Friday, October 8, 2010

Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Title: Mini Shopaholic
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Bantam Press
Pages: 392
Genre: Chicklit / Comedy / Contemporary women literature

Though Sophie Kinsella’s 6th book in the Shopaholic series, has nothing new to offer; yet it is enjoyable and quite a page-turner. To those who are new to this series, ‘Shopaholic’ series follows the antics of Becky Bloomwood (now Brandon), who is a highest degree of Shopaholic. She cannot resist the pull of the word ‘Sale’, branded clothes and ‘Discounts’, no matter how deep she is in credit, whether she has money or not, whether she ‘needs’ the stuff or not….she just has to shop. It is her therapy.

‘Mini Shopaholic’ is based on the premise that Becky’s two-year old daughter is also turning out to be a Shopaholic. However, when you read the book, the main storyline is still about how Becky has really not learnt anything from the several disastrous situations she has faced earlier because of her addiction to shopping. Now, with her daughter Minnie in picture, she has only increased her scope of shopping. In fact, at many instances, she goes completely berserk in shopping stuff for Minnie that are not even going to fit her for a long, long time. Despite at a mature age of 29 years and being a mother, Becky continues to behave like a teenager.

The reader also gets to know that Minnie, Becky and Luke’s daughter, has turned into a spoilt brat, while Becky lives in denial. The story is also about Becky’s surprise birthday party for Luke (her husband), and how things go completely haywire and yet slowly everything fall into place and at the end it is again ‘happily ever after’.

Luke has hardly anything to do in the story; neither does Suze, Becky’s best friend. Becky continues to shop like there is no tomorrow. The story really does not have anything off-beat, it follows the same graph. The success of Shopaholic series, despite its repetitiveness is that somewhere we all connect with Becky. She is our wildest dreams come alive on paper. We cheer for her, when she puts across weirdest logic to shop.

If you are a woman in your 20s & 30s, this book is totally for you. And if you are into chicklit, you cannot give it a miss. Even if you are not big on chicklit, you can try it as a stop-gap between books.

I will give it 8 out of 10, because I had a great time reading it, it was a super-quick read and I really felt relaxed and enjoyed it a lot. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

'The Time Traveler’s Wife' by Audrey Niffenegger is essentially a love story, albeit an unconventional one, of Henry and Clare. Henry is a Time Traveler who travels in and out of any of his chronological age, without any control on where and when he would travel; while Clare has a regular chronological life. This almost 600-page, extraordinary page-turner is a beautiful blend of science fiction and romance. It certainly holds its own amongst such timeless classic love stories like ‘Love Story’ and ‘The Notebook’.

Henry De Tamble is suffering from a rare genetic disorder called Chrono Displacement because of which he time travels. During one of his time travels, Henry meets his future wife, Clare, much before he is actually supposed to meet her, and from there starts an amazing and unique love story between them. Henry and Clare keep on meeting at different ages, and pick up the pieces of their love story from where they had left before. It is amazing how Clare falls in love with Henry; while knowing it very well that Henry can never promise her the single most important thing that love promises - ‘to be there for each other always’- and yet they try to create an amazing life together.    

The book is actually written as a series of diary entries by Henry and Clare. It always starts with the age of Clare and Henry at that moment. One might find it a little confusing in the beginning but soon the pieces fit together, and it is easy to get lost in the world of Henry and Clare. Their love story is extremely ‘in the moment’ because they don’t know when, where and in what age they will meet next. But it is not all that rosy, because for Clare, it might mean loving a different person altogether - Henry at 28 and then Henry at 43; people become different when they grow up. For Henry, it is difficult too because when he time travels he is in the frame of mind from where he is coming. Amidst the disappearing acts, Henry manages to do a regular job as a librarian, enjoys a social life with friends Gomez and Charisse, deals with his problems with his dad and also tries to solve the puzzle of his life with geneticist Dr Kendrick. If this is not a roller-coaster life, then what is!

I would give it 4.5 out of 5 for its originality, momentum, grip and amazing characters. I take a 0.5 for a few minor things which I thought were unnecessary in the story. This book is something which one would want to recommend to everyone for a long, long time.