Mini Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella I generally like Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) because even though she’s a bit ditzy and not centered in reality she’s sweet and endearing. I’ve followed her through the series and I always thought that even though she struggled with her shopping addiction she at least attempted to rein it in and be funny about it. However, in this book she seems to have lost some of her charm and became a rather annoying character. Being that this is written in first person it made the book rather hard for me to get through. Since I was listening to it on audio I couldn’t skip the irritating bits. I thought Rosalyn Landor did a good job on the narration. However, there were a few times where I had to stop the audio because I was getting seriously irritated with Becky.

Kinsella usually throws in a few twists to further the plot line, but I felt like something was lacking with this one. The focus for this book started with Becky and Luke’s problems with their lack of parenting skills and then there was a slight twist on the recent economic recession, which I thought was cool of her to mention. After this it went downhill and turned into Becky’s obsession with Luke’s party. Usually, I find Becky’s hi-jinks funny and some of them were but for the most part she came off as selfish and delusional.

One of the things that I found highly annoying was Becky’s selfishness and lack of regard for how her shopping and behavior has affected others, particularly her daughter. In previous books she’s always been a tad selfish in her shopping. She shops mainly for herself with little regard for money, her mounting debts, space, etc. She lies about it and invents bogus stories, but it’s funny because it’s only hurting herself. Her friends and family help her along the way and in the end she learns a lesson and mends her ways. This time I felt like Becky has learned absolutely nothing, which is very surprising to me after all she has been through in the previous 5 books. As a grown married woman and mother, I had hope that she could see the example she was setting for Minnie. Nope this was not the case. Minnie, going through her terrible twos, is even worse than her mother. To remedy the problem Luke decides to hire Nanny Sue for tips. What does Nanny Sue say? That Minnie is modeling normal behavior for a 2 year old. I’m sorry, but getting banned from several Santa’s grottoes and dragging a mannequin from a store because it’s “MINE” is not typical 2 year old behavior. It makes me wonder what hellish kids Nancy Sue deals with on her show. I also didn’t understand how by the end of the book Minnie seemed more calmed when Luke and Becky didn’t do anything differently with her. It was like Nancy Sue came and all of sudden Minnie was a different kid.

I really hope this is the end of the series since the quality has gone dramatically down in my opinion. Every other page used to have me in stitches, but this one for the most part had me rolling my eyes. More than anything the story felt very forced. It’s like Kinsella needed to come up with a story on a whim because it was in her contract or something so she picked a point to focus on and beat it to death. I don’t know if it is that I’ve outgrown the series or if Becky just needs to mature. However, I don’t see how without any character development this series can progress any further than it has.