Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Becky Bloomwood strangles herself with her Denny and George scarf...

...and DIES.

I wish.

I just HAD to record that my first determined, conscious foray into chick-lit has been absolutely disastrous, and that all existing copies of any book in the Shopaholic series should be pounded up with all the other kinds of garbage and used to generate biogas, in which role they will provide far more entertainment than they do presently, and will be far more tolerable.

The first time I'd heard of the Shopaholic series was when it was described as a second cousin of the other-chick-lit-thing-that-got-plagiarised during the big Kaavya Viswanathan debacle, I think. So I read Opal Mehta when I happened to come across someone who had it, and thought mehh boring shit. But y'all know the big deal chick-lit is, these days, and I thought I wouldn't judge by the one book.

So, full of the happy, warm glow that comes with knowing that I am being fair, reasonable and perfectly amiable , I pick up Shopaholic and Baby from the King's County Library, Bellevue (YOU ROCK......MUAH!!!!!!!) and slowly come to terms with the fact that I have found the one book that I will never read again, even if the all the libraries in the world spontaneously combust and the only three books that are left behind are You Can Be a Winner and Chacha Chaudhary, Hinglish translation.

I mean, lead character Becky Bloomwood is brainless without being entertaining, superficial without being suave, and anNOYINGLY indecisive. She lies at the drop of a special-edition Lagerfeld, but has not one redeeming ounce of wit to save her.

I genuinely don't understand....what is so entertaining about a woman who spends two hundred out of three hundred pages in her book detailing the excruciating details of her inability to make decisions and learn lessons that most of us learn at ten? She's frighteningly stupid and irritatingly childish, so she is 'emotionally giving' and 'childlike', which is why the big, confident business guy wants her? And more criminally, is wanting to have BABIES with her?! I mean, did someone say POLLUTING THE GENE POOL?

One of my friends, a staunch champion of the Shopaholic series brought up this interesting comparison of Becky Bloomwood of O' Hara, pointing out that both are essentially non-intellectual lead characters, yet endearing to readers, in the classic usage of the overly 'human' lead everyone can empathise with. This deserves to be examined.

Firstly, Scarlett O' Hara. While non-intellectual is right, she is not guilty of anything that would be called stupid in a vacuum, in the sense that while her independence, crude forthright mind and tendency to marry frequently may have been against societal norms, the woman was not vacant between the ears. She was honest, clever and a survivor.

Becky Bloomwood on the other hand, is called stupid for a reason. Her conflicts are not with society, they are with her Bank Account Manager. Her problems are not with herself, they are with the rest of the world who just doesnt understand that a Miu Miu skirt can be a household item. She wavers indecisively throughout the book, shows an absolute lack of judgment or wit, and shops like her life depends on it.... with someone else's money. This is a woman to be pitied, if you're in the mood for it (I call it the Jesus mood...ya know...Psalm 3:2 : Let thouest tolerate them retards, for the tolerant will inherit the Lindt factory) or exterminated, if you're normal , so that she won't have babies and ruin all chance humankind has to's called survival of the fittest for a reason, and Becky is about as smart as Birthday Barbie's left toenail. Maybelline nail varnish, please.

I just want to know why this thing sells, that's all. Do you like the Shopaholic? Why?


Serendipity said...

thank gooddd!!! someone else who HATED it.

I couldnt finish the darn book, since it was so annoying and having a lead character who is so spineless and downright silly just wasnt my thing.

i did rave about it and gift it to a few people i dint like though.

I wouldnt keep that book on my bookshelf... you know the saying one bad apple..:)

THATS how much i hated it. for all the reasons youve mentioned above and more!

Mudra said...

Hadn't even heard of it, frankly. But it sound absolutely disastrous, lol. How did you stick with it till the end?

And if you're on chick-lit, ALL you need is Bridget Jones' Diary. Seriously. Most of everything else is pure, unadulterated crap.

PS - You've been blogging loads!

Hakuna Matata said...

Never heard of it, and goin by your description, Am I glad or am I glad!

Btw, this reminded me of this hilariously stupid series called 'Chalet School'. Eww.

Meredith said...

I started the series from the beginning and I loved them all. I'm a well-educated 27-year-old married woman and I found Becky to be an extremely funny character. I love the mischief she gets herself into, I think she's a sweet character. Actually, I just finished 'baby' today and thought about how much I'm gonna miss Becky Bloomwood since it was the last of the series. I like fun girly stuff though.

Anonymous said...

Becky Bloomwood is absolutely the most annoying characted ever written. If I really knew someone like her I would distance myself as far away from her as possible. She is a chronic liar, very selfish, and is extremely immature for a grown woman in her 20's. I think the author of the book was trying to maker her flaws charming and cute, but they were the exact opposite. Not a big fan of the Shopaholic Series.

Eugenia said...

I understand ALL of your complaints. When I first started reading it a few years ago, I was so annoyed at the things she did and the way she thought with her silly struggles of her fashion addiction.

But then I found her really funny (hilarious life situations) and charming. And I absolutely LOVE the series, despite Becky's ridiculous lifestyle. It's so surprising in how she gets herself out of sticky situations. And she's sweet at heart, too.

ch.loe@beckybloomwood rocks said...

The shopaholic series re probably the funniest, wittiest books ive ever read.Becky bloomwood is charming and easy to read about.The shopaholic books lift my spirits and make me laugh. who wouldnt want to read a book like that? im on my last enstalment of the shopaholic series "mini shopaholic" and cant wait to read the rest and then re-read all the books from the begining again and again! broaden your minds people, i recommend "shopaholic and sister" for the becky bloomwood sceptics out there.