Mini Review: The Devil Wears Parada by Lauren Weisberger
Being an Anne Hathaway fan, I loved this movie when it was released in 2006. But, it has taken me about 17 years to read the book! The book and the film have similarities and differences as most things. These are both good and bad.
Andrea aims to make a career in writing/journalism in New York, but the first job she is offered out of college is for Runway magazine. She isn’t into fashion, especially high fashion. And, has no idea who Miranda Priestly (her new boss) is, even though it’s a job “a million girls would die for”. Miranda Priestly strikes fear and awe in all those who know her and is known for giving her assistance impossible and seemingly ridiculous tasks to perform. She “makes Cruella de Vil look like a fluffy bunny”. If Andrea can last a year at Runway, growing to respect the fashion industry and showing Miranda she can cope with the challenges she sets with intelligence, Miranda can get her a job anywhere in publishing she could dream of. Unfortunately, this devotion to Miranda could cost her more than one relationship and her sanity.
-This book is a time machine back to the early 2000s: spaghetti straps, flip phones with limited internet (or at all?), Jeff Buckley and international calls on certain phones only. It was great to be back in the world where I was just reaching my twenties—not too far off the age of Andrea. I’m also beginning to realise how much easier Andrea and Emily’s jobs would be with today’s technology.
-It was interesting to know that Weisberger was an assistant to the editor-in-chief at Vogue, obviously a leading source of inspiration.
-Characters- Andrea’s character in the book was more rebellious/selfish/whiny (than the movie). Still, she had the intellectual maturity when dealing with the challenges of her job. Many people would probably know it’s not a great thing to be talking to/emailing friends/boyfriend at work, but in the book, it seemed like a reasonable thing which she should be entitled to. She was also dismissive of respecting the fashion industry and her job for most of the book.
Miranda’s character was fantastic. She was defiantly more devilish in the book and very three dimensional. It was helpful to learn about her background, and her struggles growing up. Even though she is tough, reading about the inner workings of her life helped a lot.
I loved how Emily was portrayed on a deeper level in the book. The same with Alex. I can’t decide if Alex’s expectations of Andrea is too high or that he really deserves better.
Andrea’s best friend, Lily, also had a more significant role. I’m still not sure how I feel about her. Give me your thoughts!
Christian was confident, sexy and the scenes with him were electric. Although he was still somewhat sleazy, his role was more likable than the movie.
- I liked the idea of the “Runway Turnaround” where whenever the staff have a big rant about Miranda, they immediately feel guilty (or watched), and follow by spurting out positive things as a cover up.
- For those who are new (or not) to the story, it’s easy to be drawn into the plot, being compelled to keep reading to find out if Andrea can complete Miranda’s requests (like having a warm breakfast (the fifth ordered that morning because it has to be fresh), trying to find anything or anyone with very limited details or just trying to gain her approval of personal fashion choices) or if she will cry, quit, stuff it up or scream. Her stress felt genuinely real.
-I liked the inclusion of Andrea’s parents and family/friend dynamics.
-Would have liked more scenes with Alex to get to know him better.
-The storyline (and Andrea’s character) is flatter than the movie, as it mostly consists of ups and downs on running errands for Miranda. Still, there is a great build-up to the ending.
-The finish is very different from the movie—as I said there are good and bad things about both—and I’ve taken a long time to decide which I prefer. I like Andy’s character development, and respect gained in the movie. Although I understand in the book that considering Andy’s perspective of Miranda, she deserves a wake-up call.
“Lacking any alternatives, I inhaled mightily, clenched my fingers to fight off the urge for one last cigarette, and reapplied my Fudgsicle Lipsmackers. It was time to be a lady.”
“Okay, she’s tough, but if Miranda were a man…no one would notice anything about her, except how great she is at her job”
“This was how things worked. Period. Short of death (immediate family only), dismemberment (your own), or nuclear war (only if confirmed by the U.S. government to be directly affecting Manhattan), one was to be present. This would be a watershed moment in the Priestly regime.”
So I tried not to compare the movie and the book too much but failed, I’m sorry!