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Becky Brandon

Book Review: Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
Christmas-Shopaholic-by-Sophie-Kinsella

Don’t panic. Don’t panic.

Christmas Shopaholic is the best book in the Shopaholic Series to date.

Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) returns and it’s her turn to host Christmas.

Becky and Luke’s guests will include: Becky’s mum and dad, their neighbours Janice and Martin, Suze & Tarquin and their children, her sister Jess and her partner Tom.

Becky desperately wants her Christmas to be like a Christmas movie. Everyone getting on, following traditions and everyone to say: Do you remember that Christmas at Becky’s? Wasn’t it great.

But with the guests falling out with one another; everyone making demands around their Christmas traditions; trying to get Luke a sensational gift; and an ex-partner coming back into her life with the offer of friendship – but whom has secret motives;

making an outfit for Minnie’s school nativity; worrying about her sister Jess who won’t open up about what’s going on in her life; supporting one of the school mums whose having a rough time. Becky has a lot going on.

Can Becky pull off her dream? Well if you’ve read any or all of the Shopaholic series, you know Becky is resourceful and often solves problems in her own unique way. It is her ideas and how she pulls it off that makes this book a joy to read.

This book had plenty moments of comedy that made me laugh out loud. The ending made me cry with happiness. I thoroughly enjoyed every page of Christmas Shopaholic and was gutted when I read the last word of the last page.

I’ve always thought of Becky’s husband Luke as being a bit two dimensional, but he scored major brownie points with me and some realism points to, by swearing and holding people to account in this book.

If I could say anything to author Sophie Kinsella, it would be to make Luke a bigger part of the story. He is barely mentioned in most of the Shopaholic novels, yet is a big part of Becky’s life.

Christmas Shopaholic is available to buy on Amazon.

Blog soon,

Antony

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Book Review: Shopaholic to the Rescue by Sophie Kinsella

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
shopaholic-to-the-rescue-kinsella-book-cover Shopaholic to the Stars, which I have reviewed here ended on a cliff hanger. So I couldn’t wait to read Shopaholic to the Rescue by the fabulous Sophie Kinsella. And Kinsella didn’t disappoint.

In Shopaholic to the Rescue, Becky is on the hunt for her father, Tarkie (Suze’s husband) who have gone missing with a dodgy character called Bruce. In the RV is Becky, Luke, Minnie, Becky’s mother, Janice (Becky’s mother’s best friend), Suze (Becky’s best friend) and Alicia Bitch Long-legs. There’s a growing gap between Becky and Suze, one that Alicia is taking advantage of to become Suze’s new best friend. Danny joins the crew to.

Can Becky solve the mystery of her father’s sudden disappearance? Can she find her father and help him to put right an injustice? Can she find Tarkie and build a bridge across the gap to Suze? Can she find out what Alicia Bitch Long-Legs is up to? In short: can Becky put everything right?

Shopaholic to the Rescue pinnacle of the Shopaholic Series, but also of Kinsella’s ability to write comedy. There is literally a laugh on every page of this addictive page turner. As with every other book in the Shopaholic series, in between chapters are littered with entertaining letters, emails or texts of response mostly from Derek Smeath (her former Bank Manager).

All of the characters grow and develop, but what was most outstanding is that Becky’s character also grew. Becky has so many internal struggles going on and guilt in Shopaholic to the Rescue, that she looses her mojo, and even, dare I say it? Finds no pleasure in shopping and has no desire to shop. The plot is enjoyably predictable with an ingenious ending. The pacing is perfect.

Overall Shopaholic to the Rescue is a superb addition to the Shopaholic Series. A thoroughly entertaining and captivating read. A must read for fans of the Shopaholic series.

Review soon,

Antony

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Book Review: Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
shopaholic-to-the-stars-sophie-kinsella Becky’s back in Shopaholic to the Stars! It’s great to have her back.

Becky, Luke and Minnie are moving to Hollywood. Luke will be helping to manage PR for his new celebrity client Sage Seymour.

Meanwhile Becky plans to make a name for herself by becoming a renowned Hollywood Stylist. Becky is even joined by best friend Suze, Tarquin and their brood. Oh and Becky’s dad who is in search of an old friend. What could possibly go wrong?

Well it starts with Becky seeing Lois Kellerton, Sage Seymour’s nemesis shoplifting. Lois swears Becky to secrecy, but Becky lets slip to Sage. Before Becky knows it, she’s at the centre of a press tornado as the only witness of Lois’ crime. Against Luke’s advice, she decides to make the most of the publicity while she’s ‘hot’ to try and promote herself as a Hollywood Stylist.

Every page of Shopaholic to the Stars made me laugh, often aloud and made me feel elated. Becky’s character is so optimistic and naive that she makes every book in the Shopaholic series a joy to read. Shopaholic to the Stars is no exception.

About halfway through Shopaholic to the Stars Kinsella adds another plot line (the one were Becky’s dad disappears) and it’s clear that this book is the first part in a two book story. Fabulous, it means another book in the Shopaholic Series. This new (and as of yet untitled) release will probably be published next year.

Take Shopaholic to the Stars as a lighthearted, comedic, chick-lit read and you’ll enjoy it. The plot of Shopaholic to the Stars is slightly predictable and if you overanalysed it you’d find the odd flaw in the storyline.

The Shopaholic Series in chronological order: The Secret Dreamworld Of A Shopaholic, Shopaholic Abroad, Shopaholic Ties The Knot, Shopaholic & Sister, Shopaholic & Baby, Mini Shopaholic and Shopaholic to the Stars.

Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella is available to buy on Amazon.

Review soon,

Antony



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Books I’m Excited About!

By Amazon, Books & AuthorsNo Comments

the-hunted-charlie-higson-book-cover
Title: The Hunted
By: Charlie Higson
Release Date: Thursday 4th September 2014

Description

The Hunted is Charlie Higson’s sixth terrifying installment in the thrilling The Enemy series

The sickness struck everyone over fourteen.

First it twisted their minds.

Next it ravaged their bodies.

Now they roam the streets –

Crazed and hungry

The others had promised that the countryside would be safer than the city. They were wrong. Now Ella’s all-alone except for her silent rescuer, Scarface – and she’s not even sure if he’s a kid or a grown-up.

Back in London, Ed’s determined to find her. But getting out of town’s never been more dangerous- because coming in the other direction is every SICKO in the country. It’s like they’re being called towards the capital and nothing is going to stop them . . .

In the penultimate book in The Enemy series, the survivors’ stories cross with chilling consequences.

(From: Amazon, Last Accessed: Thursday 21st August 2014.)

the-establishment-book-cover-own-jones
Title: The Establishment – And How They Get Away with It
By: Owen Jones
Release Date: Thursday 4th September 2014

Description

In The Establishment Owen Jones, author of the international bestseller Chavs, offers a biting critique of the British Establishment and a passionate plea for democracy

Behind our democracy lurks a powerful but unaccountable network of people who wield massive power and reap huge profits in the process. In exposing this shadowy and complex system that dominates our lives, Owen Jones sets out on a journey into the heart of our Establishment, from the lobbies of Westminster to the newsrooms, boardrooms and trading rooms of Fleet Street and the City. Exposing the revolving doors that link these worlds, and the vested interests that bind them together, Jones shows how, in claiming to work on our behalf, the people at the top are doing precisely the opposite. In fact, they represent the biggest threat to our democracy today – and it is time they were challenged.

[Praise for Owen Jones’s Chavs] ‘A passionate and well-documented denunciation of the upper-class contempt for the proles that has recently become so visible in the British class system’ – Eric Hobsbawm, Guardian Books of 2011

‘As with all the best polemics, a luminous anger backlights his prose’ – Economist

‘A bold attempt to rewind political orthodoxies; to reintroduce class as a political variable … It moves in and out of postwar British history with great agility, weaving together complex questions of class, culture and identity with a lightness of touch. Jones torches the political class to great effect’ – Jon Cruddas, Independent

Owen Jones was born in Sheffield, grew up in Stockport, and studied history at Oxford. His first book, the international bestseller Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class, was long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award and chosen as one of The New York Times top 10 non-fiction books of 2011. In 2013 he received the Young Writer of the Year prize at the Political Book Award. He is a columnist for the Guardian and a frequent broadcaster.

(From: Amazon, Last Accessed: Thursday 21st August 2014.)

shopaholic-to-the-stars-sophie-kinsella
Title: Shopaholic to the Stars
By: Sophie Kinsella
Release Date: Thursday 25th September 2014.

Description

Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) is in Hollywood! It’s as if all her life has been leading to this moment. She’s hanging out with the stars . or at least she will be, when she finally gets to meet movie superstar Sage Seymour, whom husband Luke is now managing.

There’s so much to see and do! And getting Minnie through the hurdles for her A-list Hollywood pre-school will require some.er.help.

Becky sets her heart on a new career – she’s going to be a celebrity stylist. Red carpet, here she comes! But Becky soon finds it’s tough in Tinseltown. Luckily her best friend Suze comes over to keep her company, and together they embark on the Hollywood insider trail. But somehow…things aren’t quite working out as they’d hoped.

Then Becky’s big chance comes, and it’s an opportunity that money can’t buy. But will it cost her too much?

(From: Amazon, Last Accessed: Thursday 21st August 2014.)

us-by-david-nicholls-book-cover
Title: Us
By: David Nicholls
Release Date: Tuesday 30th September 2014.

Description

David Nicholls brings to bear all the wit and intelligence that graced ONE DAY in this brilliant, bittersweet novel about love and family, husbands and wives, parents and children. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2014.

‘I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together.’

‘Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?’

Douglas Petersen understands his wife’s need to ‘rediscover herself’ now that their son is leaving home.

He just thought they’d be doing their rediscovering together.

So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again.

The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.

What could possibly go wrong?

(From: Amazon, Last Accessed: Thursday 21st August 2014.)

the-year-i-met-you-cecelia-ahern
Title: The Year I Met You
By: Cecelia Ahern
Release Date: Thursday 9th October 2014.

Description

A thoughtful, captivating and ultimately uplifting novel from this uniquely talented author

Jasmine loves two things: her sister and her work. And when her work is taken away she has no idea who she is.

Matt loves two things: his family and the booze. Without them, he hits rock bottom.

One New Year’s Eve, two people’s paths collide. Both have time on their hands; both are at a crossroads. But as the year unfolds, through moonlit nights and suburban days, an unlikely friendship slowly starts to blossom.

Sometimes you have to stop still in order to move on…

Original and poignant, The Year I Met You will make you laugh, cry and celebrate life.
(From: Amazon, Last Accessed: Thursday 21st August 2014.)

Blog soon,

Antony

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