Book review – Shopaholic Abroad by Sophie Kinsella

7 Aug

From the back cover:Will travel broaden the mind…or loosen the purse strings?
For Rebecca Bloomwood, life is peachy. She has a job on morning TV, her bank manager is actually being nice to her, and when it comes to spending money, her new motto is Buy Only What You Need – and she’s really (sort of) sticking to it. The icing on the brioche is that she’s been offered a chance to work in New York.
New York! The Museum of Modern Art! The Guggenheim! The Metropolitan Opera House! And Becky does mean to go to them all. Honestly. It’s just that it seems silly not to check out a few other places first. Like Saks. And Bloomingdales. And Barneys. And one of those fantastic sample sales where you can get a Prada dress for $10. Or was it $100? Is Becky too dazzled to care?

Shopaholic Abroad – for the biggest culture shop of your life.

*Spoiler Alert* I’ll try to keep any spoilers to a minimum but as this is a review of the sequel to Confessions of a Shopaholic, you might not want to read on if you haven’t read the first book!

I enjoyed Confessions of a Shopaholic so much that I went straight on to read the second book in the series – Shopaholic Abroad. The book continues Rebecca Bloomwood’s story about a year after the first book ends and it felt like it followed on seamlessly. Having said that, I do think it could be read without having read Confessions first, or after a long break as the story stands well enough on its own and Becky usefully fills in any background details that you need to know or might have forgotten!

So, a year on from the end of Confessions of a Shopaholic, we find Becky still sharing a flat with Suze and dating Luke. Her TV finance advice slot has taken off and her career is going well but despite having paid off all of her debts at one point, she is still a complete shopaholic and has amounted quite a bit of debt again. The story follows a similar plot line to that of the first book with Becky getting herself into increasing debt and ignoring it or weaving a very creative web of tall stories until it all comes back to bite her in spectacular fashion; only this time Luke is along for the ride and her actions affect him too.

The story is pacy and there are times when it was laugh out loud funny, but I have to say that I didn’t enjoy this one as much as Confessions of a Shopaholic. I expected a fun filled trip to New York (have I mentioned that it’s one of my favourite cities?) but it takes 150 pages of the 350 page book for Becky to even set foot in the USA and I found myself just wishing she’d get there! Despite a promising start, all does not go well for Luke and Becky in New York and I was disappointed to see her returning home quite quickly, with the last 90 pages of the book set back in London. I realise that Becky had to face the consequences of her actions at some point and the book does this well, however, I just felt it didn’t sparkle as much as the first book did. As with the first book, I did enjoy the ending though and I have already started the third book in the series – Shopaholic Ties the Knot and I’m pleased to say I’m really loving it so maybe this was just a small blip for me!

Shopaholic Abroad is part of my Shopaholic Reading Challenge and is also on my Summer Reading Challenge list. I think it would make a good summer read as Sophie Kinsella has a very easy writing style and the plot will keep you turning the pages, but it wasn’t what I expected as the focus is more on Becky and Luke and their relationship and Becky’s spending rather than her adventures in New York.


This is the second review in my Shopaholic Reading Challenge. I’m aiming to read and review all of the books in the series so far by September – just in time for the release of Mini Shopaholic. If you are joining me in this challenge, please do leave a comment below with your thoughts on Shopaholic Abroad or a link to your review. I thought I’d also pose a question to go with each book which you can answer just for fun…

In Shopaholic Abroad Becky has lots of fun shopping  in New York. What’s the best or worst holiday shopping experience you’ve had?

Mine is another shoe-related story but this time the shoes were for my then boyfriend (now husband). I dragged him on a two hour (each way) bus journey to the nearest city on holiday in Spain and he snapped up a bargain pair of trainers only to find, when we had returned to our apartment that night, that he had two right trainers in the box. We had to ring the shop and try to explain what had happened (neither of us speak Spanish) and then do the four hour round trip again the next day (and try to remember where the shop was) to finally get a right and left shoe. At least we can laugh about it now :-)

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