Audiobook Review: Secrets of a Shoe Addict

Cover of "Secrets of a Shoe Addict"

Image via Amazon

Rating: 4 out of 5

Well, silly me, it looks like I dropped the ball on a couple of things. First off, I was told that “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is indeed playing at an indie theater near me, so I’ll be checking it out tomorrow! Keep an eye out for that upcoming review!

Secondly, I didn’t take into account the audiobook I’ve been listening to when I asked for votes on my last five books of the year (I also forgot that I could create polls in WordPress, but that’s besides the point).

Thus, this review discusses book #21, and based on your input, the other four choices will be Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian, My Week with Marilyn, The House of Mirth, and The Sandcastle Girls (reading order, however, is still tentative). Of course, I’d love to include a celebratory re-read of The Hobbit before its film release on December 14.

Anyways, Secrets of a Shoe Addict is Beth Harbison’s 2008 sequel to Shoe Addicts AnonymousWhile Sandra and her friends began the series with a meetup group for female shopaholics, it’s Sandra’s sister Tiffany’s turn to get a group of women out of financial trouble.

During a chaotic PTA trip to Vegas, Tiffany accidentally purchases thousands of dollars worth of clothes, while her friends run into money mayhem of their own–Loreen by inadvertently hiring a male prostitute and Abbey by being blackmailed by an ex-boyfriend fresh out of prison.

For those who read Shoe Addicts Anonymous, their solution is unsurprising: Sandra reveals that her previous job as a sex operator was a great way to earn cash fast, so the women decide to create an adult phone service called “Happy Housewives” to get them out of debt.

This book was an excellent sequel; it was funny, outlandish, and not shy at all regarding the dirty talk. As I’ve said before, I only wish there were multiple readers on an audiobook, as if it were a theater production, so the dialogue feels more natural.

However, what Harbison does well in chick-lit is writing characters for every possible stage in a person’s life. Single, married, separated–she covers it all with finesse. She also balances the realistic with the escapist nicely. Even if you’ve never gone on a date with a puppeteer or hired an escort, you’ll have a blast hearing about these characters who do.

My only complaint would be the pacing, since once the conflict felt resolved, it took quite a while for the ends to get tied up. It took me over eight hours to finish the 26 chapters of this audiobook, and although the majority of it was entertaining, I felt the last few chapters were anticlimactic.

I know that most of you don’t read chick-lit, but if you ever want to step outside your comfort zone, Harbison’s a good author to try. Secrets of a Shoe Addict was a fun story of female friendship, and as an audiobook, a great way to pass the time–whether you’re battling morning rush hour, cooking dinner, or relaxing in bed. Perfect for sneaking more books into your busy schedule!

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Book Review: Shoe Addicts Anonymous

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

My second of my birthday gift books is a chick-lit novel by Beth Harbison called Shoe Addicts Anonymous. It follows four women in Washington, D.C., and their hardships with work and relationships as they bond over swapping their designer shoes every week.

Here’s a little tidbit about each of the characters:

  • Lorna Rafferty: A waitress who creates the Shoe Addicts Anonymous group after realizing that if she doesn’t stop her shopaholic ways, she’ll be click-clacking in her heels all the way to bankruptcy.
  • Helene Zaharis: Wife of a controlling, cheating, lying scumbag of a politician husband. He freezes her credit cards as punishment for not giving a him a baby to help his publicity, so she joins the group to gain independence–and shoes.
  • Sandra Vanderslice: A very obese woman who’s so afraid to leave her house, she works as a phone-sex operator to pay for all her online shoe shopping. Joining the group is her attempt at overcoming her agoraphobia.
  • Jocelyn Bowen: A 20-something nanny who doesn’t care about shoes, but joins the group to escape her bitchy employer. She doesn’t wear the required 7.5 size of the group, but she’s willing to buy vintage Guccis at Goodwill in exchange for freedom and friendship.

I loved this book; it was a fun, lighthearted read that still discussed serious subjects, like debt and betrayal. All the characters were endearing, and I cheered them all on as they overcame their obstacles. The women weren’t like Carrie and friends in “Sex and the City,” but I could still relate to them all, from Helene’s nostalgia to Jocelyn’s desire to please.

My only complaint was that it took too much time to bring all the characters together. The chapters started off describing the women individually, and Jocelyn doesn’t appear until after 100 pages. But learning about their backgrounds was worth watching their friendship in the group grow.

Any lover of chick-lit should read this book. I also plan on checking out its sequel Secrets of a Shoe Addict, which follows Sandra’s sister Tiffany.

A quick Google search also revealed that Halle Berry would star in a movie adaptation of this novel, but no news has come out recently–probably due to Halle’s domestic disputes over custody of her daughter. I hope she can sort out her personal life soon and that this project hasn’t been canned completely!

All in all, both birthday books were excellent picks! What an enjoyable way to celebrate another year of life–surrounded by great books!

30-Day Book Challenge: The End!

It’s the last day of September! For once, I’m glad my birthday month zoomed by, because it means I’m that much closer to ending 2011, starting anew, getting my Master’s, and finally joining the ‘real world.’ But sadly, the end of September also means the end of the 30-day book challenge. It was a fun list to fill out, and I’ll definitely refer back to it when I’m mulling over what to blog on my slow days.

So here’s the end of the list!

Day 21: Favorite picture book from childhood = Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer

Day 22: Book you plan to read next = 1984 by George Orwell

Day 23: Book you tell people you’ve read, but haven’t (or haven’t actually finished) = Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Day 24: Book that contains your favorite scene = Wizard Howl’s meltdown in Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Day 25: Favorite book you read in school = Demian by Herman Hesse

Day 26: Favorite nonfiction book = On Writing by Stephen King (book-related), The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (unrelated)

Day 27: Favorite fiction book (That hasn’t been stated already) = Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Day 28: Last book you read = The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

Day 29: Book you’re currently reading = Shoe Addicts Anonymous by Beth Harbison

Day 30: Favorite coffee table book = Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers (I only have magazines on the coffee table, so I chose what’s in my bathroom instead)

As always, feel free to jump in and comment on my choices–or add your own!