Mini Shopaholic is a very different book to the type I would usually choose, and my boyfriend did look at me with a very puzzled expression when he saw it, but when I went to the charity shop to pick up my holiday reading material supply, I decided to give it a go. Since when has choosing a guaranteed light-hearted easy-read every turned out badly? I must admit that it was left until last on the reading list, but that is not to say that I wish I didn’t buy it.
From the first page, the book was exactly what I was expecting: a little cheesy, clichéd and over-the-top, but none of these are necessarily a bad thing. These aspects allowed for a quick entrance into the narrative, with a protagonist that most women can identify with at least a little and, given its conforming to all conventions of ‘chick-lit’, I knew what I could expect straight away.
If not a little irritating at times, because of the simple narrative ( don’t expect any shocking twists and turns- what you see is pretty much what you get) and how conveniently things fell into place ( I was secretly hoping that something would go disastrously wrong regarding the party), the story did actually make me laugh out loud at some points. The inclusion of letters that Becky had sent to various important figures in an attempt to land herself a new job or opportunity were particularly comedic, perhaps out of the sheer silliness of the idea. Also, as well as adding further humour to the narrative, I can imagine that Minnie’s misbehaviour acts as another point of identification for the women who are the target audience of Kinsella’s work, snatching time to read in between running errands and looking after the children, which could offer them a moment of relief.
In spite of everything positive about this book, I must admit that the main character, Becky, is infuriatingly frustrating at times- but perhaps this is the idea? I couldn’t quite work it out. I was unsure whether her self-reference as ‘Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood)’ was supposed to be a sign of her somewhat over-confident, slightly irritating nature, or if it is something that Kinsella does with most of her female protagonists, but either way, it became really irritating by the end of the book.
While I would usually be critical of a narrative as simple as this, yearning for more mysteries and complexities, in the situation of a holiday read, when it was sometimes to hot to function properly, a book like this was definitely appreciated. I would not recommend this book to someone who likes to be surprised, or wants a book that is too compelling to put down. However, if you are after a light read that you can easily put down and pick up, without the worry of losing track of what’s happening, Mini Shopaholic could be a great choice.