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01 June 2010

Book Review: Spent by Avis Cardella


Title: Spent: Memoirs of A Shopping Addict
Author: Avis Cardella
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: May 14, 2010
Hardcover: 272 pages
ISBN: 978-0316035606
Genre: Autobiography/Biography/Memoir

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From the Publisher:

As a child, Avis Cardella devoured the glamorous images in her mother's fashion magazines. She grew up to be one of the people in them, living a life that seemed to be filled with labels and luxury. But shopping had become a dangerous addiction. She forwent food for Prada. Credit card debt blossomed like the ever-increasing pile of unworn shoes and clothing in the back of her closet. She defined herself by the things she owned and also lost herself in the mad hunt for the perfect pair of pants or purse that might make her feel whole.

Spent is Avis Cardella's timely, deeply personal, and shockingly dramatic exploration of our cultural need to spend, and of what happens when someone is consumed by the desire to consume.


My Review:

Spanning four decades of fashion trends and spending, Avis Cardella's memoir Spent, speaks of her shopping addiction in a sad, often superficial and sometimes humorous manner, but more often not. Avis writes about the jobs and men in her life, both of which I lost count, her jet-setting life style and high-end shopping. A lot of the names and labels I did not recognize, however fashion has never been a high priority of mine, with that said, I did enjoy Spent from a sociological point of view. On a personal level I found Spent to be a very depressing memoir of a young woman who lived beyond her means, was surrounded by the rich and famous and who had more privileges than most are ever offered and yet not one of her so-called friends over all those years point out her problem, although to be fair the author does not really discuss her relationship disconnects so it is possible someone did suggest therapy. When she was younger, she went to counseling for depression, yet did not follow through, which appears to be a trend throughout her younger years. Spent is a memoir of the beautiful and wealthy, or those creating the illusion of being put together and having it all while on the inside being sad, insecure and lonely. While Spent is not an excessively uplifting memoir it is indeed an insightful one from a sociological point, a way to learn the top selling brands or hopefully an eye-opening experience for the many others, like the author, who have a spending addiction.

About the Author:

After spending her formative years reading fashion magazines voraciously, Avis Cardella found her calling writing about photography, fashion, and culture. She has written for British Vogue, American Photo, and Surface, among other publications. She lives in Paris with her husband. Learn more about the author on her website, follow her on twitter and facebook.



I received a complimentary copy of Spent: Memoirs of a Shopping Addict by Avis Cardella from Hachette. Receiving a free copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.

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