News flash: the Shopaholic’s sister hates shopping!
Back from an around-the-world honeymoon with perfect husband Luke, Rebecca Bloomwood Brandon (Bex to her friends but not to her creditors) suddenly finds she has a half-sister named Jessica—and she never even knew! Neither did Dad nor Mum! Apparently, it happened simply eons ago in the past, when there were no credit cards or DNA—whatever that is—and when banks didn’t charge interest for overdrafts and dinosaurs ruled the earth. Gosh! Rebecca can’t imagine her dull dad in an ugly, 1970s-style suit actually trying to flirt, let alone conceiving a child, with a British railway stewardess, but evidently he did. Fiercely intelligent, self-sufficient Jessica doesn’t care about important things like designer brands, just activist politics. Can they really be sisters? For some trivial reason, Luke gets mad at Bex and stomps out of the plot long enough for the sisters to figure out what they don’t like about each other. Fearing abandonment, Bex tries to make peace with Jessica and volunteers for a protest against a big-meanie corporation that has been terribly naughty about the environment and things. Oh, no! The big-meanie corporation has something to do with Luke’s business, whatever that is. What will happen next? Caught in a raging storm out in the environment they’re trying to save, the sisters paint each other’s toenails with pink sparkly polish to keep their spirits up. Will the scary thunder and lightning ever stop? Will Luke forgive Bex? Meanwhile, conspicuously lacking here are the wit and intelligence of the first titles in the Shopaholic series, with an increasingly infantile heroine, cutesy prose, heaps of exclamation points, and a contrived plot.
Such is the power of a brand name: bestselling Kinsella dumbs down to moron level and still gets to laugh all the way to the bank.