Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bookshelf: Sophie Kinsella


I'm just going to say it. Rebecca Bloomwood gives me anxiety.
I watched "Confessions of a Shopaholic" last year when it came out on DVD and got all worked up with a sick feeling in my stomach after the first five minutes. The book was no different, mostly because of the awkward (and hilarious) situations she puts herself in over and over, but also because of the shopping and the credit cards and the debt. I'd love to be able to say, thank god that isn't me, but sadly that's why I get so worked up reading about her. On some level I am her. She is me.
Hi, My name is Stephanie and I have a shopping problem.
My friend Molly let me take "Confessions of a Shopaholic" last September when no one bought it from her yard sale. I had planned to save it as a beach read but I haven't been frequenting the beach lately so I decided to read it quickly this week between other books. It was light and fun and made me look like a fool laughing on the T. And wonderfully it's different from the movie. Generally it's the same, Rebecca Bloomwood is a financial journalist who writes advice for readers seeking ways to manage their finances. And yet she's a complete mess when it comes to managing her own money. She buys a pair of ridiculously priced boots simply because they are on sale. (I've been there... sadly, many times.) She overdrafts her account, she maxes out her store cards and she constantly gets letters from her bank about the situation. And while this could lead to quite a depressing story about debt it's the complete opposite. Rebecca Bloomwood says what's on her mind (often to the detriment of the moment), she lies compulsively to cover up her financial woes, she's creative, and best of all she has completely normal yet hysterical thoughts.
Of course I loved the book more than the movie, which is saying a lot because I adore Hugh Dancy. The accent, the hair, the smile... sigh. But I digress. In the movie, to get herself out of the hole of debt, Rebecca sells her entire closet - boots, bags, coats - it was sad to watch (from one clothes horse to another). And while Rebecca doesn't necessarily cure herself of her impulsive shopping nature I liked how the book chose to get her out of her predicament. Where the movie felt more like a "I give up" scenario, the book was a "heroine helps herself" resolve. And that's what I like.
Next up is Anna McPartlin's "Apart From The Crowd". I bought the book a year ago and lent it to a friend without reading it and completely forgot about it until she returned it last week. So I'm going to give it a go.
Happy reading!

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