Sunday, September 21, 2014

More of Becky "The Shopaholic" 's misadventures in THE SHOPAHOLIC ABROAD




By a stroke of luck I was able to get hold of and eagerly read part 2 of  "The Shopaholic" series; which is THE SHOPAHOLIC ABROAD a.k.a THE SHOPAHOLIC TAKES MANHATTAN. Once I saw the title, I wondered if Becky will behave herself and curb her shopping addiction. The setting is NEW YORK; a shopper's paradise and after the events in CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC, you would think she's learned her lesson, considering the guy at her bank was a lot kinder to her than she deserved. So now, she's in New York... at the request her boyfriend who is moving his business there and wants her with him. Has Becky turned a new leaf?  HELL NO!

Part 2 is even more  hilarious as Part 1 because being in a new city only made Becky's shopaholism far worse and why not... when several shops and NOT JUST boutiques were offering 50% off sales and stocking various items she simply MUST HAVE? Even before she arrived in New York, she was already taking advantage of another overdraft she was granted (are the people in the bank nuts???) and spending, spending, spending... aside from clothes and shoes, who on earth spends  a 100 pounds on a pack of handmade greeting cards?! Suze made her promise to spend less and the kindly chap from the bank Derek Smeath informed her he was retiring and his successor would not be as accommodating as him, so she must be very careful. Needless to say, Becky did not listen to the well meaning advice and the bills slowly started to pile up... AGAIN. Plus, Becky gets into more scrapes because not only she spends without thinking, she talks without thinking, which only makes it an even more  interesting read.

To make matters worse, Becky's addiction is exposed in the worse possible way (which nearly happened in the previous book but luckily for her, Derek gave her a break) and not only did she lose her own credibility (which made her lose her existing as well as a prospective T.V host job)  but also her boyfriend's- she made him look like a fool in front of his investors. I felt sorrier for him than for her- she was WARNED about her shopping addiction but she turned a deaf ear so basically, she had it coming! But instead of accepting her stupidity she lashes out at him (talks without thinking, remember?) about how he's been so wrapped up in his work and hitting him below the belt.  Well ...  excuse your long suffering boyfriend for trying to be a successful businessman instead of going out to buy a whole lot of new suits!

I loved this book but Becky was really annoying, silly and more irresponsible than in the previous book. To her, her problem was just 'a bit of shopping'; to others it was shopping bags piled up to the ceiling and an overstuffed wardrobe and cluttered bedroom, FULL of her stuff and piles of unpaid bills. Needless to say, after her "public disgrace", things at the bank were even worse for her and she got a much deserved scolding from Derek's successor, John Gavin:

" This is Becky Bloomwood who has had her overdraft limit extended six times in the last year... And who each time has failed to keep within those limits. This is Becky Bloomwood who has constantly lied, who has constantly avoided meetings, who has treated bank staff with little or no respect and who seems to think we're all here solely to fund her appetite for shoes!"  

Wow... harsh BUT true! One would want to feel a little sorry for Becky and surprisingly she still had some people loyal and sympathetic enough to offer to lend her money. But while I applauded her pride (she flatly refused), I couldn't sympathize all that much because she was WARNED and her boyfriend ran into a big problem because of her. She must have THIS,  she must have THAT... isn't is a veiled case of materialism, this need to simply surround yourself with possessions and spending more than you earn? I'm glad the writer, Sophie Kinsella, wrote the dramatic scenes, Becky truly needed to see how her addiction could affect people close to her and take a long hard look at herself. She however accepted her disgrace with dignity and bailed herself out with dignity- at the same time secretly redeeming herself by secretly fixing her boyfriend's crisis. What then is next for Becky?

Like I said earlier, an interesting and hilarious read and gives us a lesson- BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR MONEY!

Quote from book: 

" I know I brought it on myself..."

"That's right! You did! Becky, no one forced you to go out and spend all that money! I mean, I know you like shopping, But for Christ sake. To spend like this... It's bloody irresponsible. Couldn't you have stopped yourself?'" 

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