“Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) adores Christmas. It’s always the same – Mum and Dad hosting, carols playing, Mum pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the next-door neighbours coming round for sherry in their terrible festive jumpers.
And now it’s even easier with online bargain-shopping sites – if you spend enough you even get free delivery. Sorted!
But this year looks set to be different. Unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocado, Becky’s parents are moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch and have asked Becky if she’ll host Christmas this year. What could possibly go wrong?
With sister Jess demanding a vegan turkey, husband Luke determined that he just wants aftershave again, and little Minnie insisting on a very specific picnic hamper – surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear . . .
Will chaos ensue, or will Becky manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas?” – Christmas Shopaholic, Sophie Kinsella
I’m a huge Sophie Kinsella fan. There, I’ve said it. Now, I don’t want you to think that this review will be biased. (It mostly won’t be, I swear). But, I do adore S.K.’s style of writing and I adore Becky Brandon née Bloomwood.
I feel like I’ve grown up with Becky. When I first started reading about her shopping (mis)adventures, I was single like she was. Now, both Becky and I are married and have a daughter – it’s wild sometimes how novels mirror your life.
Christmas Shopaholic did not disappoint. I will say that I was a little frustrated with Becky’s immaturity in the first half of the novel. When her old boyfriend shows up, Becky immediately wants to impress him and starts dressing differently. Let me say that again. A grown woman with a loving husband and daughter goes out and buys electric blue eyeshadow and skull tights because she wants to be seen as “edgy” and impress her ex from uni. That was weird to me because I kind of expected Becky to mature a little more than being caught up in what other people think about her, BUT she learns her lesson from all of that at about the midpoint of the novel.
It was really around the midpoint where Becky became the sweetest person alive. I’m not kidding, I actually was crying by the end of the book because of how much she worked to help everyone around herself. Christmas Shopaholic has a really sweet ending, that I won’t spoil, but I absolutely adore how it was set up. I didn’t even see it coming, but maybe I was too caught up in the disaster of 30 pounds of fish and the constant canceled orders. (Seriously, what kind of stores let you place orders and then cancel last minute and tell you they were out of stock the whole time!? I would have had a panic attack by the second one).
Rating: 5 festive llama ornaments out of 5
Why: I was sucked back into Becky’s world the second I opened the book. You know the feeling of seeing a great friend after having not seen them for a few years? It was just like that getting to read about Becky again. Everything just clicks. Even though I was a little annoyed by her showing off for her ex, it fit with her character and Becky did figure out that it’s not worth the time to impress old flames. I seriously love, love, love Becky’s character arch and how she became totally selfless without even thinking about it. Her friendship with Steph (a mom from Minnie’s school) was really sweet and a refreshing add to the normal cast and crew that is in the Shopaholic series. Also, Suze has gotten better and better with each book.
Ending Thoughts: Buy this book. Read it all over the weekend. Eat lots of cookies, chocolates, and vegan (doughnut) turkey while reading it. It’s a perfect light Christmas read.
With love and wishing you a Merry Christmas, Storm