A million girls would kill for Andrea Sachs's job. She must be so lucky to get to work for the most powerful woman in fashion publishing. It must be so great to get all those fabulous clothes and rub elbows with celebrities at parties. If anyone else says those words to Andrea, she's going to stab that person to death with the spike heel on her Manolo Blahnik sandal. The approximate cost of said sandal is one-and-a-half weeks' pay, but that's all right ... Elias-Clark Publishing will pay for it to be fixed.
Andrea's boss, Runway magazine's editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly, is demanding, unrealistic, powerful and a guaranteed ticket to any job in publishing, assuming Andrea can survive a year of working for her. Though Andrea's real goal in life is to write for the New Yorker, she casts a wide net of resumes after graduating from Brown University, hoping to get a job that's anything but mundane. Not knowing anything about the fashion industry and not bothering to hide that fact on her job interview, Andrea applies for a job as a junior editorial assistant (translation: salaried slave labor) at Runway and lands it anyway. Suddenly, she's the envy of half the publishing and fashion industry…the other half knows better than to envy Miranda's assistants.
As we witness Andrea's self-pitying diatribe on the superficial fashion world, and how it takes over her life and makes her forsake her relationships with her family, her best friend and her boyfriend, the voice falls flat and begins to drone around page seventy-five. Though the setting itself is a fast-paced world, the pacing of the narration is incredibly slow. Andrea's growth as a character is limited at best, self-discoveries are few, and the predictable ending is akin to that of a made-for-television movie.
Is the reader supposed to feel sorry for Andrea? Laugh at her? No one knows, or for that matter, cares. Also, glaring research errors bothered this reviewer such as referencing HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE coming out in December 2002 when every fan knows it was a July 2000 release, and emphasizing on another page that ALL of Miranda's assistants went on to fashion jobs when the latest one actually went to the beauty department.
While THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA promises to become a bestseller in the wake of Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series or THE NANNY DIARIES, popularity doesn't always guarantee that a book is well written or well done.
Reviewed by Carlie Kraft on January 21, 2011
The Devil Wears Prada