They say in life, when you have high expectations, you are usually let down. The same applies to books. I dived into this one head first, expecting it to be a good read and I was disappointed for the most part. The book I am talking about is “Revenge Wears Prada,” the follow up to chick lit writer Lauren Weisenberg’s 2003 hit “The Devil Wears Prada.” If you have read the book, you will empathize with me, and if you haven’t read it, this is the heads-up you need. So sit tight.
The summary: The book introduces us to Andy Sachs, 10 years post she said the f-word to her boss Miranda Priestly one fateful evening in Paris. Since then she’s been dumped by her boyfriend Alex, becomes best friends with former co-worker Emily with whom she starts her own fashion magazine with a lousy name “The Plunge.” Andrea has found love in a publishing tycoon Max, who by the description , is a Greek god and life is basically a bed of roses. Cliche.
The plot: Revolves around Andrea struggling to keep her marriage and her business from turning into shambles.
Why marriage you ask? On the day of her wedding, Andrea discovers a hate letter from her mother-in-law, warning Max to re-think marrying her. Skip to line five, and she quickly discovers that Max met with his ex-gf, Katherine while in the Bahamas on his bachelor’s party that he promptly leaves. Her mind goes into an overdrive imagining why he kept it a secret and concluded that he had a fling with his ex and has contracted an STD. Jesus, woman! Slow down.
She walks down the aisle in her Monique Lhuillier anyway, with her head full of suspicions and her fingers crossed. Post her wedding, while on the verge of walking out of her marriage (with a possible STD), she realizes that she is two months pregnant. With a baby on the way, she decides to work through her marriage.
The business of it all: Fighting her suspicions and morning sickness, Andrea tries to keep her business normal. This is when the devil makes an appearance. Miranda is back and wants to buy “The Plunge.” Like Micheal Jackson luring kids with candy, Miranda pulls out all stops trying to acquire the magazine. This development comes as happy news to Emily who wants to sell the magazine in a New York minute and is backed by Max who has invested in the magazine. Meanwhile Andy who is hormonal and bloated, doesn’t want to work under the reign of terror and agrees to discuss this only after the baby is born. We also learn that through her courtship, marriage and the impending baby, Andy is still harboring secret love for Alex, her first boyfriend. Talk about being confused!
Fast-forward: The baby is born, Andy tries her best to deflect from selling “The Plunge,” while Emily and Max keep pushing the topic. Through burpee blankets, diaper genies and Alex’s reappearance, we realize that Max and Emily together sell the magazine to Elias Clark without Andy’s knowledge.
Aftermath: A betrayed Andy, quits her job and divorces her husband Max and bff Emily. All this in a span of one year! Andy then starts working for the New Yorker and is living a quiet life with the baby et al. Having lost the baby weight she enters the dating pool, only to get accidentally reunited with Alex! And, then they live…
Yeah, there you have it. “Revenge Wears Prada” with a side of painkillers.
Our Take: I have read “The Devil Wears Prada” and all of the other works by Lauren Weisberger. Even though her books lack depth, they are essentially the ones you want to read to deflect your mind off work, or that impending project. But this much awaited book was a mere disappointment. And, here is why:
• For all those who thought Bridget Jones was a wreck, meet Andy. She is scattered, confused and very confusing indeed. Welcome to therapy.
• For a protagonist, Andy’s character is weak. It’s not something readers can associate with because we should either be in awe of her or empathize with her and here we just curse her.
• The whole break-up with Alex just to have him comeback in her life seems very forced and too fairytale-ish for us women circa 2013 to digest.
• The book introduces us to Max who seems like a perfectly nice guy, and yet they show Andy fretting with no good reason. Paranoid much?
• You’d think that after working with fashion magazine “Runway,” Andy would learn a thing or two about fashion. But, she most adamantly struts around town with her gorgeous, millionaire husband in clothes covered in spit-up or ones borrowed from Emily.
• The wedding with Max, the suspicion, the baby, Alex reappearing. It all happened within a span of one year. Feel like seconds already?
• If you doubted Max, why marry him? Taking lessons from the Kardashian clan.
• There is very little reference of Miranda in the book, which begs the question: why write this book in the first place?
• The reference to fashion is very limited. I can count on my finger tips, the five labels mentioned in the book. And, one on the cover.
• The book seems more appropriate for mothers-to-be, who are confused about how to “pop a boob” to breast feed. Lauren’s words, not mine.
• The book should have been named “Revenge Wears Burpee Blanket.”
• The divorce with Max seemed too far-fetched. Hey what’s a relationship if not imperfect? Heck if Anthony Wiener and Huma Abedin can make it work!
• The open ending with a possible romantic liaison between Alex and Andy, is too nauseating. What’s next? “Crazy Wears Prada?”
• It’s a safe assumption that this ones not going to be made into a movie. Ever. Thankfully.