Review: Shopaholic to the Stars

I am at Nine Worlds! So this review will be short.

Shopaholic to the Stars annoyed me. Not because it’s a sex-and-shopping novel about an utterly self-centred and totally vapid woman, because I expected that, nay, sought it out in fact. I read it in that one weekend in May when it was utterly gorgeous outside, and a light, fun, predictable, brain-fluff read was exactly what I wanted.

No, Shopaholic to the Stars annoyed me because it ends on a cliffhanger.

It’s the seventh entry in Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series, which follows the misadventures of, um, shopaholic Becky Bloomwood. Becky moves to L.A. when her hot-shot (and, obviously, just hot) husband Luke gets a job representing a Hollywood star, Sage Seymour. Becky sees this as a huge opportunity to launch a career as a Hollywood stylist, and of course gets into all kinds of shenanigans, which get worse and worse until her marriage runs into trouble and her best friend’s husband joins a cult and her best friend hates her and her nemesis makes friends with her best friend and everything, obviously, is terrible.

And then it just stops, as Becky embarks on a journey to go rescue her best friend’s husband. Then there is an advertisement for the next book. The commercial equation could not be clearer.

Look: a romantic comedy like this has one job, which is to reinforce the status quo by disturbing it and then remaking it, only better. That means all the problems have to be solved by the book’s end, because it’s not actually doing any other work that justifies a cliffhanger. So, Shopaholic to the Stars is not, in fact, a novel. It is half a novel. Which makes it bloody annoying to read on a summer’s day when all I want is a light, funny story with a consolatory ending.

I will not be seeking out the next book.

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