Book title: The Devil Wears Prada
Author: Lauren Weisberger
Genre/Audience: Fiction; young adult/adult, female
Worth the read?: Sure!
The movie adaptation of “The Devil Wears Prada” came out when I was nine. When I first realized this, it made me feel like I was just so young. But then I realized that 2006 was twelve years ago and it didn’t feel like I was such a baby after all.
I’ve been curious about reading the book for years, and I probably would have read it as a kid if I’d ever found a copy. My best friend and I used to watch the movie over and over again, so no doubt I’d have enjoyed a chance to read the book even back in the days when I was pretty much against reading for leisure.
I must say, I sure am glad I didn’t try to read it all those years ago. The book, no doubt, qualifies for an “R” rating for nothing more than the exorbitant amount of times that Andrea, the main character, drops the F-bomb.
Much to my chagrin, book Andy was also a chain smoker.
Aside from these character flaws, the book was surprisingly like the film. I was pleased.
Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly was, as always, perfection. Every single mention of Miranda in the book was absolutely the epitome of Meryl’s performance. Having this movie imagery with me was by far the best part of reading “The Devil Wears Prada.” Is this commentary more about the book’s greatness or Meryl’s? Probably both.
The book was a nice, quick read even though it was almost 400 pages long. It flowed well, and the author utilized flashbacks as a main mode of forwarding the plot. The transitions weren’t always completely clear, but for the most part, it was easy to spot when Andy’s narration was slipping back into her memory as opposed to the present.
The character development for Andy, her boyfriend Alex, and her best friend, Lily, was nice. The focus on these relationships, as well as the relationships Andy has with her family, was really beneficial to the story. That said, when I closed the book for a final time, it still seemed like there were some unwrapped bows and unclean edges.
If there hadn’t been a movie, I would’ve felt like there lacked closure in a couple of relationships. Perhaps this was to leave room for a sequel, though I’m not convinced that was the purpose. More than anything else, I think it’s just that I wasn’t exactly happy with the closure Lauren provided. The ending wasn’t so bad, though.
In the end, my biggest critique is that the main character was jaded from the get-go. She was already a smoker, already had a foul mouth, already kind of not a good friend. She wasn’t as “pure” as her portrayal in the movie, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I think that in this case it made her demise a little less sympathy-inducing. Of course, the reader always knows that there will be a demise, but she started off already kind of blah as a person. Her boyfriend was consistently a better person throughout, even before Andy encounters the “devil” who wears Prada.
I’ll probably never read this book again, but I’m planning to pass it onto my best friend. I think she’ll enjoy it, and I’m not much of a book re-reader anyway. Only a select few books have ever been deserved enough in my eyes for a re-read. (You’ll learn about one such book in my next blog.)