Still living with her mum and dad after the financial difficulties from the past, Becky hopes that she and Luke can finally own their own home. And she longs to convince him to try for a sibling for Minnie.
But meanwhile, she wants to throw a big, splashy surprise party for Luke in April, on his birthday.
Most of the fun of this book is watching Becky clamor about, trying to pull off the party of the century without spending much money—while acknowledging environmental issues—and still bringing something fabulous to the event.
Otherwise, the story shows us the same superficial Becky who blunders along, displaying no signs of maturity or growth. And even though Luke often seems annoyed by her addictive ways, he is more like a benevolent and amused accomplice. Even a bit oblivious and condescending. Then again, there may be some signs that Becky has learned one or two things from her mistakes, but any insight or growth are not in evidence when she deals with her two-year-old. The child screams “miiine” at every turn, in what has to be a rather grating fashion for anyone standing nearby. Any attempts on Becky’s part to rein her in fall flat.
At one point, a Nanny Consultant spends time with Becky and Minnie, (at Luke’s request), and most assuredly should have concluded that Minnie is a brat. Instead, her remarks sum Minnie up as “bright” and “feisty.” In what universe?
Luckily, most of Mini Shopaholic: A Novel (Shopaholic Series) focuses in on the party planning efforts and near-misses, which are quite hilarious. And I thought that the part Luke’s very stiff and haughty birth mother played in pulling things off was a nice glimpse beneath one woman’s cold façade.
So, yes, fans of the Shopaholic series may enjoy this one, just as I did. But if anyone is expecting Becky to have “bloomed” into a mature person, you’ll be disappointed. Three stars.