Christmas is a time of celebration but the older you get, the more stressful it can become. What if after years of tradition, suddenly, you are in charge of hosting Christmas? Well, that’s exactly what the main character (Becky) in this book is faced with.
Christmas Shopoholic (by Sophie Kinsella) centres around Becky who has a shopping problem, to put it simply. She is always online shopping and looking for the latest deals, hiding that bad habit from her loved ones. This book appears to be one in a series following this character, but sadly I haven’t read the others yet so wouldn’t be able to comment on it.
Becky’s parents decide to move away temporarily and persuade Becky to host Christmas at her house and a few of her friends end up inviting themselves over meaning that there is a lot to prepare for as well as the usual Christmas shopping.
Becky is a perfectionist and does her best to find the perfect Christmas presents for her loved ones, and although feels as though she is, things keep getting in her way. The perfect coat she was going to get her husband, he ends up buying for himself, which leads her into a very peculiar situation (which I won’t spoil). Her vegan sister is extremely hard to buy for as it needs to be eco-friendly and practical. Something which Becky keeps trying to do, but apparently has yet to actually succeed in buying something that she will like.
Whilst working, her old boyfriend happens to walk in, who is suddenly way hotter than she remembered. All of her friends swoon over him and she falls for his charm. Things are not as simple as they seem though when he invites Becky and Luke (her husband) over to the house he is renting.
First off, I have to say this is a perfect book to read over Christmas. It gets you into the Christmassy spirit and it’s an easy read, which is perfect for this time of year. Initially, I wasn’t too keen on Becky. She was hiding things from her husband and the incessant need for shopping became a bit frustrating, to begin with. It was something always mentioned as an underlying tone but actually didn’t contribute much to the story.
As it went on though, you kind of get used to it. It’s a part of her personality and you notice it less and less. She has her flaws but that’s the point. We all do. We all have habits that make us annoying but as the story goes on, you fall in love with who she is. She cares about others and there is no huge fixation on money (which at times felt a little unrealistic, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter). She is happy to give her things to others, especially those in need, and ultimately, she wants to make everybody else happy. The reason she gets so stressed about Christmas is that she wants to make sure every single person attending has the best time they possibly can. Of course, there are characters that she doesn’t get on with but there aren’t really nasty comments.
One of my favourite things about the book is the relationships. Becky and Luke have a fantastically strong relationship and something that appears to be real. It’s not written in a cheesy way that he is rescuing her on a white horse. They are a team and they love each other. There was a moment where I wasn’t sure I liked the way the relationship was portrayed but getting further into the book, I think that’s what the author intended.
The book is the perfect blend of everything Christmas should be about. We know it’s about family, kindness, and giving but at one point or another, we have all succumbed to the stress of Christmas and how we all lose our minds a little bit when we have to plan everything and buy for so many people. The ending of the book is happy which is what you want from a Christmas novel but there are so many plot points and different stories happening simultaneously that it’s never boring. This is one of the few books I’ve read that is interesting from start to finish.
My Rating - 7/10