thanks xx

  14. I saw the movie for Confessions of a Shopaholic but have not read the books. The movie was ok (for me). I had some of the same issues with it that you did. I did love Inferno by Dan Brown and he is one of my favorite authors. Though I would recommend reading the other books in that series if you get the chance (Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code, and The Lost Symbol).

    1. I’m absolutely positive I read Angels & Demons as well as The Da Vinci Code, although it was years ago. Not sure about the Lost Symbol, though, I’ll have a look. TFS!

  15. I LOVED this book, basically because it was, in my opinion, funny. There are a lot of ‘Rebecca Bloomwoods’ out there charging up a storm, and not taking responsibility for it. This book was kind of a satire for that very thing. Of course, her follow-up books really develop her character and are just fun reads.

  16. I remember watching this movie and not really liking it several years ago, maybe it’s time to read the book and revisit the film. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, the good and the not so goo!

  17. Perhaps it’s just my iPad, but it’s very, very difficult to read your blog with the logo background. It’s way too busy (no pun intended). The gray font just blends right in with the gray in the background. Is anyone else having the same problem?

  18. You know, I had the same reaction to this book. I’ve worked in finance my entire career and the flippant attitude toward money just made me cringe. I applaud you for sticking with it to the end. I couldn’t do it.

  19. I loved your review of this book! You were so honest and I really enjoyed it. I love reading so much, so I am a big proponent of Book Nooks! Keep up the great work. I enjoy all that you do!

  20. I have read the entire Shopaholic series and some are better than others but they’re definitely not something you can sink your teeth into. I tend to read books from almost every genre and can really get into them depending on what mood I am in. A lot of her other books are wonderful though. I really enjoy her stand-alone books. They’re still quick reads but they’re witty and enjoyable. There have been times that I have had low expectations for some and then end up laughing out loud at her humor. If you find the time, you should try one of those…maybe I Got Your Number. That one was really cute. How did you like Big Little Lies? I read that one last year. Have you read Where’d You Go Bernadette? That one is also fun! Do you have a membership to your library? I like to rent books and get them straight onto my e-reader. I find that I read a lot of book that I wouldn’t necessarily buy but then end up really enjoying!

  21. Totally unrelated to this book… but have you read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon? It is the first book in the series; and my favorite book series of all time (the author is friends with George R R Martin – their books are of similar length and detail and number of characters; but that’s the only similarities). Anyway, thanks for your blogs and vlogs, etc. 🙂 We just got back from a ski trip to Park City and it made me think of you, a total stranger, but in a way not, ya know?

  22. I didn’t get into it eather and found I enjoyed the book much better I guess i personally found it hard to relate to as it seemed more like the main character is more or less a train wreck I mean there’s being a shopaholic but you don’t have to lie to family and friends about it . This is just my own opinion . Have you read broken silence it’s a two part series the first book is free on nook but the second I believe is not and I’m not sure about kindle. I do find broken silence to be a much more enjoyable read and I really felt for the charecter. Happy reading

    1. Hmm…I don’t know of any ghost stories off the top of my head. I do really like the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness if you’re into vampire/witch fiction with realistic and relatable characters.

      1. Oh Jen how lovely of you to reply! I find the true stories of the witches (Salem and Pendle here in England) totally fascinating and very moving and tragic. I’ll give your suggestion a look, thank you!

  23. Well…if you didn’t like this one, I would recommend you not try any of the others in the series, not that you were going to. Becky only gets more outrageous.

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