The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

Reviewed by L.D.Y.

Hardcover (available in mass market), 258 pages, 2003

Rating: 6/10

Reason for Reading: Nothing more in-depth than liking the title.

Synopsis: Andrea Sachs is fresh out of university and her only dream is to work for The New Yorker. First, she has to pay her dues, and she hears working for Miranda, the biggest fashion editor around, will get her an ‘in’ anywhere she wants. She just has to make it through one year of near-slavery working for the bitchiest woman to ever wear Monolos.

Why you should read this book: The book is a nice change from the usual chick-lit fare, focusing on 23-year-old Andrea trying to get a career while her boyfriend troubles take a back seat. If you love fashion and can read about Gucci, Prada, and so on without turning green with envy, this is a fun one.

Why you should avoid this book: This one has so many trendy cultural references that by the time the paperback is out in April 2004, it’s going to feel dated. None of the characters really get developed because Weisberger has Miranda calling Andrea and interrupting absolutely everything. By the end of the novel, when Andrea is faced with what’s supposed to be a tough decision, you might find yourself actually rooting for Miranda, because there’s just so little to care about in the other characters. There just could have been a lot more effort beyond the ‘ways my boss is an outrageous rich bitch’ whining. Andrea also spends a lot of time complaining about how empty and shallow everyone else is without ever noticing she possesses a large dose of those qualities herself. A lot of untapped potential, but didn’t quite cut it. [For the record, yes, the movie is better, because so many of Andrea’s deeply annoying thoughs are cut out…But I still cheered for Miranda.]

Opening paragraph:

The light hadn’t even officially turned green at the intersection of 17th and Broadway before an army of overconfident yellow cabs roared past the tiny deathtrap I was attempting to navigate around the city streets. Clutch, gas, shift (neutral to first? Or first to second?), release clutch, I repeated over and over in my head, the mantra offering little comfort and even less direction amid the screeching midday traffic. The little car bucked wildly twice before it lurched forward through the intersection. My heart flip-flopped in my chest. Without warning, the lurching evened out and I began to pick up speed. Lots of speed. I glanced down to confirm visually that I was only in second gear, but the rear end of a cab loomed so large in the windshield that I could do nothing but jam my foot on the brake pedal so hard that my heel snapped off. Shit! Another pair of seven-hundred-dollar shoes sacrificed to my complete and utter lack of grace under pressure: this clocked in as my third such breakage this month.


It didn’t seem strange this time that even though I hadn’t so much as seen the interior of a Town Car two months earlier, I had personally had one chauffeuring me around for the past six hours, and that even though I’d never really met anyone remotely famous before, I’d just rubbed elbows with Hollywood celebrities and had my hand nuzzled – yes, that was it, he’d nuzzled it – by one of the undisputed most eligible bachelors in New York City.

I’d already lived through one round of Miranda’s wardrobe ordering, and it hadn’t been pretty. When at the shows, she went from runway to runway, sketchbook in hand, preparing herself to come back to the States and tell New York society what they would be wearing – and middle America what they’d like to be wearing – via the only runway that actually mattered. Little did I know that Miranda was also paying particular attention to the outfits cruising down the runways because it was her first glance at what she herself would be wearing in the upcoming months.

Instead, try: The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus; Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella; Sex and the City: Kiss and Tell by Amy Sohn.

Also by this author: Everyone Worth Knowing.

© Lisa Yanaky 2003-2007

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