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 watched the movie first
I don’t know if it’s because I watched the movie first or not, but I was not a huge fan of the MC, Andrea Sachs, in this book. Her personality was really frustrating. It was like she was supposed to be the stereotypical, just-graduated-from-college, millenial who expects to have everything just handed to her. While that personality may exist, it’s really not fun to read about (especially being a millenial who strives to be anything but millenial.) For that reason, this book was a bit difficult for me to get through.
Over the Top
All of the characters were just over-the-top. Miranda Priestly was horrid and not even subtly. The gay men were overly flamboyant. The fake women were overly fake. It was like… I was reading a satire and no one told me because none of them felt realistic and while, perhaps, meant to be a comedy, I didn’t really enjoy the supposed comedic elements to the story.
Given that this story is based in the fashion industry, one would expect some talk of the fashion that’s going on, the products, and everything else. However, unless you work in fashion, all the detail that went into explaining paragraphs upon paragraphs of product description is completely wasted on your average reader. Me, being the average reader, knew maybe a handful of all the designers. Thus, the lengthy point by point descriptions bored the Hell out of me and felt more like filler content than actual necessary information.
One of the pieces that bugged me the most in this story was Andrea Sachs. She is a smoker (unhealthy), she doesn’t try to commit to the job (and never reaches the same transition she does in the movie), she whines all the time and can only ever complain about herself. She is the biggest reason for why I didn’t enjoy this book nearly as much as I enjoyed the movie.