Monday, April 2, 2012

In this Issue No. 7 - Book Review for "Spent: Memoirs of a Shopping Addict"

The review of "Spent" summarized the troubles that followed a woman who, from the outside looking in, seemed to have it all in check. Once the reader scratched the surface of the book, she would find that the woman in question was actually secretly fighting several inner demons, and was shopping at uncontrollable rates to try and numb the pain. One would think that a former model and fashion writer who was living well in Manhattan would have little to no worries. "Spent" author Avis Cardella let her readers know otherwise.

I liked the way that Cardella rattled off meticulously the brands, fit, color and price of the things she purchased, and why she did so. I'm not sure if it's simply an OCD tick that bubbles to the surface when I read books, but I'm able to better mentally visualize scenes from the book if I have detailed descriptions of surroundings; in this case - brand names, product colors, prices and place of purchase. These spot-on, meticulous descriptions are the reasons why I liked reading American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis and the Gossip Girl books back in the day. In American Psycho, the lead character - Patrick Bateman - is a wealthy investment banker who excessively describes his purchases, his regimens, people he meets and places he goes. I enjoyed the list of things that Bateman kept running tallies of until he started giving the same royal treatment to torture and murder scenes, wherein I stopped reading the novel as my forehead started to develop premature wrinkles due to my constant grimaces of disgust.

Overall, I had a hard time finishing the book simply because I'm a bit of an impatient reader. If I'm given an omniscient view of a character in a novel, and I see that the choices being made by said character will end in his or her ruin, then I have little tolerance to read through the build-up and inevitable downfall of that character. This lack of patience can lead me to skip pages in order to see the (hopefully) happier ending, which can really only be rewarding to a reader that has been loyal to a character through the ups and downs of the book. And therefore, lies my predicament.

But, I enjoyed Cardella's descriptions of New York, fashion, writing and clothes. In my eyes, that alone is worth a read.

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