I am a huge fan of British women’s lit author Sophie Kinsella. She has written numerous stand-alones but is probably most well known for her lengthy Shopaholic series, featuring shopaholic protagonist Becky. She gets herself into the most outrageous situations, but you always forgive her because she has a genuine heart, great sense of humour and indomitable spirit. I like Becky, silly as she can be. She’s plucky and lives life to the fullest.
Shopaholic to the Rescue is the most recent instalment in the series and I think it is the eighth book. It is written much more differently from the early books in the series, in the best way. Becky has matured, become more self-aware and introspective since her early 20s, and good thing too. You won’t find tallies of shopping hauls or passerbys’ outfits in “to the Rescue”.
Before I get too in-depth, here’s the blurb.
Becky Bloomwood and a hilarious cast of beloved family and friends (plus one enemy!) set off in a van to find her missing father, last heard from in Las Vegas.
Becky’s father Graham and her best friend’s husband, Tarquin, have disappeared from Los Angeles saying simply they have “something to take care of.”
But Tarquin’s wife Suze who is Becky’s best friend, and Becky’s mother Jane, are convinced the two men are hiding something and are in danger—their imaginations run wild. They must track them down!
Hijinks ensue as husband Luke drives Becky, daughter Minnie, Jane, Suze and other favourite Kinsella characters across country from LA to Las Vegas in search of the missing men.
Becky feels deeply guilty about ignoring her father while he was in LA, in addition Becky feels her enemy Alicia is threatening her friendship with Suze.
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** minor spoilers in this review **
This was my favourite book in the Shopaholic series. I actually sat on it for about a month before reading because I detested the previous book and was worried it would ruin the series for me if I disliked to the Rescue as well, but once I started, I couldn’t put it down. Cue laughing out loud on page one. Not to mention staying up til 3am to finish. Shhhh, let’s not share that particular point, okay?
I think what set this one apart from the others is that the focus wasn’t on the trouble Becky finds for herself. Although she blames herself for the problems, she isn’t to blame and after seven books fixing her mistakes, it is refreshing to see Becky has grown into a more mature and responsible version of her youthful self, and that sometimes that “perfect” friend can dig herself into a real doozy of a hole.
I also loved two specific things about “Rescue”.
Luke and Becky are in the best place they have ever been, as a couple. After seeing so many people try to tear them apart in the past, and the two of them struggling to make it work through the bad, it was a relief to see that they are in such a good place, since I just know they are meant for one another.
Secondly, all your favourite characters are liberally included across the plot and it’s awesome. This almost feels like a “reunion” book. Sometimes Becky and Luke exist in a bubble and people only briefly pass through, but everyone is there throughout this time (even Alicia Bitch Long Legs).
I definitely recommend picking this book up. The whole series is great but you could probably read this without reading the others if you wanted. It almost felt as if Kinsella was closing the series on this one, but I feel like there is one story left to tell. Hopefully we’ll get to read it.
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