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How Not To Shop

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Personal shopper Annie Valentine is about to hit the big time: presenting a glamorous TV makeover series! But too late, Annie discovers this is TV on a shoestring. They're paying her buttons and her budget is zip. Can she make do with Primark when all she wants is Prada? While Annie performs miracles with the minimum, boyfriend Ed is left at home with one son (deeply green), Personal shopper Annie Valentine is about to hit the big time: presenting a glamorous TV makeover series! But too late, Annie discovers this is TV on a shoestring. They're paying her buttons and her budget is zip. Can she make do with Primark when all she wants is Prada? While Annie performs miracles with the minimum, boyfriend Ed is left at home with one son (deeply green), one daughter (deeply teen) and one sexy, Russian blonde (don't ask). He's not happy. He wants more together-time. He wants a dog. He may even want...a baby! But could non-stop, fame-seeking Annie ever handle that?


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Personal shopper Annie Valentine is about to hit the big time: presenting a glamorous TV makeover series! But too late, Annie discovers this is TV on a shoestring. They're paying her buttons and her budget is zip. Can she make do with Primark when all she wants is Prada? While Annie performs miracles with the minimum, boyfriend Ed is left at home with one son (deeply green), Personal shopper Annie Valentine is about to hit the big time: presenting a glamorous TV makeover series! But too late, Annie discovers this is TV on a shoestring. They're paying her buttons and her budget is zip. Can she make do with Primark when all she wants is Prada? While Annie performs miracles with the minimum, boyfriend Ed is left at home with one son (deeply green), one daughter (deeply teen) and one sexy, Russian blonde (don't ask). He's not happy. He wants more together-time. He wants a dog. He may even want...a baby! But could non-stop, fame-seeking Annie ever handle that?

30 review for How Not To Shop

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Storer

    This is the third book in the Annie Valentine series and the first book I've read by Carmen Reid. The cover is lush and gives all the promise of a fun, warm, summer read. In a small way, it does accomplish this. It's light and easy to read, has a few funny moments and talks a lot about clothes and fashion. But for me it lacked something. There was no sparkle, no laugh-out-loud moments. I couldn't really connect with Annie, she's in the same age bracket as me, being thirty...*cough*, but with two This is the third book in the Annie Valentine series and the first book I've read by Carmen Reid. The cover is lush and gives all the promise of a fun, warm, summer read. In a small way, it does accomplish this. It's light and easy to read, has a few funny moments and talks a lot about clothes and fashion. But for me it lacked something. There was no sparkle, no laugh-out-loud moments. I couldn't really connect with Annie, she's in the same age bracket as me, being thirty...*cough*, but with two children I just couldn't identify with her. Although I appreciate that Annie was trying to be a warm, friendly and compassionate person, especially to the women she was dressing for the TV show, but unfortunately came across as fake and patronising, and to constantly end sentences with "babes" and "my darlin" soon became annoying rather than endearing. I also thought that Annie's dialogue put her in her forties rather than her thirties, and when I found out her age I was quite surprised. The story with Annie's friend Svetlana, and her long lost daughter, felt as though it had been added due to the lack of story for Annie. It didn't make any sense for it to be there and, in my view, didn't tie in very well with the rest of the book. Svetlana's accent was also incredibly annoying and didn't come across as realistic (in fact, Dracula came to mind more than once). There were some moving moments between Annie and her family and the occasional funny moment between Annie and her boyfriend Ed, which I enjoyed reading. I liked the irony as Ed, broody for a baby of his own, buys a tiny lapdog to replace the fact he doesn't have one. The best character for me, by far though, was Annie's gay friend Connor. He was funny and witty and totally camp. It was such a shame he wasn't in the story more, he would have been a hoot! Verdict: This book can stand alone and, in my opinion, the two books preceding it don't have to be read to understand what's going on. With that being said, maybe if I had read the other books I would have grown to like Annie's character. However, I don't think it would have helped me enjoy this book more than I did.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This series is moderately entertaining chicklit. I can't help thinking though that the author (or her publisher) is trying to cash in on the success of the Shopaholic books and it doesn't quite work as while Becky Bloomwood, even at her worst comes across as delightfully dizzy, Annie Valentine often appears horribly selfish. This series is moderately entertaining chicklit. I can't help thinking though that the author (or her publisher) is trying to cash in on the success of the Shopaholic books and it doesn't quite work as while Becky Bloomwood, even at her worst comes across as delightfully dizzy, Annie Valentine often appears horribly selfish.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chiara Kiri

    Text gut, Inhalt leider überhaupt nicht.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Personal shopper Annie Valentine is about to hit the big time: presenting a glamorous TV makeover series! But too late, Annie discovers this is TV on a shoestring. They’re paying her buttons and her budget is zip. Can she make do with Primark when all she wants is Prada? While Annie performs miracles with the minimum, boyfriend Ed is left at home with one son (deeply green), one daughter (deeply teen) and one sexy, Russian blonde (don’t ask). He’s not happy. He wants more together-time. He wants Personal shopper Annie Valentine is about to hit the big time: presenting a glamorous TV makeover series! But too late, Annie discovers this is TV on a shoestring. They’re paying her buttons and her budget is zip. Can she make do with Primark when all she wants is Prada? While Annie performs miracles with the minimum, boyfriend Ed is left at home with one son (deeply green), one daughter (deeply teen) and one sexy, Russian blonde (don’t ask). He’s not happy. He wants more together-time. He wants a dog. He may even want…a baby! But could non-stop, fame-seeking Annie ever handle that? For a while now I’ve been collecting Carmen Reid’s personal shopper series which features Annie Valentine. For some reason, they never properly appealed to me, but I’ve carried on getting the books. I now have all five, and I finally decided to give the first book The Personal Shopper a go. I thoroughly enjoyed it and soon after I read the second book in the series Late Night Shopping. Again, I loved it and when I found I had nothing else to read, I headed straight for book three How Not To Shop, hoping for yet another fantastic read and I wasn’t disappointed. When we last left Annie Valentine, she was told that she was going to be starring in a TV series, after spending many years as a personal shopper. When we pick up with her at the beginning of How Not To Shop, Annie is getting ready to begin filming for her TV show, along with best friend Ukrainian beauty Svetlana and the frosty ex-Apprentice contestant Miss Marlise. Things aren’t quite what Annie expected though when she finds out the show will be airing on one of the lesser-known TV stations not to mention her budget is zip. As you might expect, things don’t turn out too well for Annie but if there’s one thing we know about her it’s that she won’t go down without a fight. Also the focus of the plot is Annie’s family life. Her relationship with Ed is still going well, although he suddenly decides a baby would complete their little family, but Annie doesn’t want another baby as she already has 16-year-old Lana and 12-year-old Owen. One of the best written things during all the books so far has been Annie’s family life and I love when it’s the four of them together. Yes, there are dramas (how could their not be when Annie Valentine is involved?) but they’re a tight unit and that makes it so special. Annie’s sister Dinah is trying to get pregnant again, so her daughter Billie can have a sibling. Reid presents Dinah’s struggle very realistically and I also liked Reid’s handling of Annie and Dinah’s mother Fern’s illness. Because although the books can be a bit light and fun, there are darker issues that occur and Reid handles them very well. Annie Valentine is rapidly becoming one of my most memorable and favourite female characters ever. She seems to jump off the page with so much life to her, and I like her more and more as the books progress. Even her use of the word ‘babes’ no longer annoys me at all, it’s just another Annie V quirk. I continue to adore Ed. He isn’t a typical leading male at all, as he takes on Annie’s kids with minimum fuss, puts up with Annie’s hectic lifestyle and is a music teacher and I totally admire the fact he isn’t moody or a bad boy or whatever else you usually find in Chick Lit novels. Annie’s two kids are as great as ever, and I like getting to see them more and more as the books begin to focus more on them. One character I really went off a bit, though, was Svetlana. During the first two novels she was a token character. There to be beautiful and Ukrainian and to marry rich men, but she has a big storyline in How Not To Shop and it didn’t put her in a nice light at all. I enjoyed the storyline, just not how Svetlana dealt with it all. Like the previous two books How Not To Shop is written in the third-person perspective which changes all the time, from Annie to Svetlana, to Ed, and it fleshes the story out very well. Despite being at work whilst I was reading this book, I managed to finish it relatively quickly as it was very hard to put down. I kept wanting to read on and on to see how it would all pan out for Annie and co. There’s nothing stale about the series, and as long as Reid keeps it up, she can write about Annie Valentine for a long time to come. How Not To Shop even made me laugh out loud – not good, when you’re laughing to yourself whilst sitting at a bus stop, I can tell you. Reid has hit the money with her series about a personal shopper, and fans of Kinsella’s Shopaholic series will undoubtedly fall in love with Annie and her madcap family.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emma Young

    Love this series. If you like the Shopaholic books you’ll like this. 5 ⭐️’s for sure.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emmas

    Surprisingly enough, the book is actually a really great read and I'm finding it hard to tear myself away from it to go to work, to study or to do other things. Which is amazing because after a long period of having concentration problems, found that reading was next to impossible and honestly didn't think that it was going to happen again. How Not To Shop is basically my cling thing right now. It's my breakfast book, it's my lunch book, it's my relaxation time book, it's the book I read at dinne Surprisingly enough, the book is actually a really great read and I'm finding it hard to tear myself away from it to go to work, to study or to do other things. Which is amazing because after a long period of having concentration problems, found that reading was next to impossible and honestly didn't think that it was going to happen again. How Not To Shop is basically my cling thing right now. It's my breakfast book, it's my lunch book, it's my relaxation time book, it's the book I read at dinner, it's the book I take to work with me for my breaks when I'm on longer shifts, it's the book that I'm going to carry on reading in a minute, and hope to never actually finish. Carmen Reid is the equivalent of Sophie Kinsella, if you have read Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic book series. I strongly reccomend this book to read, and if you don't try it, it's going to bug me until you do. I haven't even finished reading the book yet and I'm reviewing it, it's that good. I'm not even halfway through it yet - so go buy it!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    I really enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down. I'm a big fan of Carmen Reid and her books never disappoint. I have already read Personal shopper and Late night shopping, which are the first books which also involve Annie Valentine. I was so pleased when Annie found out she was pregnant as Ed had wanted to have children. Even though Annie aleady has two children Lana and Owen. The book starts off as Annie is starting a new career in tv presenting, she has worked at The Store for nine years I really enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down. I'm a big fan of Carmen Reid and her books never disappoint. I have already read Personal shopper and Late night shopping, which are the first books which also involve Annie Valentine. I was so pleased when Annie found out she was pregnant as Ed had wanted to have children. Even though Annie aleady has two children Lana and Owen. The book starts off as Annie is starting a new career in tv presenting, she has worked at The Store for nine years and wanted a change of career. But things don't work out and she ends up getting fored from the show. I'm very much looking forward to reading her next book as it follows on from how not to shop.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Abi Holligan

    How Not To Shop is the third book to follow the Annie Valentine series which is about Annie quitting her job of nine years as personal shopper to The Store to try and make it in the Television business with (mega rich and divorced three times) friend Svetlana. The book follows Annie's journey of the ups and downs to tv shows, having a teenage daughter and dealing with a broody partner. I managed to get into all the books very easily. I definately think this has been the best book in the series s How Not To Shop is the third book to follow the Annie Valentine series which is about Annie quitting her job of nine years as personal shopper to The Store to try and make it in the Television business with (mega rich and divorced three times) friend Svetlana. The book follows Annie's journey of the ups and downs to tv shows, having a teenage daughter and dealing with a broody partner. I managed to get into all the books very easily. I definately think this has been the best book in the series so far i really enjoyed it. I've just searched online to see the fourth book (the celebrity shopper) is out in March! Woo can't wait Fans of Sophie Kinsella would definately enjoy this!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Nicole

    Very cheeky and predictable. Although I was really hoping that Annie wouldn't succumb to the inevitable. Svetlana's daughter was just horrible, I mean then again so was Svetlana. I guess an apple really doesn't fall far from a tree. But where does a child given up for adoption think they have the right to blackmail their birth-parent? Very twisted. And marrying for money, well that's just no bueno. But my biggest problem was where the hell did Annie's savings go??? She had a decent job and her s Very cheeky and predictable. Although I was really hoping that Annie wouldn't succumb to the inevitable. Svetlana's daughter was just horrible, I mean then again so was Svetlana. I guess an apple really doesn't fall far from a tree. But where does a child given up for adoption think they have the right to blackmail their birth-parent? Very twisted. And marrying for money, well that's just no bueno. But my biggest problem was where the hell did Annie's savings go??? She had a decent job and her side hustle as well. Chloe and Furla are not worth it Annie!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

    Easy, light, and entertaining read. The characters in the book were pretty interesting and quite colorful. Annie did do a few things in the book that were sort of annoying and just didn't seem all out smart. Besides those few things I ended up liking her by the end of the book. After reading this book first without realizing it was the third in a series, I can definitely see myself reading the previous ttwo books. Easy, light, and entertaining read. The characters in the book were pretty interesting and quite colorful. Annie did do a few things in the book that were sort of annoying and just didn't seem all out smart. Besides those few things I ended up liking her by the end of the book. After reading this book first without realizing it was the third in a series, I can definitely see myself reading the previous ttwo books.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Daniëlle

    Na een paar bladzijden kwam ik er achter dat dit het derde deel van de Annie Valentine serie was. Maar goed, het las lekker weg! Dus als je de eerste 2 delen niet gelezen hebt, kun je dit ook lezen. Annie is echt een leuk personage, ik kon me echt inleven. Stoppen met shoppen liet me vaak hard op lachen.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    A light, easy, entertaining enough read with some colourful characters. I did find it a bit irritating that Annie would give up a well paid, satisfying job as personal shopper, without having confirmed the contract for her new post. There were moving moments (usually involving Annie's patient partner Ed) and I may well look up the previous two books in the series. A light, easy, entertaining enough read with some colourful characters. I did find it a bit irritating that Annie would give up a well paid, satisfying job as personal shopper, without having confirmed the contract for her new post. There were moving moments (usually involving Annie's patient partner Ed) and I may well look up the previous two books in the series.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shell Stitcher

    Excellent loved it!!! I have started to read this series back to front but still find it brillaint. Love the characters, the writing style, the subtle weepy bits but then straight back to funny again. Love it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Howard

    love this :) annie is on a mission to leave the store and start something new but what does it entail; TV, babies (more) a completely fabulos read by Carmen Reid 1000% reccomeneded to anyone who loves chick lit books xxxx

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    This was a nice easy read- I think it comes in the middle of other books I've read by her. She tries a slot on tv. Her partner wants a baby and her best friend and sister also want babies. She seems to be the only one who doesn't. This was a nice easy read- I think it comes in the middle of other books I've read by her. She tries a slot on tv. Her partner wants a baby and her best friend and sister also want babies. She seems to be the only one who doesn't.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

    I don't know what to say about this book. It wasn't bad. But it didn't hold my attention so I didn't even finish it. I got about 120 pages in and was wondering if anything good would happen, but it never did. I don't know what to say about this book. It wasn't bad. But it didn't hold my attention so I didn't even finish it. I got about 120 pages in and was wondering if anything good would happen, but it never did.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I'm really enjoying Annie Valentine series. Although they are not as hilarious as my favourite - Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella - they are still a very nice and relaxing read with an inevitable happy end (and lots of shopping along the way, of course). I'm really enjoying Annie Valentine series. Although they are not as hilarious as my favourite - Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella - they are still a very nice and relaxing read with an inevitable happy end (and lots of shopping along the way, of course).

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I loved this as much as the first two in the series, and will have to look out for the next installment, as I need to know what happens next!!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chrissi

    I enjoyed this book but I thought the other ones in the series were better!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Was ok, would be a good read if your not holiday, zero concentration required and not really engaging.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lexy

    Third one in the Annie Valentine series. Found this one really easy to get into unlike the second book. Really enjoyed it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Simply brilliant.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Curlywurly

    Very generic and cliche.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Geraldine

    Lied ist more then the Last time. Annie does not seem as selfish in this one then the one before and I think it is cute that she is pregnant.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    fab read, hard to put down. enjoyed it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Simpson

    Hillariously funny. Throughly enjoyed it from start to finish.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rosie

    *Review coming soon*

  28. 5 out of 5

    Susan Stockdale

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shea

  30. 4 out of 5

    Manaal

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