Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella

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After every Shopaholic book I always find myself thinking, okay that one was my favorite. But really, this one was by far one of the best.

In Shopaholic to the Stars, Becky has finally made it to Los Angeles and is ready to make all her Hollywood dreams come true. Her husband Luke is trying his hand at doing PR for a famous actress, rather than his usual financial PR, and he and Becky and their daughter Minnie are taking three months in the city to see if they can actually see themselves living in LA. Fearing that Tarquin has overworked himself and could use a break, and being the good best friend that she is, Becky invites Suze and the kids to LA to stay with them for a few weeks. Along the way, Becky discovers that her arch-nemesis Alicia Bitch-Longlegs is also living in LA (of course she is!) She’s had a complete personality change due to the help of a retreat called Golden Peace where she’s learned acceptance and meditation, and insists that she’s ready to forgive Becky, but Becky thinks it is all an act.

Meanwhile, Becky is determined to fulfill her dream of being a Hollywood stylist and does everything she can to get close to Sage Seymour, the actress Luke is representing. She thinks that if she just buys a few outfits (and shoes and accessories…) for Sage and convinces her to wear them at her next event, surely she’ll be launched into fame as the next new celebrity stylit. But when she gets caught up in Sage’s personal life, and that of another Hollywood star, she starts to question who and what is real anymore. It seems that everyone in LA is living a double life, one for the cameras and one in private, and Becky can’t decide if she’s going to be able to get used to that.

Back in London, Becky’s dad, Graham, has asked her to look up an old friend of his who he went on a U.S. road trip with back in the 70s and who still lives in California. Becky traces his address to a trailer park, and an abandoned mobile home with an eviction notice on the door. Her dad  becomes worried and gets on the next flight to LA without giving any warning or details to Becky or her mom. What’s worse is that Suze’s husband has also gotten roped into the search, along with a wayward life coach from Golden Peace whom Alicia and Suze fear has brainwashed Tarquin. What exactly happened to Graham’s friend, and where he goes to look for him remains a mystery throughout the book.

It ultimately ends on a major cliffhanger. Becky has admitted to Luke that she’s had enough of the Hollywood life, and she agrees to travel with Luke, Suze and Alicia Bitch-Longlegs to find her dad and Tarquin. The next book, Shopaholic to the Rescue will no doubt continue this story as at the end of Shopaholic to the Stars Becky’s mom and their neighbor Janice were in the air on the way to LA to help find Graham and Tarquin.

I started reading this book in early November, thinking it would help to calm my nerves about some upcoming events. Then when things went downhill, I couldn’t read for days. But I got back to reading, and the familiarity of this series was a huge help. It’s as funny as any other Sophie Kinsella book has been, as fulfilling and cringe and laugh-out-loud and everything in between.

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