Shopaholic Takes Manhattan (Shopaholic Series #2)

Shopaholic Takes Manhattan (Shopaholic Series #2)

by Sophie Kinsella


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With her shopping excesses (somewhat) in check and her career as a TV financial guru thriving, Becky Bloomwood’s biggest problem seems to be tearing her entrepreneur boyfriend, Luke, away from work for a romantic country weekend. That is, until Luke announces he’s moving to New York for business—and he asks Becky to go with him! Before you can say “Prada sample sale,” Becky has landed in the Big Apple, home of Park Avenue penthouses and luxury department stores.
Surely it’s only a matter of time until Becky becomes an American celebrity. She and Luke will be the toast of Gotham society. Nothing can stand in their way, especially with Becky’s bills an ocean away in London. But then an unexpected disaster threatens her career prospects, her relationship with Luke, and her available credit line. Becky may have taken Manhattan—but will she have to return it?
Praise for Sophie Kinsella and Shopaholic Takes Manhattan
“Kinsella’s Bloomwood is plucky and funny. . . . You won’t have to shop around to find a more winning protagonist.”People
“A laugh-a-minute read.”Glamour (U.K.)
“Faster than a swiping Visa, more powerful than a two-for-one coupon, able to buy complete wardrobes in a single sprint through the mall—it’s Shopaholic!”The Washington Post
“Kinsella has a genuine gift for comic writing.”The Boston Globe

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385335881
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/28/2002
Series: Shopaholic Series , #2
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 133,132
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.92(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series, as well as the novels Can You Keep A Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number, and Wedding Night. She lives in England.


London, England

Date of Birth:

December 12, 1969

Place of Birth:

London, England


B.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Oxford University, 1990; M.Mus., King's College, London, 1992

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

OK, don't panic. Don't panic. It's simply a question of being organized and staying calm and deciding what exactly I need to take. And then fitting it all neatly into my suitcase. I mean, just how hard can that be?

I step back from my cluttered bed and close my eyes, half-hoping that if I wish hard enough, my clothes might magically organize themselves into a series of neatly folded piles. Like in those magazine articles on packing, which tell you how to go on holiday with one cheap sarong and cleverly turn it into six different outfits. (Which I always think is a complete con, because, OK, the sarong costs ten quid, but then they add loads of accessories which cost hundreds, and we're not supposed to notice.)

But when I open my eyes again, the clutter is all still there. In fact, there seems to be even more of it, as if while my eyes were shut, my clothes have been secretly jumping out of the drawers and running around on my bed. Everywhere I look, there are huge great tangled piles of . . . well . . . stuff. Shoes, boots, T-shirts, magazines . . . a Body Shop gift basket that was on sale . . . a linguaphone Italian course which I'm definitely going to start soon . . . a facial sauna thingy . . . And, sitting proudly on my dressing table, a fencing mask and sword which I bought yesterday. Only forty quid from a charity shop!

I pick up the sword and experimentally give a little lunge toward my reflection in the mirror. It was a real coincidence, because I've been meaning to take up fencing for ages, ever since I read this article about it in The Daily World. Did you know that fencers have better legs than any other athletes? Plus, if you're an expert you can become a stunt double in a film and earn loads of money! So what I'm planning to do is find some fencing lessons nearby, and get really good, which I should think I'll do quite quickly.

And then—this is my secret little plan—when I've got my gold badge, or whatever it is, I'll write to Catherine Zeta-Jones. Because she must need a stunt double, mustn't she? And why shouldn't it be me? In fact she'd probably prefer someone British. Maybe she'll phone back and say she always watches my television appearances on cable, and she's always wanted to meet me! We'll probably really hit it off, and turn out to have the same sense of humor and everything. And then I'll fly out to her luxury home, and get to meet Michael Douglas and play with the baby. We'll be all relaxed together like old friends, and some magazine will do a feature on celebrity best friends and have us in it, and maybe they'll even ask me to be . . .

"Hi, Bex!" With a jolt, the happy pictures of me laughing with Michael and Catherine vanish, and my brain snaps into focus. Suze, my flatmate, is wandering into my room, wearing a pair of ancient paisley pajamas, with her blonde hair in plaits. "What are you doing?" she asks curiously.

"Nothing!" I say, hastily putting the fencing sword back. "Just . . . you know. Keep fit."

"Oh right," she says vaguely. "So—how's the packing going?" She wanders over to my mantelpiece, picks up a lipstick, and begins to apply it. Suze always does this in my room—just wanders about picking things up and looking at them and putting them down again. She says she loves the way you never know what you might find, like in a junk shop. Which I'm fairly sure she means in a nice way.

"It's going really well," I say. "I'm just deciding which suitcase to take."

"Ooh," says Suze turning round, her mouth half bright pink. "What about that little cream one? Or your red holdall?"

"I thought maybe this one," I say, hauling my new acid-green shell case out from under the bed. I bought it last weekend, and it's absolutely gorgeous.

"Wow!" says Suze, her eyes widening. "Bex! That's fab! Where did you get it?"

"Fenwicks," I say, grinning broadly. "Isn't it amazing?"

"It's the coolest case I've ever seen!" says Suze, running her fingers admiringly over it. "So . . . how many suitcases have you got now?" She glances up at my wardrobe, on which are teetering a brown leather case, a lacquered trunk, and three vanity cases.

"Oh, you know," I say, shrugging a little defensively. "The normal amount."

I suppose I have been buying quite a bit of luggage recently. But the thing is, for ages I didn't have any, just one battered old canvas bag. Then, a few months ago I had an incredible revelation in the middle of Harrods, a bit like Saint Paul on the road to Mandalay. Luggage. And since then, I've been making up for all the lean years.

Besides which, everyone knows good luggage is an investment.

"I'm just making a cup of tea," says Suze. "D'you want one?"

"Ooh, yes please!" I say. "And a KitKat?" Suze grins.

"Definitely a KitKat."

Recently, we had this friend of Suze's to stay on our sofa—and when he left he gave us this huge box full of a hundred KitKats. Which is such a great thank-you present, but it means all we eat, all day long, is KitKats. Still, as Suze pointed out last night, the quicker we eat them, the quicker they'll be gone—so in a way, it's healthier just to stuff in as many as possible right away.

Suze ambles out of the room and I turn to my case. Right. Concentrate. Packing. This really shouldn't take long. All I need is a very basic, pared-down capsule wardrobe for a romantic minibreak in Somerset. I've even written out a list, which should make things nice and simple.

Jeans: two pairs. Easy. Scruffy and not quite so scruffy.


Actually, make that three pairs of jeans. I've got to take my new Diesel ones, they're just so cool, even if they are a bit tight. I'll just wear them for a few hours in the evening or something.


Oh, and my embroidered cutoffs from Oasis, because I haven't worn them yet. But they don't really count because they're practically shorts. And anyway, jeans hardly take up any room, do they?

OK, that's probably enough jeans. I can always add some more if I need to.

T-shirts: selection. So let's see. Plain white, obviously. Gray, ditto. Black cropped, black vest (Calvin Klein), other black vest (Warehouse, but actually looks nicer), pink sleeveless, pink sparkly, pink—

I stop, halfway through transferring folded-up T-shirts into my case. This is stupid. How am I supposed to predict which T-shirts I'm going to want to wear? The whole point about T-shirts is you choose them in the morning according to your mood, like crystals, or aromatherapy oils. Imagine if I woke up in the mood for my "Elvis Is Groovy" T-shirt and I didn't have it with me?

You know, I think I'll just take them all. I mean, a few T-shirts aren't going to take up much room. I'll hardly even notice them.

I tip them all into my case and add a couple of cropped bra-tops for luck.

Excellent. This capsule approach is working really well. OK, what's next?

Ten minutes later, Suze wanders back into the room, holding two mugs of tea and three KitKats to share. (We've come to agree that four sticks, frankly, doesn't do it.)

"Here you are," she says—then gives me a closer look. "Bex, are you OK?"

"I'm fine," I say, rather pink in the face. "I'm just trying to fold up this insulated vest a bit smaller."

I've already packed a denim jacket and a leather jacket, but you just can't count on September weather, can you? I mean, at the moment it's hot and sunny, but it might well start snowing tomorrow. And what happens if Luke and I go for a really rustic country walk? Besides which, I've had this gorgeous Patagonia vest for ages, and I've only worn it once. I try to fold it again, but it slithers out of my hands and onto the floor. God, this reminds me of camping trips with the Brownies, trying to get my sleeping bag back into its tube.

"How long are you going for, again?" asks Suze.

"Three days." I give up trying to squash the vest into the size of a matchbox, and it springs jauntily back to shape. Discomfited, I sink onto the bed and take a sip of tea. What I don't understand is, how do other people manage to pack so lightly? You see businesspeople all the time, striding onto planes with only a tiny shoe-box suitcase on wheels. How do they do it? Do they have magic shrinking clothes?

"Why don't you take your holdall as well?" suggests Suze.

"D'you think?" I look uncertainly at my overflowing suitcase. Come to think of it, maybe I don't need three pairs of boots. Or a fur stole.

Then suddenly it occurs to me that Suze goes away nearly every weekend, and she only takes a tiny squashy bag. "Suze, how do you pack? Do you have a system?"

"I dunno," she says vaguely. "I suppose I still do what they taught us at Miss Burton's. You work out an outfit for each occasion—and stick to that." She begins to tick off on her fingers. "Like . . . driving outfit, dinner, sitting by the pool, game of tennis . . ." She looks up. "Oh yes, and each garment should be used at least three times."

God, Suze is a genius. She knows all this kind of stuff. Her parents sent her to Miss Burton's Academy when she was eighteen, which is some posh place in London where they teach you things like how to talk to a bishop and get out of a sports car in a miniskirt. She knows how to make a rabbit out of chicken wire, too.

Quickly I start to jot some broad headings on a piece of paper. This is much more like it. Much better than randomly stuffing things into a case. This way, I won't have any superfluous clothes, just the bare minimum.

Outfit 1: Sitting by pool (sunny). Outfit 2: Sitting by pool (cloudy). Outfit 3: Sitting by pool (bottom looks huge in morning). Outfit 4: Sitting by pool (someone else has same swimsuit). Outfit 5:

The phone rings in the hall, but I barely look up. I can hear Suze talking excitedly—then a moment later, she appears in the doorway, her face all pink and pleased.

"Guess what?" she says. "Guess what?"


"Box Beautiful has sold out of my frames! They just phoned up to order some more!"

"Oh, Suze! That's fantastic!" I shriek.

"I know!" She comes running over, and we have a big hug, and sort of dance about, before she realizes she's holding a cigarette and is about to burn my hair.

The amazing thing is, Suze only started making photograph frames a few months ago—but already she's supplying four shops in London, and they're doing really well! She's been in loads of magazines, and everything. Which isn't surprising, because her frames are so cool. Her latest range is in purple tweed, and they come in these gorgeous gray sparkly boxes, all wrapped in bright turquoise tissue paper. (I helped choose the exact color, by the way.) She's so successful, she doesn't even make them all herself anymore, but sends off her designs to a little workshop in Kent, and they come back, all made up.

"So, have you finished working your wardrobe out?" she says, taking a drag on her cigarette.

"Yes," I say, brandishing my sheet of paper at her. "I've got it all sorted out. Down to every last pair of socks."

"Well done!"

"And the only thing I need to buy," I add casually, "is a pair of lilac sandals."

"Lilac sandals?"

"Mmm?" I look up innocently. "Yes. I need some. You know, just a nice cheap little pair to pull a couple of outfits together . . ."

"Oh right," says Suze, and pauses, frowning slightly. "Bex . . . weren't you talking about a pair of lilac sandals last week? Really expensive, from LK Bennett?"

"Was I?" I feel myself flush a little. "I . . . I don't remember. Maybe. Anyway—"

"Bex." Suze gives me a suddenly suspicious look. "Now tell me the truth. Do you really need a pair of lilac sandals? Or do you just want them?"

"No!" I say defensively. "I really need them! Look!"

I take out my clothes plan, unfold it, and show it to Suze. I have to say, I'm quite proud of it. It's quite a complicated flow chart, all boxes and arrows and red asterisks.

"Wow!" says Suze. "Where did you learn how to do that?"

"At university," I say modestly. I got my degree in Business and Accounting—and it's amazing how often it comes in handy.

"What's this box?" she asks, pointing at the page.

"That's . . ." I squint at it, trying to remember. "I think that's if we go out to some really smart restaurant and I've already worn my Whistles dress the night before."

"And this one?"

"That's if we go rock-climbing. And this"—I point to an empty box —"is where I need a pair of lilac sandals. If I don't have them, then this outfit won't work, and neither will this one . . . and the whole thing will disintegrate. I might as well not bother going."

Suze is silent for a while, perusing my clothes plan while I bite my lip anxiously and cross my fingers behind my back.

I know this may seem a little unusual. I know most people don't run every single purchase past their flatmate. But the fact is, a while ago I kind of made Suze a little promise, which was that I'd let her keep tabs on my shopping. You know. Just keep an eye on things.

Don't get the wrong idea here. It's not like I have a problem or anything. It's just that a few months ago, I did get into a . . . Well. A very slight money scrape. It was really just a tiny blip—nothing to worry about. But Suze got really freaked out when she found out how much I owed, and said that for my own good, she'd vet all my spending from now on.

And she's been as good as her word. She's very strict, actually. Sometimes I'm really quite scared she might say no.

"I see what you mean," she says at last. "You haven't really got a choice, have you?"

Customer Reviews

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Shopaholic Takes Manhattan (Shopaholic Series #2) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 565 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Have you ever read a book that made you laugh so much that it was actually painful??? That's this book!!! Rebecca is back, as hilarious as ever!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this second installment of Rebecca Bloomwood we come in thinking that she solved her financial problem in the previous book. Well, we were wrong this book is just as funny as the first with Becky just as clumsy as the previous book. This time she is going to New York with Luke. It was great just make sure you read this 5 book set in order.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Becky finally finds here niche in personal shopping in the heart of NYC at Barney's. Love the characters and how Becky interacts with them all. This was a fun/easylll read that I couldn't put down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I started reading this book I thought Becky was pretty immature. But I kept on reading anyway, I started liking more as I read. The book is funny and you will bond with the characters. It's a great book to read on your free time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great book that was very witty and entertaining. I sat down and read it in the Park in one afternoon. COuldn't put it down. The only problem is I feel let down when the book ends, I always want more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even better than the first. About to read the third!
Guest More than 1 year ago
just like the 1st book, its really easy, fun and witty. its totally worth reading and getting sucked into. becky is a money spender thats 4 sure. and well luke is just so yumm!! cant wait to see what 'ties the knot' looks like...
Guest More than 1 year ago
i thoroughly enjoyed the first book, but i found the second book to be a little excessive and over the top. i found myself actually rooting AGAINST becky and her annoying excesses. i think it's best to stop after the first.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't believe my luck when I walked past this in B&N three days ago. I snatched it off of the shelf, and quickly began to read. I had read the first book, Confessions of a Shopaholic, in a day's time. Now, a sequel! In this novel, lovable Becky Bloomwood takes us through her newest personal and shopping mishaps, and one step better, she samples US shops for the first time! Anyone with a love for a realistic character, anyone who's a shopaholic themselves will get tremendous entertainment from this book. I read this in a day's time (just like the first novel).
Anonymous 20 days ago
Very entertaining.
irinka87 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The 2nd book in the Shopaholic series! This book is even better than the first! The characters continue to follow to MANHATTAN. Still written with English Becky in mind, while she attacks the big city, where her shopaholic tendencies only get worse! Must have in any library!
Deesirings on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gah -- it is so difficult to have any sympathy for this heroine, who just repeatedly makes the same poor choices. And the ending is so far-fetched -- SPOILER ALERT!! -I mean, who really recoups all the money they stupidly spent on things they didn't need by auctioning off their goods? What about all the money she spent on non-items (like cab fare and meals)? And in what universe can you get back as much as, if not more, than you paid, selling off designer clothing and accessories?Must be nice to be able to get out of debt so easily!
jlouise77 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm glad the character seems to be gaining some depth as a person. She was very superficial and materialist (she is only 26!) and in this book she seems to be learning and growing in a way that makes me happy for her.
blehblah on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Funny and likable, Becky Bloomwood is my favorite character in (adult) chick lit. The first one was surprisingly good, as I wasn¿t expecting much. The second one I may have liked slightly more just because I think living in Manhattan would be a dream come true, and her descriptions of life there seems fabulous, especially sample sales. The third one, the conflict isn¿t about shopping anymore, but it is a conflict that¿s more realistic and makes Becky into more of a complex character than a one-note one. The fourth was interesting, though a little different, and the climax is a little contrived. It took me awhile to like her sister. The conflicts with Luke and Suze are realistic and make me like Becky more. The last one, it¿s funny how Becky has such magical intuition; it felt like the focus was too narrow, but maybe that¿s just because I don¿t find pregnancy that interesting. Overall, in a way the series is like Veronica Mars: it technically has gotten slightly worse, but it¿s still so good that it¿s one of the best things out there.
readingrat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The shopaholic books are always a fun bit of fluff. Once you know Becky Bloomwood, it's fairly easy to guess exactly how her best-laid plans are going to fall apart, but that doesn't make the trip there any less entertaining.
yonitdm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So painful to read I actually closed it and stopped. The main character has reached new lows of being a trainwreck. I hate seeing/reading when people embarrass themselves and there were so many in just the first quarter of the book that I cannot go on!
pandareads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If it weren't for the time change last night (blast you "Spring Ahead!") and the fact that I had to get up early today for a work meeting, I would have stayed up late to finish this book. I am in love with the Shopaholic series. It reads as though a real person were telling you the story, not just some author written narrative; I think that's so refreshing! In this second book in the Shopaholic series Becky follows here boyfriend Luke to New York City where he spends his time wheeling and dealing some business deals. Meanwhile, Becky's world soon comes crashing down around her when a defamatory article is published about her. She spends the rest of the novel wallowing a little bit and trying to get her life back together without Luke.I cannot rave enough about how awesome of a writer Sophie Kinsella is. Like I mentioned before, I love her writing style, as well as her rich characters which such distinct personalities and clever plot lines. I can't wait to read the next books in this series. And if you like chick-lit and you've never read a Shopaholic novel, you've got some issues.
tjsjohanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This sequel was more enjoyable than the first, although I spent the first half of the novel thinking - "come on - isn't this the same story as "Confessions of a Shopaholic"? But I liked the way that Becky takes charge of her life in healthy ways at the end of the novel - and I liked that she finally finds something at which she is genuinely good. It makes her seem smarter and not so obsessed with her appearance.
EbonyHaywood on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After reading this, I totally want to go back and visit New York.
bitemeeric on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the second installment of Kinsella's Shopaholic Series, Beck is back, this time with her beu, Luke. He decides to follow a life long dream and make his mark on American soil, thus moving to Manhattan and bringing Becky with him. Her financial problems catches up to her and begins to affect her relationship with Luke as well as her career and any hope to salvage it. In fact, Luke blames her for the bad publicity he has recieved from the media, thus unable to close a major buisness deal. Ashamed, Betty breaks up with Luke and heads back to her mother country where she finds crtitical information that can help save Luke's company. Leave it to Becky to get herself into trouble only to figure out not only to save her reputation, career, but that of Luke's as well. I just love how Luke wins her back and how he saves her scarf-which is in the movie. I actually clapped when Luke won her back. Highly enjoyed reading this book! I can not wait for her to get hitched!!!
scoutlee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having read Confessions of a Shopaholic and enjoying it, I was excited to read Shopaholic Takes Manhattan. This book was very light and entertaining. Spending money in NYC myself whenever I go, I could relate to Becky. However, I don't purchase the amounts that she did. But I can't dismiss the author's hidden message in the book. Be careful with your money and know why you're spending/shopping. I think she did a good job of making the story funny and easy to read without "preaching" the lesson. I just bought Shopaholic Ties the Knot over the weekend. I'm hoping it's just as good as the first two.
Brianna_H on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kinsella's most beloved character, Becky Bloomwood is back with all of her neuroses and eccentricities! Only this time, Becky gets to exhibit her penchant for the melodramtic in the Big Apple instead of London. Becky is charming and entertaining and her foibles and misteps are endearing as ever.
eickmeha on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Becky Bloomwood has such a kind heart but is a little out of touch with her financial reality, bless her heart. She's so funny though and I have to admit, I tried to memorize the name of the website for the sample sales. I kind of felt that Luke was a cow to her though. He didn't tell her he was moving to New York until two weeks before he left and after she had such a bad day, he just ignored her.
xicanti on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Becky is an absolutely maddening character. I wanted to reach into the book and scream at her to just tell the truth already! And yet... I still got a big kick out of the story. It's annoying, yes, but it's also quick and entertaining and just generally a fun read. I don't think it'll survive a third reading, but twice was great.
kellyoliva on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great, easy read featuring one of my favorite flakey characters of all time. I love this series.