Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns by Lauren Weisberger

To be honest, I'm not really sure where to start with this book review. As a general policy, I typically don't put bad reviews of anything here because that's not what it's about. Pink Julep is a curation of all the things I love and recommend, so why would I put things on here that I don't like? However, occasionally there's an exception - a conundrum if you will. This is one of those instances. 

How it all began...
We all love film version of The Devil Wears Prada. It's beautifully executed, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci & Emily Blunt are amazing, the costumes are to die for and (brace yourself - I'm about to say something that not everyone will agree with) as shallow as it sounds, though Andy Sachs is a bit of an annoying, whiney, self-righteous character, we're all happy to forgive her post-Chanel make-over right up until the end when she starts wearing brown again. Before you start to think I'm a completely looks-obsessed cow who's seen Grease (Sandy transformation anyone?) a few too many times, let me just say this - if we can't be shallow while watching movies, then when can we? Anyway, I digress... The point is, we all loved the movie, right?

After seeing and loving the film, I immediately bought the book. I read it cover to cover and was left scratching my head... It wasn't that great. Andy Sachs was even more self-righteous in the book version of The Devil Wears Prada than she was in the film and her annoying relationships with her friend & boyfriend were drawn out to the point of exhaustion, but at least the fascinating fashion bits were well in tact.. Having read Everyone Worth Knowing (also by Lauren Weisberger) which I loved, I was surprised that The Devil Wears Prada ever got past the cutting room floor in Hollywood. I think we all know why it did though... It's a candid look into the fashion industry from a former insider that was rumored to be based on her time as Anna Wintour's assistant at Vogue. It opened the doors that were at one time closed so tightly, showing a less than glowing picture of a career many of us have only ever dreamed about. However, someone in Hollywood put some sparkle into this story and made a film we all loved, cut out some of the bore and added in a lot of pizazz leaving a million girls thinking about how they would kill for that job and that if it were them, they certainly wouldn't quit like Andy did.

Since I didn't love the first book and I'd heard a lot of bad reviews of Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns, I didn't expect a lot, but to be honest, it was much better than I expected. We are fast forwarded 10 years. Andy is now best friends with Emily Charlton and they run a wedding magazine together, having bonded over their hatred for Miranda Priestly. Emily is engaged and about to marry the man of her dreams who also happens to be the prized son of a wealthy publishing family, not to mention an investor in her magazine... Everything seems perfect, but it's not quite right.

Soon Andy is married and pregnant. This is where things get a little disappointing... It becomes very much a book about weddings and babies and less about a high heel fueled fashion frenzy. The thrill is gone. Not that I don't respect mothers or brides (I am married myself), but when given the choice, I personally would rather read about Manolos and big city cocktail parties than baby vomit. Books are a way I like to escape the hectic day-to-day...  Just sayin.

What's also disappointing is that Miranda Priestley is hardly in the book other than Andy whining about how horrible it was to work for her and a few bits scattered here and there. When Miranda sets plans in motion that could potentially better Andy's life and make her a huge success, she (true to fashion) digs her stubborn heels in - same old story.

Will there be a movie?
There's seems to be a lot of speculation about whether or not Revenge Wears Prada will be made into a movie. I don't have any information about film plans for the book, but there are a couple of things I do know. A lot of cameo roles are written into the book including Valentino, Raphael Nadal and some mentions of celebrities if not by name, by descriptions that lead you to think they might be Jay-Z & Beyonce, Bethenny Frankel and more... Perhaps these are a clue as to who we might expect to see in the film, should it be made. Here's what else I know - there's an opportunity here for Hollywood to work it's magic yet again to make this story come to life in an endearing way on film. If I were asked however, my answer would have to be that it would depend on whom they can attach to the film. I suspect if Meryl Streep or Anne Hathaway gets on-board, the rest will follow... I suppose only time can tell!

The Verdict?
Is Revenge Wears Prada an amazing book? Not really... Is it a fun beach read? Yes. It's definitely worth giving a try if you love this story and it's characters. I enjoyed reading it for the most part even though it's rather long and drawn out. It's perfect for vacation reading, but don't expect the high level of fashion industry scoop in this book that you got from The Devil Wears Prada... It's different. I must add however that Emily's character is still snappy, rude and in my opinion, amazing - she's the best thing about this book!

Have you read Revenge Wears Prada? I'd love to hear what you thought if you read it too.


  1. Totally agree with your review. Struggling to get through it right now in fact! Not even sure if its a good beach read. Have read Lauren Wiesberger's other books and found them alot more entertaining than this one.

  2. I never read the first book but loved the movie, more for the fashion than anything though! Might have to add it to my beach read list as I tend to like ones I can finish quickly than have alot of substance.


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