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Shopaholic to the Stars: 01/17/21
Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella came out the year I started listening to the series on audiobook with Confessions of a Shopaholic. Becky Brandon, daughter Mini, and husband Luke are living temporarily in Los Angeles. Luke has a Hollywood client and Becky wants to be a stylist to the stars.
From the introduction I was already taken out of the world of the book. The narrator pronounced Los Angeles as Los Angelees. It's Los Angelus.
Discounting the narrator's accent, appropriate of course for the main cast of characters, the text itself was hit or miss. Los Angeles didn't feel like the real place — not in the way that London does in the earlier books.
For instance, one of the first things Becky participates in is a charity race. It's called a "Ten Miler." Except for marathons (26 miles) and half marathons (13 miles), all other long distance races, especially the charity ones, are metric. She would have been doing a 10K which is only about 6 miles.
The biggest plot point is the rivalry between Sage and another actress sent up a huge red flag. Hollywood doesn't foster that sort of rivalry. I'm frankly surprised the studios let them carry on for as long as they did. The second irksome plot point was the fight between Becky and Suze.
But finally, the ending at the start of a roadtrip was a huge glaring missed opportunity. It also shows just how British this series is, even when books are set in the States. If this novel had been written by an American (or more broadly, a North American), the road trip would have been the final act of the novel. It would have been the point where Becky would have been transformed and would have better come to understand her home away from home.
The next book is Shopaholic to the Rescue (2015). This book covers the road trip. I've just finished listening to the audiobook.