Book/Movie:Confessions of a Shopaholic

Sophie Kinsella
Chick Lit
Dell Publishing / November 2003
Mass Market / 384pages
Shopaholic Series, #1

Becky has a fabulous flat in London's trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season's must-haves. The only trouble is that she can't actually afford it—not any of it.

Her job writing at Successful Savings not only bores her to tears, it doesn't pay much at all. And lately Becky's been chased by dismal letters from the bank—letters with large red sums she can't bear to read—and they're getting ever harder to ignore.

She tries cutting back. But none of her efforts succeeds. Becky's only consolation is to buy herself something ... just a little something....

Finally a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life—and the lives of those around her—forever.

I picked this book up because TAC challenge requires a book/movie combo & I've been wanting to see the movie. (Technically Undomestic Goddess caught my eye first LOL)

What I liked the Most? The total kitsch of the whole book.

What I liked the Least? I'd have to say nothing. This was a very enjoyable read.

Review:The main character, Rebecca Bloomwood, is a recent college graduate and a financial writer for Successful Savings. You would think that she is a financial expert right? Not so, her love for shopping and her love for the finer things life has to offer seem to overpower everything else in her life - including common sense.

When she’s feeling down, she shops. When she’s happy, she shops. When she starts being frugal, she shops. When she goes home, she shops. The problem is that her income doesn’t quite cover her bills. In fact, it falls very short and this is causing her quite a bit of problems. So, how does the great financial expert handle her own money problems? She ignores them. She pretends they don’t exist. She pulls tricks like "forgetting to sign" the check or postdating the check. She ultimately stops even reading the letters that are being sent to her by the bank and the credit card companies. Instead, she throws them away unopened. She rationalizes that if she never received the bill or the nasty letter then she cannot be held accountable. In the end, she stops relying on winning the lottery or marrying for money as a legitimate means of solving her problems. Instead, she becomes accountable for her actions and faces her problems.

Becky is a very likable character and one with whom many people can relate.

Recommended to: Someone ready to laugh

Best Quote: "I wouldn't aim to win the jackpot of course --- that's completely unlikely. But one of those minor prizes. There seem to be heaps of those going around. Say L100,000. That would do. I could pay off all my debts, buy a car, buy a flat ... Actually better make it L200,000. Or a quarter of a million. Or, even better, one of those shared Jackpots. 'The five winners will each receive L1.3Million.' ... One point three million should see me straight?" - Rebecca

Challenges: 100+, TAC

The Take a Chance Challenge required a Book/Movie Combo. So below this point is the movie review.

Starring: Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, and Krysten Ritter
with guest appearances from Joan Cusack to John Goodman to John Lithgow.

Directed by: P.J. Hogan

Advisory: Rated PG for some mild language and thematic elements.

Running time: 104 minutes

Struggling with her debilitating obsession with shopping and the sudden collapse of her income source, Rebecca Bloomwood unintentionally lands a job writing for a financial magazine after a drunken letter-mailing mix-up. Ironically writing about the very consumer caution of which she herself has not abided, Rebecca's innovative comparisons and unconventional metaphors for economics grants her critical acclaim, public success, and the admiration of her supportive boss Luke. But as she draws closer to her ultimate goal of writing for renowned fashion magazine Alette, she questions her true ambitions and must determine if overcoming her "shopaholic" condition will bring her real happiness.

I picked this movie because TAC challenge requires a book/movie combo & I've been wanting to see the movie.

What I liked the Most? The clothing.

What I liked the Least? The dynamics between Rebecca & Luke

Review:The main character, Rebecca Bloomwood, is a recent college graduate and a writer for a gardening magazine. Who finds out the hard way that credit cards are hell not heaven. It is a cute little human interest love story combo. Where the main character is using multiple credit cards to pay for a must have on sale scarf that ends up being both her scourge and salvation.

Oh Yeah - FYI - If you watch the DVD, check out the deleted scenes. The best book scene is there. The zebra print jeans.

Becky is still a very likable character and one with whom many people can relate.

Recommended to: Someone ready to laugh - my husband enjoyed it.

Best Quote: "I made a trade"

Comparison Section

I was not impressed. As two stand alongs okay maybe - but comparing the two side by side like I did. It sucked.

Some of the very basic ideas from the book were misrepresented from the very beginning.

*Rebecca was supposed to have been a writer for the financial magazine Successful Savings from the beginning - who got herself into a whole lot of trouble for not understanding finances, not a druken sot who wrote her way to the job.
*Suze is not supposed to know about the credit card debt, because Rebecca hides it from EVERYONE.
*And why did they have Luke Brandon go to that one conference with Rebecca - she should have met a random hack that poses all those questions.
*Mr Smeath was supposed to be proud of her comments on the talk show, not humilate her.
*Tarkie was so not Suze's boyfriend - he's supposed to be her cousin crushing on Rebecca
*Luke Brandon was supposed to already have Brandon Communications, this is the crux of the whole book. He is TOTALLY out of her league, not just semi out of her league cause he's the boss.
*The advice she gave was supposed to be to her parents neighbors & costs them BIG TIME!!! But that's what leads her to write a glorious article that basically saves herself, wins her the boy & the job & the ability to pay off her debt.

I could continue with this list, but what's the point.

I am very aware that they can not put EVERYTHING into a movie, but wow - this was shear butchery. And not in the good way like Practical Magic.


  1. Great review.. I have to say that I tried reading this book and could just not get into it. Which is weird for me because I love chick lit books. But oh well, sometimes books just don't flow for everyone. :)

    I just found your blog from J-Kaye's top contributors post! :)

  2. I've read that book last year and thought it was okay for my first chick lit book. Did you see the movie? Are you on Twitter? Found your blog under J_Kaye's blog.

  3. Just found your post from J_kaye's blog as well, and your review makes me want to get out and get this book right away. It caught my eye awhile ago and I never picked it up. I may need to add this to my summer reading list. Also, I love your side bar with your challenges on it, how did you do that?

  4. Welcome to the blog!

    trishalynn0708 - I didn't think I was going to like it, but after a slow start it just started working. And you are so right - not every book is for everyone. I have read some books that everyone else raves about & I end up putting down.

    Kristen howe - I picked up this book for a challenge book/movie review them. Going to try to fit the movie in today. I have a twitter account but I forget to go over there alot. LOL.

    Erica Zamsky Hunt - I totally recommend it. As for the side bar - go to layouts on the blog page, then add a gadget, choose the HTML code box. Then it's cut & paste to your entry for the challenge. I had fun playing with it.

  5. As usual, the book comes out far ahead of the movie!! It just bothers me when screenwriters don't keep the basic essence of the book though -- or change critical aspects. Quite a few of the people who have done this part of the challenge have mentioned the same thing.

    I enjoyed how you write your reviews by the way -- in case I didn't mention that before.

  6. I totally agree. I'm a huge fan of the 'Shopaholic' books - loved them! The movie was a real disappointment. Good review!

  7. Jenners - The book totally topped the movie in this review & in Harry Potter/Half Blood Prince. Go figure. My favorite book to movie has been Pratical Magic, there were so many changes to the movie script that it felt like a fresh story.

    Kari - The movie was a disappointment from the book angle but my hubby & my mom (whom had not read the book) loved it.

    Thanks for the comments

  8. Great Review! I read the book and i thought it was good. I decided to watch the movie because I really enjoyed the book. Then as I was watching the movie I realized it was nothing like the story line in the book, they left out most of the important parts. In the movie they changed somethings around like when she was buying the scarf in the book she left her credit card on her desk and they held the scarf for her until they closed, but in the movie she paid with different cards and one of them didn't go through and she asked the store clerk if they could hold it for her later and she said no. So she ran to the hotdog stand where she met Luke but in the book she met him in a conference. You mentioned some of the bigger key points in the review