Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Review: Confessions of a Shopaholic

Happy Friday all, and welcome to the inaugural discussion of our first book club choice off the Quarter Life Crisis reading list:  Confessions of a Shopaholic.

To start things out, I have to tell you I absolutely adored this book!  There are so many similarities between the "heroin," Rebecca Bloomwood and myself.  

I've been there.  Hounded by creditors, questioning my choices in life, watching my friends move on to bigger, better and more successful careers and lifestyles-- all while I sit here in the same place at the same boring job.

I've carried around the weight of my financial burden, lying about where the money went and not fully disclosing the truth about my debt to anyone in my life-- not even my parents or close friends.  I've felt ashamed and embarrassed just like Rebecca Bloomwood.  This was an excellent first pick for me, as I come to the end of my 20's and make my way into my 30's.

Now let's talk some specifics.  I love how Sophie Kinsella tapped into the embarrassment, fear  and need to  hide the truth associated with overspending.  I also loved the way she wrote Rebecca.  She's smart, she's funny, she's intuitive-- but she's got real problems that she isn't quite sure how to deal with.  And ironically, she works for a magazine giving people advice on how to manage their money.

The placement of the financial letters throughout the book just builds on that overwhelming sense that everything is spinning out of control. I realize I'm gushing about this book, but I have to say it really resonated with me.   And though it's not a classic piece of literature, I think any woman who's going through a midlife crisis should pick it up.  Besides being something that will get you thinking about your own life; it's a quick, funny read you'll thank me for later.
And of course, I had to watch the movie right after I finished the book (hey, it was on demand!)  I mean, I'd seen the movie before.  But it's always different after you've ready the book.  (Don't worry, I'm not going to gush over the movie too.)

Quite frankly, I didn't like it.  I feel like the film dumbed it down too much.  It took the concept, and turned it into a completely different story that wasn't as charming or relate-able. Leave it to Hollywood, right?

One of my favorite parts of the book, was Rebecca's relationship with Luke Brandon.  I loved her internal struggle with how she felt about him, the fact that she wrote the article about her neighbors and they had that amazing fight about it and the build up to the very end of the book when the finally kissed.  In the movie I just felt like Rebecca and Luke where thrown together and their relationship was never really explained.

I also felt like Rebecca was made out to be a bit of a ditz.  In the book she's a strong, smart girl in a dead end job with a bit of bad financial luck.  Yes she loves shopping and fashion, but that doesn't make her a ditz.  Frankly, the movie character was a bit one sided and uncomplicated.  And I didn't care for her much.

I wasn't expected to have a book and movie review all in one post, but it turned out quite nicely.  I hope you enjoyed the book as much as I did.  And I'd love to hear what you have to say.  I've listed a few questions below for you to answer in the comments section if you'd like.  Tomorrow, I'll be introducing the book for March.  Looking forward to it!

What did you think of "Confessions of a Shopaholic?"  Was is something you could relate to, or did you find it irritating that Rebecca Bloomwood couldn't just pull it together and be responsible?

Rebecca has a shopping problem, plain and simple-- but she also has some great qualities going for her, what were some of your favorite things about her?

Her relationship with Luke Brian constantly changes throughout the book-- you never know what you're going to get!  How do you think the relationship enhances the story?

Rebecca tells a lot of white lies to hide her financial problem.  How do you think those lies affect her relationships with her friends, her family and even Luke?

And finally, do you think Rebecca Bloomwood can serve as a role model for young women?  What are some of the lessons she teaches through example in this book?

I'm really looking forward to hear from you, leave a comment with your answers!

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