Genres: Chick Lit
A delightfully dishy novel about the all-time most impossible boss in the history of impossible bosses. Andrea Sachs, a small-town girl fresh out of college, lands the job “a million girls would die for.” Hired as the assistant to Miranda Priestly, the high-profile, fabulously successful editor of Runway magazine, Andrea finds herself in an office that shouts Prada! Armani! Versace! at every turn, a world populated by impossibly thin, heart-wrenchingly stylish women and beautiful men clad in fine-ribbed turtlenecks and tight leather pants that show off their lifelong dedication to the gym. With breathtaking ease, Miranda can turn each and every one of these hip sophisticates into a scared, whimpering child. THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA gives a rich and hilarious new meaning to complaints about “The Boss from Hell.” Narrated in Andrea’s smart, refreshingly disarming voice, it traces a deep, dark, devilish view of life at the top only hinted at in gossip columns and over Cosmopolitans at the trendiest cocktail parties. From sending the latest, not-yet-in-stores Harry Potter to Miranda’s children in Paris by private jet, to locating an unnamed antique store where Miranda had at some point admired a vintage dresser, to serving lattes to Miranda at precisely the piping hot temperature she prefers, Andrea is sorely tested each and every day—and often late into the night with orders barked over the phone. She puts up with it all by keeping her eyes on the prize: a recommendation from Miranda that will get Andrea a top job at any magazine of her choosing. As things escalate from the merely unacceptable to the downright outrageous, however, Andrea begins to realize that the job a million girls would die for may just kill her. And even if she survives, she has to decide whether or not the job is worth the price of her soul.
I’m going to be quite honest here: I saw the movie before I read the book. Several times, in fact. The movie came out in 2006, when I wasn’t a reader yet. The Devil Wears Prada is one of those movies that they play on TV quite regularly, and is one of those movies that I almost always watch when it is. Because it’s a really great and entertaining movie – Anne Hathaway’s, Meryl Streep’s, Stanley Tucci’s and Emily Blunt’s performances are absolutely top notch. So when I saw the book in the library, I thought, “Why the hell not?” and brought it home with me.
I think everyone knows the story by now – Andrea Sachs, who knows absolutely nothing about fashion, is thrown into a world where anything bigger than a size zero is frowned upon, carbs are the devil, and you should never wear that top with those shoes, or you’ll get lynched. Then there’s Miranda Priestly, head of Runway magazine, and also the most exigent person on the planet. The new Harry Potter book that’s not in store yet? Get it, now. Also, make a reservation at that one place I went to last month. And get my lunch. The only reason Andrea puts up with it, is because working as Miranda’s assistant for a year opens many doors. Only slowly but surely, she’s turning into a Clacker herself, and finds her personal life tumbling down in front of her very eyes.
While the book was enjoyable, I didn’t like it as much as the movie. First of all, there are several subplots that differ from the movie that I didn’t appreciate, like the fact that Andrea has an alcoholic best friend who’s also a total slut. I know that slut-shaming is wrong and that I shouldn’t be judging, but when you can’t remember having slept with the guy who is currently smoking crack in bed next to you, you need to re-evaluate your life choices. Just saying.
There was also the case of Nigel. Thank God that they gave that role to Stanley Tucci, because he turned it into something fantastic. But book Nigel is a major homo who wears cat suits and HE TALKS IN CAPITALS ALL THE TIME WHICH IS REALLY ANNOYING AND GIRL THOSE SHOES ARE SO LAST SEASON. I think you get the idea – annoying, shoot him, please.
While I read the book quite quickly, I still found it too long. This material works perfectly for a movie, but in a book, I really don’t want to read about the main character getting coffee every day. That gets old very quickly. Nevertheless, I really liked the storyline in general, and it had some funny bits. While it’s an enjoyable story, you do need to take this with a massive grain of salt, because it deals with very sensitive topics like women starving themselves just to look good in the eyes of the fashion world. If you can handle that, then I see no reason why you should not enjoy this book. It’s just that, when you compare it to the movie, it’s a little underwhelming.