I plowed through the previous Shopaholic books super fast, and I did the same with this next book in the series. As with all the Sophie Kinsella books I’ve read, Shopaholic and Sister is highly entertaining – funny, easy to read, and has awesome characters.
A Brief Overview of the Story
After returning from her world-wide honeymoon trip, Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) comes home to London. She expects her family and friends to admire her for her adventures and the trinkets she brought home from exotic lands.
But, she discovers that everyone is busy living their own lives. Her best friend Suze has made a new friend, Lulu, who makes Becky feel out of the loop. Even her parents are acting funny around her. Her husband Luke slips back into his work-life as if nothing had changed, so Becky is feeling a bit lonely.
Then she discovers she has a long lost sister.
All her life Becky was a pampered only child, and now she is happy to learn that she has a half-sister, Jessica. Becky thinks Jessica will be able to fill that gap in her heart, but when she actually meets her, Becky is surprised to discover that Jessica hates shopping.
Becky makes her bravest attempts to get along with Jessica, but it takes a lot more than a credit card to fix things between them.
How Does It Compare to the Other Shopaholic Books?
Shopaholic and Sister fits right alongside the other Shopaholic books. It builds on the same characters that were already developed in the previous books, so if you’re familiar with the series then you can simply hop right into the adventure.
Keep in mind that Becky is still a shopaholic at heart. This constant need to shop lands her in trouble again and again. Although she makes efforts to curb her spending, she justifies her purchases through childish reasoning and logic, which makes me think she hasn’t learned anything at all (despite events in previous books that should have been life changing).
I like that Shopaholic and Sister gives us a bigger glimpse into Becky’s behavior and why she is so focused on her appearance and shopping. She grew up in a home where she was the only one, and her parents doted on her constantly.
Jessica, in stark contrast, grew up in a home that wasn’t nearly as kid-friendly. She had to live on a tight budget and work for everything she earned. She has a lot to offer Becky, when it comes to financial matters, but Becky can’t seem to grasp the concept of keeping to a budget.
While Becky is fun-loving and adorable, seeing her alongside her sister helped me finally pinpoint something that was slightly frustrating about her personality: she doesn’t know how to adequately empathize with others. Becky’s perspective is fixed firmly on herself, and though she genuinely wants everyone around her to feel as happy as she is, her inability to understand events from someone else’s point of view often leads to misunderstandings.
She cares, but at the same time, she doesn’t know how to truly get to know other people. She copies, she pretends to be interested in other ideas, and she lies constantly to maintain that appearance of caring. Yet in the end, she’s still the spotlight of her own world, and she often feels entitled to things that she hasn’t earned.
This might sound harsh, but I think if Becky’s character were portrayed from any other angle than from inside her own head, she might come off as a sociopath because of the way she manipulates others into getting what she wants. She’s a good person and her heart is in the right place, but she’s spoiled to the point of being an almost unbelievable character.
My Experience With the Book
Becky isn’t a perfect heroine, which is probably why I love reading about her so much – despite her obvious flaws. Her funny attempts at curbing her spending and trying to “help” people around her add some humor to otherwise serious situations.
The best part of the book is the ending. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil it. It was a bit dramatic (like the movies Becky is always comparing herself to), but the overall message of love shared by her friends definitely hit me right in the feels.
I think if you enjoyed the other Shopaholic books, then you should go ahead and read this next book in the series. I’m sure you’ll love it just as much as I did.
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