Book Review: The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

I have a short history with The Devil Wears Prada. The book had been evasive for a long time before I lay hands on it. And then, I lent it and never saw it again. 😛 Since that person is very close to me, I shrugged it off and still think of it as the book being in the family, but not before I bit their ears off for misplacing it. No empty threats here, darling!

I’d finally gotten around to including The Devil Wears Prada in my immediate TBR (a fresh copy, of course), because I knew that if I didn’t do it now, I wouldn’t read it for a long time. It was as part of the BookTube-A-Thon 2018 that I read this book and watched the movie. One of the reading challenges said: Read and watch a book-to-movie adaptation. So I saw the chance and I took it!

The Devil Wears Prada is the story of Andrea Sachs, who has just graduated and has been offered a job at Runway magazine, headed by a devil of a woman called Miranda Priestly. Miranda is a complicated woman to describe. She is condescending, proud, thinks of everyone as her doormat, gives out the vaguest of descriptions and expects her assistants to follow through, treats everyone else as dumb (except maybe Nigel, the stylist), and so much more! Andrea suddenly finds herself becoming a 24-hour machine who is expected to be at Miranda’s beck and call, no matter the time. What will Andrea do to stop unintentionally alienating her boyfriend, friends, and family? Will she be able to stop it?

Okay, let me tell you this. Watch the movie and you’ll see Meryl Streep step into Miranda’s shoes perfectly. You actually like Miranda Priestly because Meryl Streep makes her almost likeable. But the original Miranda is an absolute witch. She is ghastly in her behavior, without a single excuse. There were times in the novel that I thought, ‘Huh. Maybe this is an explanation!’ But nope! At the end of the book, I was too much in hate with the character! I just wished Andrea would throw Miranda’s latte in her face and march out. She doesn’t do exactly that, but I would have been even happier if she had. And that’s a tribute to the good writing that almost hits you.

Every character has their own quirks that you sort of agree with, though time and again, you get annoyed by how they turn out to be.

Andrea, with her drive to succeed, gritting her teeth and rolling her eyes at Miranda’s unreasonable demands, turning into a different sort of Miranda in sections of her life.

Alex, the understanding boyfriend – too understanding for my liking and I felt Andrea didn’t deserve him.

Emily, the mercurial senior at work who taught Andrea everything and who shares a sort of Miranda-based bond with her.

Lily, Andrea’s best friend who is about to ruin her life but doesn’t want to admit that it’s coming.

Andrea’s family, including her parents, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew – they don’t appear as much in the story but where they do, they do make you sit up and notice.

The character I hated the most was Christian Collinsworth. That writer. He is annoying, creepy, and all shades of pervy!

There might be people who say that maybe Andrea should have prepared herself before she took the job. But does that really matter? If Miranda is being such a devil, does it really matter if you were prepared or not? I don’t know much about the fashion industry, but people are really like Miranda Priestly in there, then I’m glad I’m not a part of it. Nothing, I repeat, nothing gives you the right to treat your employees like slaves and treating them like their dumb and useless. No matter your gender.

The Devil Wears Prada gives you a lesson no matter which angle you look at it from. If you sympathize with Andrea, you’ll learn how to stand up for yourself, at the very least. If you like Miranda, you’ll understand how you can survive in a world run by her. If you like Alex, you’ll learn how to be a supportive partner. If you like Emily, you’ll learn how to keep adjusting and moving as the cogs of the world whir and turn. You get the drift.

It’s fun in a way that you’ll feel your eyes being gouged out of your sockets as you stare at the pages in horror. You’ll genuinely sympathize with every one of the characters at some point in the story. Even Miranda. It actually burned my insides to see an underpaid, overworked Andrea trying (not much) to keep her life on track. But then again, she does turn into someone who isn’t that successful at keeping a lid on things.

The Devil Wears Prada is an easy read, but it is almost 400 pages long. And because of that, but mostly because of how Andrea wasn’t really taking things into her own hands, I sincerely felt like abandoning it halfway. But I don’t do that, so I went ahead and finished the book. And now, I actually like it. I won’t pick it up again, but I do like it.

If you are fashion-conscious and want to have a vague idea of how life in the fashion industry is, this is the book for you!

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Picture Courtesy: Amazon India.

Click on the image below (my Amazon affiliate link) to buy The Devil Wears Prada:

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