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Mini Shopaholic – Paula’s Book Review

My sister is a ravenous reader and so when Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella arrived for me to read and review, Paula snatched it up immediately, sat down, and devoured it in a day. She has read all the previous books in this series and found this one to be “one of the best” of the lot. I don’t know when I will get to read this book, so I thought I would not make you all wait for a review…but, instead would allow Paula to share her thoughts with you in interview format. Enjoy!!

There’s no way on earth Minnie’s spoiled. No way.

OK, so she has her little moments. Like we all do. But she’s not spoiled. I would know if she was spoiled. I’m her mother. – from Mini Shopaholic, page 17 –

ME: Can you give us a short (non-spoiler) summary of the book?

PAULA: This book picks up where the last book left off with Becky, Luke and their two year old daughter Minnie living at her parents home in England. The story revolves around Becky parenting Minnie, shopping with Minnie and shaping the world to fit into her own reality.  Another plot point is the surprise party which Becky meticulously plans for her husband Luke – a surprise party he neither wants nor condones. The whole story is told hilariously from Becky’s point of view.

ME: What have you enjoyed most about the Shopaholic series? Why do you think this one is the best so far?

PAULA: I just love Becky. She is such an optimist who continually believes she can make anything happen while being a good mom and trying to keep Luke happy. The plot in this one is the most engaging and the ending is a total surprise that I didn’t see coming.

ME: What is it you enjoy so much about Kinsella’s writing?

PAULA: She has a unique way of revealing plot…for example I like how she inserts letters from individuals to Becky which are clever and show a lot of the plot with very little narration. I also think Kinsella is hysterical. I love her sense of humor, such as the little white lies which Becky invents to get herself out of trouble.

ME: Which character do you like BEST in the book? Why?

PAULA: Luke is a great character. He forgives Becky all her faults. And of course, I love Becky who I have already talked a lot about!

ME: Who do you think Kinsella is gearing her book towards? What kind of readers would most enjoy the book?

PAULA: Definitely women will be drawn to the book. People who are looking for a light, fun read will enjoy the book – and anyone who loves to shop and who has ever convinced themselves to buy something simply because it was a great deal!

ME: What about Kinsella’s characterization of women do you find the most accurate? The least accurate?

PAULA: Becky wanting to indulge her daughter is very accurate. Moms tend to rationalize giving something to their children that they don’t necessarily need, but that they want. Also, I think women want to give back to their husbands…wanting to do it all themselves, and to do something “over the top” strikes me as very real. Kinsella portrays several different types of women – all of them are individuals. I don’t think there are any characters who are inaccurate. Luke’s personal assistant, Bonnie, is a very strong woman who is more nontraditional. When she and Becky strike up a friendship there is a bit of tension that develops, specifically Becky involves Bonnie in the party-planning which has the potential to cause problems in Bonnie’s professional relationship with Luke.

ME: If Kinsella writes another novel in the series, will you read it?

PAULA: Absolutely!

ME: Is there anything else you think readers should know about the book?

PAULA: If you want to laugh, this is a great book to pick up. I love a book that makes me laugh out loud and want to share with others. There is a lot more going on in the book than first meets the eye – for example it explores the economic conditions of the times (cutting back, saving money, banks collapsing) and personalizes it through Becky’s eyes.

I’m in one of my zillion unworn white shirts, with a pair of black trousers and a waistcoat layered over a long cardigan. This is the only way I’m going to survive – by layering as many pieces of possible every day and getting through them that way. Even so, according to Jesse’s calculations, I won’t need to go shopping until October 23. And it’s still only January. I want to cry. Stupid, stupid banks. – from Mini Shopaholic, page 109 –

Paula’s Rating:

4.5 shopping bags

FTC Disclosure: This book was sent to me (and thus Paula!) for review on my blog.

By clicking on the link below you will be redirected to Indiebound to learn more about the book. If you chose to purchase Mini Shopaholic through an Indie Bookstore on their site via this link, I will receive a small commission based on the sale.


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10 Comments

  1. September 6, 2010    

    I’ve loved all the other books in the series, so I have a lot to look forward to if this is the best of the bunch. I’m excited about it now and will have to buy a copy when it comes out.

  2. September 6, 2010    

    Ok – this interview has convinced me that I need to read the first book in the series to see what I have been missing. I need a little optimism in life right now, and it sounds as though Becky will fit that bill. Great review!

  3. September 7, 2010    

    I love how you interviewed your sister for this review! I used to be a big fan of this series and I have read every book except this one. They are a lot of fun but I feel like they have sort of fizzled out. I am not sure whether I will end up reading this one or not.

  4. September 7, 2010    

    I haven’t read any of the books in this series, but now I am convinced to try them! It sounds like these are really fun, light reads that would make for a great afternoon of reading. Thanks, Paula!

  5. September 9, 2010    

    I read the first one in the series and really enjoyed it. I’m not sure why I never read any others but I guess I was just busy reading so many other things that I lost track of these books. This one is a new one that I haven’t heard about but I think I would need the others I’ve missed first.

  6. September 13, 2010    

    I’m answering your comments for Paula AND me!

    Kathy: If you’ve loved all her other books, this one should be a winner for you.

    Molly: You won’t find a more optimistic character than Becky! Definitely start with the first book.

    Stephanie: Glad you enjoyed the review format for this book 🙂 I know what you mean about fizzling out on a series…happens to me as well.

    Zibilee: You’re welcome! Hope this will end up being a fun series for you to read!

    Kathleen: I think reading them in order would be the way to go.

  7. EmmsMum EmmsMum
    September 21, 2010    

    I am SO excited to read this…I see a lot of myself in Becky :S. I’m heading out right now to buy this! (and maybe the copies of the first books, since mine have been lent out and err…NOT returned!!)

  8. Julie Julie
    September 23, 2010    

    I was personally very disappointed by this book. I’ve listened to all of the others several times each and although I’ve always had trouble with Becky’s lack of growth, the most recent novel really drives home the point that the lead character is a compulsive liar, completely unrealistic and utterly spoiled. At times, Minnie seemed more mature than her mother. Kinsella had a fantastic opportunity to really develop the character, to have her finally grow into an adult instead she squandered it by keeping Becky firmly in the role the little girl who just wants to party.

  9. October 1, 2010    

    EmmsMum: Hope you love the book!

    Julie: Sorry to hear the book disappointed you. Paula’s response to your comment: “Becky is meant to be a fun, light character – the books are supposed to be funny. I don’t see Becky as a compulsive liar at all! But, no matter, not everyone will love these books or the character. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it.” Thanks for weighing in, Julie.

  10. December 2, 2010    

    I just finished up this book, and I think that I agree with Julie on a number of levels, but I would read a book solely about Minnie near adolescence.

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