Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Sophie Kinsella's Wedding Night.

Rebecca Bloomwood just hit rock bottom. But she's never looked better....

Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London's trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season's ...
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Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic Series #1)

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Overview

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Sophie Kinsella's Wedding Night.

Rebecca Bloomwood just hit rock bottom. But she's never looked better....

Becky Bloomwood 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 Visa and the Endwich Bank -- letters with large red sums she can't bear to read -- and they're getting ever harder to ignore.

She tries cutting back; she even tries making more money. 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.

Sophie Kinsella has brilliantly tapped into our collective consumer conscience to deliver a novel of our times -- and a heroine who grows stronger every time she weakens. Becky Bloomwood's hilarious schemes to pay back her debts are as endearing as they are desperate. Her "confessions" are the perfect pick-me-up when life is hanging in the (bank) balance.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
We had quite the debate over this fun, frothy debut from the U.K. It was abundantly clear that Sophie Kinsella has chops -- she's quite the writer, and has crafted an amusing page-turner in the voice of a woman with whom many of our readers can identify. But was the writing new and original enough -- or was it yet another Bridget Jones wannabe? This review is proof positive that Sophie Kinsella has written a work and created a character wholly her own, and one that will leave readers howling with mirth in her wake. For 25-year-old Rebecca Bloomwood, the protagonist in Confessions of a Shopaholic, is every responsible woman's worst nightmare. A smart woman with a quick wit, she lets her insecurities run amok, only feeling in charge with her credit card in hand and a date lined up. Her career as a financial journalist feels like a sham, so she glams herself up with the latest find from the fashionistas and is momentarily diverted from taking action. As she dreams of the perfect scarf in the middle of meetings and steals away to buy trinkets in pricey boutiques, Rebecca's high-living lifestyle eventually catches up with her, when the dreaded letters arrive from creditors demanding payment on her delinquent accounts. We won't spoil the surprise ending (think romance, not drudgery!), but Sophie Kinsella is sure to delight Americans with her savvy debut novel, a main line into the heartbeat of consumerism today. (Spring 2001 Selection)
USA Today
Hilarious...hijinks worthy of classic I Love Lucy episodes.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Add this aptly titled piffle to the ranks of pink-covered girl-centric fiction that has come sailing out of England over the last two years. At age 25, Rebecca Bloomwood has everything she wants. Or does she? Can her career as a financial journalist, a fab flat and a closet full of designer clothes lessen the blow of the dunning letters from credit card companies and banks that have been arriving too quickly to be contained by the drawer in which Rebecca hides them? Although her romantic entanglements tend toward the superficial, there is that wonderful Luke Brandon of Brandon Communications: handsome, intelligent, the 31st-richest bachelor according to Harper's and actually possessed of a personality that is more substance than style. Too bad that Rebecca blows it whenever their paths cross. Will Rebecca learn to stop shopping before she loses everything worthwhile? When faced with the opportunity to do good for others and impress Luke, will she finally measure up? Rebecca is so unremittingly shallow and Luke is so wonderful that readers may find themselves rooting for the heroine not to get the man--although, since Shakespeare's time, there's rarely been any doubt concerning how romantic comedies will end. There's a certain degree of madcap fun with some of Rebecca's creative untruths; when she persuades her parents that a bank manager is a stalker, some very amusing situations ensue. Still, this is familiar stuff, and Rebecca is the kind of unrepentant spender who will make readers, save those who share her disorder in the worst way, pity the poor bill collector. (Feb. 13) Forecast: This is a well-designed book, with a catchy magenta spine, and a colorful and kinetic double cover--which will attract many browsers. Major ad/promo, including national NPR sponsorships, will enhance sales, despite the novel's flaws. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Too good to pass up."—USA Today
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440334453
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/4/2003
  • Series: Shopaholic Series , #1
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 181
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Sophie Kinsella
Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series, as well as The Undomestic Goddess and Can You Keep a Secret? She lives in England.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Biography

When we first meet Becky Bloomwood in Sophie Kinsella's Confessions of a Shopaholic, she's a financial journalist in London who's quickly realizing that though she may be a writer for Successful Saving magazine, she could use help practicing what she preaches. She's helplessly driving herself into debt buying things she can't afford, at one point rationalizing that buying something 30 percent off is actually saving money. Becky was a hit with readers and spawned a franchise for Kinsella. In subsequent books, readers have followed her through a temptingly whirlwind series of adventures, with her best friend, Suze, and Luke, the love of her life, often along for the ride.

The Shopaholic books are little tours of fabulousness, where objects are introduced not as incidental to the story but as key players. Becky may not attend to certain life details such as bills or space to store all of her purchases, but she knows how to pay proper homage to the details in a dress or a vintage cocktail table. When she packs for a trip, we get the list of what she's bringing. What's more, she rationalizes and justifies purchases before you can say, "Credit or cash?" (The answer for Becky, by the way, is usually credit.)

Those who value integrity or depth in their fictional characters would be well advised to steer clear of Becky; but Shopaholic fans identify with her weaknesses, finding her more sympathetic than sinister. She can be maddening in her lack of discipline or self-reflectiveness, but Kinsella has taken a cue from Jane Austen's Emma by infusing her character with enough optimism, heart, and generous spirit to overcome her faults. Becky always reassuringly lands right-side-up, making these books a fun flight of fancy.

The author has interspersed her popular series with a handful of stand-alone confections featuring protagonists as charming and deliciously funny as the Shopaholic. Fortunately for her many fans, Sophie Kinsella has a seemingly inexhaustible supply of affection for her characters. May it fuel many books to come!

Good To Know

Some outtakes from our interview with Kinsella:

"I am a serial house mover: I have moved house five times in the last eight years! But I'm hoping I might stay put in this latest one for a while."

"I've never written a children's book, but when people meet me for the first time and I say I write books, they invariably reply, 'Children's books?' Maybe it's something about my face. Or maybe they think I'm J. K. Rowling!"

"If my writing comes to a halt, I head to the shops: I find them very inspirational. And if I get into real trouble with my plot, I go out for a pizza with my husband. We order a pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea and start talking -- and basically keep drinking and talking till we've figured the glitch out. Never fails!"

"Favorite leisure pursuits: a nice hot bath, watching The Simpsons, playing table tennis after dinner, shopping, playing the piano, sitting on the floor with my two small boys, and playing building blocks and Legos."

"Least favorite leisure pursuit: tidying away the building blocks and Legos."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Madeleine Wickham (real name)
    2. Hometown:
      London, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 12, 1969
    2. Place of Birth:
      London, England
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Oxford University, 1990; M.Mus., King's College, London, 1992
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Ok. don't panic. Don't panic. It's only a VISA bill. It's a piece of paper; a few numbers. I mean, just how scary can a few numbers be?

I stare out of the office window at a bus driving down Oxford Street, willing myself to open the white envelope sitting on my cluttered desk. It's only a piece of paper, I tell myself for the thousandth time. And I'm not stupid, am I? I know exactly how much this VISA bill will be.

Sort of. Roughly.

It'll be about ... £200. Three hundred, maybe. Yes, maybe £300. Three-fifty, max.

I casually close my eyes and start to tot up. There was that suit in Jigsaw. And there was dinner with Suze at Quaglinos. And there was that gorgeous red and yellow rug. The rug was £200, come to think of it. But it was definitely worth every penny — everyone's admired it. Or, at least, Suze has.

And the Jigsaw suit was on sale — 30 percent off. So that was actually saving money.

I open my eyes and reach for the bill. As my fingers hit the paper I remember new contact lenses. Ninety-five pounds. Quite a lot. But, I mean, I had to get those, didn't I? What am I supposed to do, walk around in a blur?

And I had to buy some new solutions and a cute case and some hypoallergenic eyeliner. So that takes it up to ... £400?

At the desk next to mine, Clare Edwards looks up from her post. She's sorting all her letters into neat piles, just like she does every morning. She puts rubber bands round them and puts labels on them saying things like "Answer immediately" and "Not urgent but respond." I loathe Clare Edwards.

"OK, Becky?" she says.

"Fine," I say lightly. "Just reading a letter."

I reach gaily into the envelope, but my fingers don't quite pull out the bill. They remain clutched around it while my mind is seized — as it is every month — by my secret dream.

Do you want to know about my secret dream? It's based on a story I once read in The Daily World about a mix-up at a bank. I loved this story so much, I cut it out and stuck it onto my wardrobe door. Two credit card bills were sent to the wrong people, and — get this — each person paid the wrong bill without realizing. They paid off each other's bills without even checking them.

And ever since I read that story, my secret fantasy has been that the same thing will happen to me. I mean, I know it sounds unlikely — but if it happened once, it can happen again, can't it? Some dotty old woman in Cornwall will be sent my humongous bill and will pay it without even looking at it. And I'll be sent her bill for three tins of cat food at fifty-nine pence each. Which, naturally, I'll pay without question. Fair's fair, after all.

A smile is plastered over my face as I gaze out of the window. I'm convinced that this month it'll happen — my secret dream is about to come true. But when I eventually pull the bill out of the envelope — goaded by Clare's curious gaze — my smile falters, then disappears. Something hot is blocking my throat. I think it could be panic.

The page is black with type. A series of familiar names rushes past my eyes like a mini shopping mall. I try to take them in, but they're moving too fast. Thorntons, I manage to glimpse. Thorntons Chocolates? What was I doing in Thorntons Chocolates? I'm supposed to be on a diet. This bill can't be right. This can't be me. I can't possibly have spent all this money.

Don't panic! I yell internally. The key is not to panic. Just read each entry slowly, one by one. I take a deep breath and force myself to focus calmly, starting at the top.

WHSmith (well, that's OK. Everyone needs stationery.)

Boots (everyone needs shampoo)

Specsavers (essential)

Oddbins (bottle of wine — essential)

Our Price (Our Price? Oh yes. The new Charlatans album. Well, I had to have that, didn't I?)

Bella Pasta (supper with Caitlin)

Oddbins (bottle of wine — essential)

Esso (petrol doesn't count)

Quaglinos (expensive — but it was a one-off)

Pret à Manger (that time I ran out of cash)

Oddbins (bottle of wine — essential)

Rugs to Riches (what? Oh yes. Stupid rug.)

La Senza (sexy underwear for date with James)

Agent Provocateur (even sexier underwear for date with James. Like I needed it.)

Body Shop (that skin brusher thing which I must use)

Next (fairly boring white shirt — but it was in the sale)

Millets...

I stop in my tracks. Millets? I never go into Millets. What would I be doing in Millets? I stare at the statement in puzzlement, wrinkling my brow and trying to think — and then suddenly, the truth dawns on me. It's obvious. Someone else has been using my card.

Oh my God. I, Rebecca Bloomwood, have been the victim of a crime.

Now it all makes sense. Some criminal's pinched my credit card and forged my signature. Who knows where else they've used it? No wonder my statement's so black with figures! Someone's gone on a spending spree round London with my card — and they thought they would just get away with it.

But how? I scrabble in my bag for my purse, open it — and there's my VISA card, staring up at me. I take it out and run my fingers over the glossy surface. Someone must have pinched it from my purse, used it — and then put it back. It must be someone I know. Oh my God. Who?

I look suspiciously round the office. Whoever it is, isn't very bright. Using my card at Millets! It's almost laughable. As if I'd ever shop there.

"I've never even been into Millets!" I say aloud.

"Yes you have," says Clare.

"What?" I turn to her. "No I haven't."

"You bought Michael's leaving present from Millets, didn't you?"

I feel my smile disappear. Oh, bugger. Of course. The blue anorak for Michael. The blue sodding anorak from Millets.

When Michael, our deputy editor, left three weeks ago, I volunteered to buy his present. I took the brown envelope full of coins and notes into the shop and picked out an anorak (take it from me, he's that kind of guy). And at the last minute, now I remember, I decided to pay on credit and keep all that handy cash for myself.

I can vividly remember fishing out the four £5 notes and carefully putting them in my wallet, sorting out the pound coins and putting them in my coin compartment, and pouring the rest of the change into the bottom of my bag. Oh good, I remember thinking. I won't have to go to the cash machine. I'd thought that sixty quid would last me for weeks.

So what happened to it? I can't have just spent sixty quid without realizing it, can I?

"Why are you asking, anyway?" says Clare, and she leans forward. I can see her beady little X-ray eyes gleaming behind her specs. She knows I'm looking at my VISA bill. "No reason," I say, briskly turning to the second page of my statement.

But I've been put off my stride. Instead of doing what I normally do — look at the minimum payment required and ignore the total completely — I find myself staring straight at the bottom figure.

Nine hundred and forty-nine pounds, sixty-three pence. In clear black and white.

For thirty seconds I am completely motionless. Then, without changing expression, I stuff the bill back into the envelope. I honestly feel as though this piece of paper has nothing to do with me. Perhaps, if I carelessly let it drop down on the floor behind my computer, it will disappear. The cleaners will sweep it up and I can claim I never got it. They can't charge me for a bill I never received, can they?

I'm already composing a letter in my head. "Dear Managing Director of VISA. Your letter has confused me. What bill are you talking about, precisely? I never received any bill from your company. I did not care for your tone and should warn you, I am writing to Anne Robinson of Watchdog."

Or I could always move abroad.

"Becky?" My head jerks up and I see Clare holding this month's news list. "Have you finished the piece on Lloyds?"

"Nearly," I lie. As she's watching me, I feel forced to summon it up on my computer screen, just to show I'm willing.

"This high-yield, 60-day access account offers tiered rates of interest on investments of over £2,000," I type onto the screen, copying directly from a press release in front of me. "Long-term savers may also be interested in a new stepped-rate bond which requires a minimum of £5,000."

I type a full stop, take a sip of coffee, and turn to the second page of the press release.

This is what I do, by the way. I'm a journalist on a financial magazine. I'm paid to tell other people how to organize their money.


Of course, being a financial journalist is not the career I always wanted. No one who writes about personal finance ever meant to do it. People tell you they "fell into" personal finance. They're lying. What they mean is they couldn't get a job writing about anything more interesting. They mean they applied for jobs at The Times and The Express and Marie-Claire and Vogue and GQ, and all they got back was "Piss off."

So they started applying to Metalwork Monthly and Cheesemakers Gazette and What Investment Plan? And they were taken on as the crappiest editorial assistant possible on no money whatsoever and were grateful. And they've stayed on writing about metal, or cheese, or savings, ever since — because that's all they know. I myself started on the catchily titled Personal Investment Periodical. I learned how to copy out a press release and nod at press conferences and ask questions that sounded as though I knew what I was talking about. After a year and a half — believe it or not — I was head-hunted to Successful Saving.

Of course, I still know nothing about finance. People at the bus stop know more about finance than me. Schoolchildren know more than me. I've been doing this job for three years now, and I'm still expecting someone to catch me out.

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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

One

Ok. don't panic. Don't panic. It's only a VISA bill. It's a piece of paper; a few numbers. I mean, just how scary can a few numbers be?

I stare out of the office window at a bus driving down Oxford Street, willing myself to open the white envelope sitting on my cluttered desk. It's only a piece of paper, I tell myself for the thousandth time. And I'm not stupid, am I? I know exactly how much this VISA bill will be.

Sort of. Roughly.

It'll be about ... £200. Three hundred, maybe. Yes, maybe £300. Three-fifty, max.

I casually close my eyes and start to tot up. There was that suit in Jigsaw. And there was dinner with Suze at Quaglinos. And there was that gorgeous red and yellow rug. The rug was £200, come to think of it. But it was definitely worth every penny — everyone's admired it. Or, at least, Suze has.

And the Jigsaw suit was on sale — 30 percent off. So that was actually saving money.

I open my eyes and reach for the bill. As my fingers hit the paper I remember new contact lenses. Ninety-five pounds. Quite a lot. But, I mean, I had to get those, didn't I? What am I supposed to do, walk around in a blur?

And I had to buy some new solutions and a cute case and some hypoallergenic eyeliner. So that takes it up to ... £400?

At the desk next to mine, Clare Edwards looks up from her post. She's sorting all her letters into neat piles, just like she does every morning. She puts rubber bands round them and puts labels on them saying things like "Answer immediately" and "Not urgent but respond." I loathe Clare Edwards.

"OK, Becky?" she says.

"Fine," I say lightly. "Justreading a letter."

I reach gaily into the envelope, but my fingers don't quite pull out the bill. They remain clutched around it while my mind is seized — as it is every month — by my secret dream.

Do you want to know about my secret dream? It's based on a story I once read in The Daily World about a mix-up at a bank. I loved this story so much, I cut it out and stuck it onto my wardrobe door. Two credit card bills were sent to the wrong people, and — get this — each person paid the wrong bill without realizing. They paid off each other's bills without even checking them.

And ever since I read that story, my secret fantasy has been that the same thing will happen to me. I mean, I know it sounds unlikely — but if it happened once, it can happen again, can't it? Some dotty old woman in Cornwall will be sent my humongous bill and will pay it without even looking at it. And I'll be sent her bill for three tins of cat food at fifty-nine pence each. Which, naturally, I'll pay without question. Fair's fair, after all.

A smile is plastered over my face as I gaze out of the window. I'm convinced that this month it'll happen — my secret dream is about to come true. But when I eventually pull the bill out of the envelope — goaded by Clare's curious gaze — my smile falters, then disappears. Something hot is blocking my throat. I think it could be panic.

The page is black with type. A series of familiar names rushes past my eyes like a mini shopping mall. I try to take them in, but they're moving too fast. Thorntons, I manage to glimpse. Thorntons Chocolates? What was I doing in Thorntons Chocolates? I'm supposed to be on a diet. This bill can't be right. This can't be me. I can't possibly have spent all this money.

Don't panic! I yell internally. The key is not to panic. Just read each entry slowly, one by one. I take a deep breath and force myself to focus calmly, starting at the top.

WHSmith (well, that's OK. Everyone needs stationery.)

Boots (everyone needs shampoo)

Specsavers (essential)

Oddbins (bottle of wine — essential)

Our Price (Our Price? Oh yes. The new Charlatans album. Well, I had to have that, didn't I?)

Bella Pasta (supper with Caitlin)

Oddbins (bottle of wine — essential)

Esso (petrol doesn't count)

Quaglinos (expensive — but it was a one-off)

Pret à Manger (that time I ran out of cash)

Oddbins (bottle of wine — essential)

Rugs to Riches (what? Oh yes. Stupid rug.)

La Senza (sexy underwear for date with James)

Agent Provocateur (even sexier underwear for date with James. Like I needed it.)

Body Shop (that skin brusher thing which I must use)

Next (fairly boring white shirt — but it was in the sale)

Millets...

I stop in my tracks. Millets? I never go into Millets. What would I be doing in Millets? I stare at the statement in puzzlement, wrinkling my brow and trying to think — and then suddenly, the truth dawns on me. It's obvious. Someone else has been using my card.

Oh my God. I, Rebecca Bloomwood, have been the victim of a crime.

Now it all makes sense. Some criminal's pinched my credit card and forged my signature. Who knows where else they've used it? No wonder my statement's so black with figures! Someone's gone on a spending spree round London with my card — and they thought they would just get away with it.

But how? I scrabble in my bag for my purse, open it — and there's my VISA card, staring up at me. I take it out and run my fingers over the glossy surface. Someone must have pinched it from my purse, used it — and then put it back. It must be someone I know. Oh my God. Who?

I look suspiciously round the office. Whoever it is, isn't very bright. Using my card at Millets! It's almost laughable. As if I'd ever shop there.

"I've never even been into Millets!" I say aloud.

"Yes you have," says Clare.

"What?" I turn to her. "No I haven't."

"You bought Michael's leaving present from Millets, didn't you?"

I feel my smile disappear. Oh, bugger. Of course. The blue anorak for Michael. The blue sodding anorak from Millets.

When Michael, our deputy editor, left three weeks ago, I volunteered to buy his present. I took the brown envelope full of coins and notes into the shop and picked out an anorak (take it from me, he's that kind of guy). And at the last minute, now I remember, I decided to pay on credit and keep all that handy cash for myself.

I can vividly remember fishing out the four £5 notes and carefully putting them in my wallet, sorting out the pound coins and putting them in my coin compartment, and pouring the rest of the change into the bottom of my bag. Oh good, I remember thinking. I won't have to go to the cash machine. I'd thought that sixty quid would last me for weeks.

So what happened to it? I can't have just spent sixty quid without realizing it, can I?

"Why are you asking, anyway?" says Clare, and she leans forward. I can see her beady little X-ray eyes gleaming behind her specs. She knows I'm looking at my VISA bill. "No reason," I say, briskly turning to the second page of my statement.

But I've been put off my stride. Instead of doing what I normally do — look at the minimum payment required and ignore the total completely — I find myself staring straight at the bottom figure.

Nine hundred and forty-nine pounds, sixty-three pence. In clear black and white.

For thirty seconds I am completely motionless. Then, without changing expression, I stuff the bill back into the envelope. I honestly feel as though this piece of paper has nothing to do with me. Perhaps, if I carelessly let it drop down on the floor behind my computer, it will disappear. The cleaners will sweep it up and I can claim I never got it. They can't charge me for a bill I never received, can they?

I'm already composing a letter in my head. "Dear Managing Director of VISA. Your letter has confused me. What bill are you talking about, precisely? I never received any bill from your company. I did not care for your tone and should warn you, I am writing to Anne Robinson of Watchdog."

Or I could always move abroad.

"Becky?" My head jerks up and I see Clare holding this month's news list. "Have you finished the piece on Lloyds?"

"Nearly," I lie. As she's watching me, I feel forced to summon it up on my computer screen, just to show I'm willing.

"This high-yield, 60-day access account offers tiered rates of interest on investments of over £2,000," I type onto the screen, copying directly from a press release in front of me. "Long-term savers may also be interested in a new stepped-rate bond which requires a minimum of £5,000."

I type a full stop, take a sip of coffee, and turn to the second page of the press release.

This is what I do, by the way. I'm a journalist on a financial magazine. I'm paid to tell other people how to organize their money.



Of course, being a financial journalist is not the career I always wanted. No one who writes about personal finance ever meant to do it. People tell you they "fell into" personal finance. They're lying. What they mean is they couldn't get a job writing about anything more interesting. They mean they applied for jobs at The Times and The Express and Marie-Claire and Vogue and GQ, and all they got back was "Piss off."

So they started applying to Metalwork Monthly and Cheesemakers Gazette and What Investment Plan? And they were taken on as the crappiest editorial assistant possible on no money whatsoever and were grateful. And they've stayed on writing about metal, or cheese, or savings, ever since — because that's all they know. I myself started on the catchily titled Personal Investment Periodical. I learned how to copy out a press release and nod at press conferences and ask questions that sounded as though I knew what I was talking about. After a year and a half — believe it or not — I was head-hunted to Successful Saving.

Of course, I still know nothing about finance. People at the bus stop know more about finance than me. Schoolchildren know more than me. I've been doing this job for three years now, and I'm still expecting someone to catch me out.
Read More Show Less

Foreword

1. Becky has a serious shopping addiction! Clothes, makeup, shoes—you name it, she loves it! Do you have a shopping addiction? Where is your favorite place to go shopping? What store can’t you walk by without “just taking a peek” at the fabulous merchandise!

2. At the beginning of Confessions of a Shopaholic, Becky just had to have the Denny & George scarf. Have you ever made a crazy impulsive purchase like that? What’s the most fun purchase you’ve ever made? Have you ever had to borrow money for a shopping spree?

3. Becky is obviously addicted to shopping, but she’s got other things going for her as well. What are some of your favorite characteristics about Becky? Do you have friends that remind you of any of the characters in Confessions of a Shopaholic?

4. Becky decided to follow David E. Barton’s Controlling Your Cash in order to reduce her spending. Do you think the tactics listed in the story were reasonable? How could Becky have better managed her financial situation? What ways do you budget yourself and save up for special things you want to splurge on?

5. When Becky was a store assistant at Ally Smith, she hid a pair of zebra print jeans from a customer—then got fired! Do you have a funny or embarrassing dressing room story? Have you ever done something extreme like Becky to “stake your claim” on a piece of clothing?

6. Becky’s relationship with Luke constantly changes throughout Confessions of a Shopaholic. Hot and cold, on and off, you never know what you’re going to get with the two of them. How do you think the development oftheir relationship enhances the story?

7. Zebra print jeans, pink boots, and a shimmering gray-blue scarf—it seems that Becky has a style all of her own! How does Becky’s shopping obsession add to the story? What’s your style like? Do you have a favorite outfit?

8. Tarquin and Becky’s date was quite interesting to say the least. Pizza and champagne, a $5,000 check to a made-up organization, and some sneaking around on Becky’s part! Do you think Becky handled herself appropriately? What’s the most memorable date you’ve ever been on?

9. Becky seems to tell a lot of “little white lies,” from lying about a broken leg, to making up a dead aunt, and even telling her parents she has a stalker! How does her lying affect her relationships to her friends, family and colleagues in the story? What’s the most exaggerated “little white lie” you’ve ever made up to get yourself out of trouble?

10. Do you think that Becky can serve as a role-model for young women? What lessons did you learn about relationships, responsibility, friendship and honesty?

11. Becky lands a front page news article, a spot on a morning television show, and a date with her dream guy all in the course of a couple days. Is this too good to be true? Can you believe Becky’s luck? Do you think Becky has changed by the end of the story? Have you ever had a perfect day like Becky’s?

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Interviews & Essays

1. What is your secret vice?

Eating cookies a handful at a time.

2. What is your favorite time of day?

I love lazy mornings, lying in bed and thinking about the day ahead. But with two small children, I don't get many of them!

3. How do you indulge yourself when you need a pick me up?

Head to the shops and buy myself a treat!! Or else I take a long bath with Jo Malone bath oil.

4. What was your most memorable date (good or bad)?

On my eighteenth birthday I had dinner planned with my (then) boyfriend. We got to the restaurant and a whole bunch of friends were there to surprise me. The relationship didn't last but I'll always the remember the party!

5. What do you appreciate most in your friends?

I appreciate their loyalty, humour and sense of fun.

6. What woman in history do you admire the most?

Emmeline Pankhurst, who led the suffrage movement. It seems incredible now that women didn't have the vote, it's something we all just take for granted. But it wouldn't have happened without brave women like her.

7. What was your worst job?

As a financial journalist on the magazine Pensions World, having to write the most boring articles in the world!

8. What would your theme song be?

'We Are Family' by Sister Sledge. It's such an upbeat, optimistic song, plus I'm very close to all my family, especially my two sisters.

9. What is your favorite quote?

'I never put off till tomorrow what I can do the day after.' Oscar Wilde

10. If you weren't a writer, what career would you choose?

I studied music and wouldhave loved to have been a singer-songwriter.

11. What actress would you want to play you in a movie?

Sandra Bullock as she is so funny and human and has long dark hair like me. It would be a very boring movie though as writers basically just sit in front of a computer... and write!

12. What scene in your own books are you most surprised you wrote?

The entire ending of Shopaholic Ties The Knot - as when I first started writing it I had no idea how I would get Becky out of her mess!
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Reading Group Guide

1. Becky has a serious shopping addiction! Clothes, makeup, shoes—you name it, she loves it! Do you have a shopping addiction? Where is your favorite place to go shopping? What store can’t you walk by without “just taking a peek” at the fabulous merchandise!

2. At the beginning of Confessions of a Shopaholic, Becky just had to have the Denny & George scarf. Have you ever made a crazy impulsive purchase like that? What’s the most fun purchase you’ve ever made? Have you ever had to borrow money for a shopping spree?

3. Becky is obviously addicted to shopping, but she’s got other things going for her as well. What are some of your favorite characteristics about Becky? Do you have friends that remind you of any of the characters in Confessions of a Shopaholic?

4. Becky decided to follow David E. Barton’s Controlling Your Cash in order to reduce her spending. Do you think the tactics listed in the story were reasonable? How could Becky have better managed her financial situation? What ways do you budget yourself and save up for special things you want to splurge on?

5. When Becky was a store assistant at Ally Smith, she hid a pair of zebra print jeans from a customer—then got fired! Do you have a funny or embarrassing dressing room story? Have you ever done something extreme like Becky to “stake your claim” on a piece of clothing?

6. Becky’s relationship with Luke constantly changes throughout Confessions of a Shopaholic. Hot and cold, on and off, you never know what you’re going to get with the two of them. How do you think the development of their relationship enhances the story?

7. Zebra print jeans, pink boots, and a shimmering gray-blue scarf—it seems that Becky has a style all of her own! How does Becky’s shopping obsession add to the story? What’s your style like? Do you have a favorite outfit?

8. Tarquin and Becky’s date was quite interesting to say the least. Pizza and champagne, a $5,000 check to a made-up organization, and some sneaking around on Becky’s part! Do you think Becky handled herself appropriately? What’s the most memorable date you’ve ever been on?

9. Becky seems to tell a lot of “little white lies,” from lying about a broken leg, to making up a dead aunt, and even telling her parents she has a stalker! How does her lying affect her relationships to her friends, family and colleagues in the story? What’s the most exaggerated “little white lie” you’ve ever made up to get yourself out of trouble?

10. Becky seems to tell a lot of “little white lies,” from lying about a broken leg, to making up a dead aunt, and even telling her parents she has a stalker! How does her lying affect her relationships to her friends, family and colleagues in the story? What’s the most exaggerated “little white lie” you’ve ever made up to get yourself out of trouble?

11. Becky lands a front page news article, a spot on a morning television show, and a date with her dream guy all in the course of a couple days. Is this too good to be true? Can you believe Becky’s luck? Do you think Becky has changed by the end of the story? Have you ever had a perfect day like Becky’s?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1536 )
Rating Distribution

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4 Star

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3 Star

(237)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1541 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2001

    If you loved Bridget you'll love Becca

    Tuesdays with Morrie was a coping with death self-help book in disguise...Bridget Jones's Diary was a relationship self-help book in diguise...and Confessions of a Shopaholic is a financial self-help book in disguise. If you love shopping, you have to read this book, if you're a woman, you have to read this book! It'll make you laugh out load and you won't be able to put it down, unless there's a 50% off sale at Harrod's, hehe, so I strongly urge you to pick up this book at your local Barnes and Noble, mine was 20% so in a sense I was actually saving money, hehe, maybe get a reg. mocha frap w/ whip cream and choc. oh but must watch diet.. V. bad, but the novel is V.v. good

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The ABC of Bad Chick Lit

    Asinine, Brainless, Clichéd. It's not that I'm surprised; the title is enough to send my cortex into a debilitating palsy. But honestly, even as far as chick lit goes, this book makes an instruction manual for how to buckle a seat belt look like a dissertation on quantum physics. I mean, it is one thing to write a light romantic comedy with delicious, albeit predictable plot twists and happy endings. But it is quite another to intoxicate oneself on nail polish remover and discharge a brochure on the modern day, fiscally retarded frivolous female using the writing sophistication of a remedial third grader, which is exactly what Kinsella has done here. If you want to know the gist of this story it is as follows: Single girl likes shopping. Single girl maxes out credit cards. Single girl accidentally uncovers scandal at local bank that honestly, a mountain goat would have found suspect but for some reason the whole of London's financial sector is apparently bowled over by the revelation. Single girl becomes famous, lands super high paying job, is no longer in debt, and randomly starts dating the wealthiest man in England so she's no longer single.
    I know. Let that sink in a second. Now electrocute yourself because if you're anything like me your brain is flat lining, and move on with your day and far, far away from this book.

    6 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2008

    so so cute

    i really loved this book. the characters r all so fun and just an easy fast read. they gelled very well and reading very easy to fall into.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2007

    Fun and Entertaining

    this was the first book i read from the author but once i did i absolutely fell in love with the entire series. Loved Becky's quirky personality

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2007

    What a Delightful, Hilarious Read!!!

    I started it last night and stayed up till 3 a.m. to finish this book! I really enjoyed this book ~~ it was funny, lighthearted and cute! I laughed out loud in some places and found myself shaking my head in other places. Rebecca is a girl who overdraws her bank account and maxes out her Visa card. I am not a big shopper (unless you call shopping for books a shopping spree ~~ then I am!) of clothes but it was funny just to hear her describe her clothes like she is posing for Vogue or Cosmo or even 17. Her justification for buying things are hilarious and the scene where she was trying to make curry made me laugh so hard! (I'm a cook and that scene just cracks me up because I've done the same thing she did!) Sophie took a character riddled with anxieties and insecurities and made her so likeable ~~ you can't help but laugh at some of her excuses. She has a vivid imagination which really carries the book through. I can see why some of the critics didn't care for this book ~~ it does sound like something from a fashion magazine, but Sophie is a good, clean writer. I really enjoyed this book and would like to read more of hers. Her sense of humor is a lot like mine and it is a refreshing read! I recommend it for a light, easy reading and if you're looking for humor, this book has it all.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I loved this book! It's super fun and even acts like a self-help

    I loved this book! It's super fun and even acts like a self-help book at times.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Pretty good...difficult writing style.

    I liked the book, but for some reason, I just couldn't get into her writing style. I've got the rest of the series that I plan on reading and hope that I can swallow the writing style to really get into the plot.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Absolutlely Entertaining!

    I absoulutely enjoyed this book. I found it very entertaining and Ms Kinsella's witty style kept me laughing! I plan to read all of the shopaholic series. For me it was a welcome escape from a long day!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2009

    Could be interesting

    But I hated the main character. She has no redeeming value and her only purpose in the book is to see how many other characters she can offend.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Hysterical Quick Read

    If you are looking for a quick, funny and romantic read for summertime or really anytime, this is the perfect book. I found myself laughing outloud nearly every page and i really came to love Becky and her problems. This book has a little bit of everything from romance, fashion, humor, and family, but my favorite part was Becky's incredible sense of style. For anybody who loves fashion, be sure to pick this book up... you won't regret it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2007

    Super fun

    This is a quick, fun read that doesn't require much attention but will definitely keep you entertained and laughing. You may find yourself wondering if people like the main character really exist, but it won't matter because it's just that entertaining. And if you love to shop like I do, you'll appreciate the comedy even more! )

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2007

    A Nice Light Read

    It's funny the previous post mentioned Bridgett Jones, because that's exactly who I picture as Rebecca and of course Hugh Grant as Luke. Having not read a book in years (I usually stick to newspapers and magazines - short attention span) I decided to give it a try. I didn't want anything too deep, nothing with violence, drugs or the mandatory black dress and sex that every romance novel describes in great detail. I must 'confess', it was the fun pink book cover and script that got my attention. The first couple chapters had me thinking 'oh come on' quite a bit, but once I got into the whole British thing and pictured Renee Zellweger playing the part, I really had fun with it. That's the way I would describe the book - fun. After I finished, I read ...Takes Manhattan which was equally as fun!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    Summary: Rebecca Bloomwood is a conundrum.  She is a journalist

    Summary:
    Rebecca Bloomwood is a conundrum.  She is a journalist at Successful Savings, a financial magazine, yet in her personal life, Becky can’t stop shopping.  With overdue VISA bills (and several others), Becky has accumulated significant debt.  As she tries to cut back and get things in order, will she be able to resist the latest styles in the shop windows?




    My Thoughts:
    This is a fun, quick read in which I often found myself quietly laughing at the antics of Rebecca.  She has such a distinct, witty voice which is very entertaining to read.  She processes things with her humorous internal banter, and then she comes up with some fantastic, far-fetched scenario that is completely ridiculous, but amusing, nonetheless.




    I loved the irony of her working at a financial magazine, yet her personal finances are out of control.  She ignores her bills, and then to make herself feel better about the debt she’s in, she goes out and buys something for herself.  Just something small…




    And then she rationalizes her purchases as “investments”.




    Her colorful imagination and blind optimism will keep you glued to the page to see what she does next.




    In the end, this is a story about growing up and becoming a mature, responsible adult.  Rebecca has to face reality, just like all of us eventually have to.  This story shows us not to ignore our finances (or whatever you are scared of).  Rather, by facing the real world, only then do we truly grow up.




    Just a word of warning: this book does occasionally use offensive words.  It’s not too often, but I just wanted to give you a heads up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    This book is

    This booooooooook is boooooooooooomb

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2011

    I've never wanted to smack a main character more!

    I read the book in a constant state of "what is WRONG with this girl???" Never once did I want her to succeed. I don't remember ever reading a book where I wished the main character would not live happily ever after. I don't feel like she ever really matured throughout the storyline.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Easy Read, Irritating Main Character

    Sohpie Kinsella is a witty writer, but unfortunatly her main character in this short novel is so irritating, a friend of mine was willing to pay me money to stop reading. The only reason why I finished this book is because I am stubbron and hate leaving things unfinished.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2010

    Somewhat Annoying

    I didn't enjoy this book as much as the other reviewers. I found Rebecca to be somewhat annoying after awhile, but the ending was satisfying to me. Sophie Kinsella has a lightweight writing style that kept me interested even though I was losing patience with Rebecca. I guess I don't have the patience for self-centered 25 year olds (even though I was one a very long time ago!). I was looking for some fluff to read and that's what I got.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2009

    High expectations, disappointed at the end.

    This book was ok...an easy and quick read. I just couldn't get really into it. Becky is a weak, shallow character, and following her shopping escapades made me want to slap her across the face and tell her to get a grip. I didn't find the humor I expected, either. Was disappointed.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2009

    Funny and Witty - better than the movie

    I didn't know the movie was a mix between the first book and the second. I was only half way through the first book when I watched the movie. I then finished the first book and loved it so much better than the movie! T

    The book itself if witty and funny. You're reading as if you are listening to her inner thoughts. It can get a little annoying after awhile but just put the book down and come back to it later. Overall it's a cute book and an easy read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Simply charming.

    Sophie Kinsella creates the most charming characters that will have you laughing throughout the entire novel. Even though there were a few slow bits, I couldn't wait to dive into the imaginative mind of Rebecca Bloomwood time and time again. This novel was a fun read that easily took my mind off of my own problems and allowed me to explore the girly world of glamour. I recommend the Shopaholic books to any girl or woman who loves to laugh, shop, or both.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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