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I bought this book whenever it was released, but due to the sheer volume of books that I own, I am only getting round to reading it now!
This book is the sequel to 'The devil wears Prada', which probably needs no introduction to most people, as there was also a film made of the book. If you haven't seen the film or read the book, the story is that of Andrea Sachs, who after leaving university lands the 'dream job' of being an assistant to Miranda Priestly, the editor of Runway magazine. If she can survive in the job for a year, then her future journalistic career is set in stone, but with Miranda's ever increasing demands, and the pressure impacting on her personal life, lasting a year seems a lot harder than Andy had envisioned...
This book brings Andy's story right up to the present day and from the outside, life is good for her. Having joined forces with Emily who she knew from her Runway days, she is part of The Plunge, a wedding magazine. She has also gotten married to Max Harrison, an heir to one of America's largest publishing firms. On the night before her wedding she discovers a note that her future mother in law wrote to Max, and this sends Andy's mind into overdrive. Deciding that her only way out is to leave Max, she has to rethink her plans when she realises she is pregnant.
Andy is still having nightmares about Miranda, and when the company that she works for starts making enquiries about The Plunge, she is hesitant. Particularly since the contract states that she would have to work for a period of a year for Elias-Clarke, and Miranda. Using her pregnancy as an excuse, Andy delays making a decision, but Miranda doesn't go away that easily, and with those closest to Andy keen to sell, will Andy sell her soul to the devil?
Having watched and loved the film, I had forgotten that I had initially been disappointed with the book, and I vaguely remember my thoughts being initially that I wouldn't watch the film as I thought the book was a bit rubbish. I had lent my copy of the book to a friend who had said it was a disappointing read. With this in mind, I was initially cautious, but all my misgivings disappeared, as I immersed myself in the updates of Andy's present day life. About halfway through the book though, I lost interest. This was largely due to the poor writing in parts, and the fact that the Andy in the book isn't a likeable character. She has this fantastic life, yet tends to dwell on the past and does tend to be slightly melodramatic. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder appears a few times in this book, and I feel that this is slightly mocking those who do suffer from the condition.
If I was to be pedantic, the title and the blurb implies a return of Miranda, and while she does make a reappearance, her moments are few and far between. The whole book seems to be gearing up towards her revenge on Andy, and when you get towards the end of the book, there is a real anti climax. There is also no explanation for a lot of what the book contained, it was as though the author got bored and thought sod it, and took the story in a new direction for the epilogue. I feel slightly cheated, after all, I read through the whole book, only to be fobbed off with a rubbish ending.
I also found that once her baby was born, Andy seemed to turn into a baby bore, and the rest of the plot (and therefore the whole Miranda angle) was sidelined in favour of babies, mother and toddler groups and finding the perfect nanny. Yes, Miranda does appear occasionally, but this is more as an aside than the main story, and Miranda seems to have softened with the news of the pregnancy, but no explanation is given for this, and it doesn't tie in with the Miranda of the rest of the book.
I feel that while it was nice to get an update on the characters in the book/film, if this was actioned as a film, I don't think I would be in a hurry to see it. I can't really recommend this book, as while the book starts off okay, towards the end, it becomes full of holes and it's hard to escape the realisation that the main character is largely unlikeable, has learnt nothing from the first book and I felt that the ending was an insult to the readers. Sometimes it is better to leave on a high than ruin things for your readers with an update. Just my opinion though.
I read The Devil Wears Prada a good few years ago now, and I really enjoyed it. However, I have to confess that I did enjoy the hit movie starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway a little bit more than I did the book, and to this day can't think of Miranda Priestly, the horrible Devil magazine editor from the book, without picturing Meryl in the role. When I heard Lauren Weisberger was bringing back the characters for a second novel, I was slightly worried that it might taint the brilliance of the first story, but I was also looking forward to having these characters back again, especially Andy who I loved reading about last time. I was so disappointed with the new cover, it's very bland and not my cup of tea, but of course I couldn't resist getting stuck in the moment it arrived through my letterbox!
At the end of the last book The Devil Wears Prada, Andy had screamed obscenities at her boss Miranda Priestly in Paris, and consequently cost herself her job. This book picks up Andy's story 10 years after leaving Runway magazine, and she's certainly made a success of herself. Together with her former Runway colleague Emily, the pair have created and now run their own weddings magazine, The Plunge. Couple that with the fact she's about to marry one of the shareholders and her own Mr Right in Max, it seems everything is going right for Andy. But just as she thinks life is perfect, it seems her past has come back to haunt her. Miranda is back, and Andy is determined that she won't let that woman back into her life again. But she's up against the odds - how will Miranda aka The Devil destroy her life this time, and will Andy come through it a better woman?
I was so excited to see more of the Miranda vs Andy clashes, but if you're expecting a lot of that in this book, I'm afraid you're going to be sorely disappointed. In fact, I was left disappointed with how little of Miranda was in the book as a whole. She doesn't appear in any big scenes, at first it's just glimpses of her, but even by the end, there haven't been any major "Miranda incidents" as there are throughout the first book, so it kind of makes the title a bit of a mystery too. Yes, Miranda is back, but, well, not really. She isn't nice, she's still ruthless but we do get to see a different side to her, and it just seemed very odd to me. I was constantly awaiting something huge to happen, but it never materialises, and while I enjoyed the story as a whole and reading about Andy again, the lack of Miranda and her "revenge" was a huge let down.
Andy is the book has certainly grown up in the book, is ready to get married to Max and is a successful magazine editor in her own right, but I have to say I did want her to grow a bit more of a backbone in the book! She was far too nice for my liking, not willing to put her own point of view above anyone else's, especially Emily's, and it did start to grate on my nerves after a while. I enjoyed reading the development of her marriage to Max and the other developments that happen to her, and the celebrities and scenarios she finds herself in through her job are fun to read about. I also liked the mentions of designers and clothes, which were frequent throughout the book but didn't seem too over-the-top which was good, and of course Andy and Emily had an appearance to uphold!
For me, this book was far more about Andy and her journey at this point in her life than about anything to do with Miranda. Yes, the devil does come back, but not in the way a lot of readers will be hoping for, and I have to confess I was left surprised by the final few chapters and what occurs there. I can't imagine this book turning into a big Hollywood movie as the first one did, simply because people would demand more of Miranda than is included in it. Weisberger is a good writer that can draw you into a story and make you care about her characters, but I have to question the title and lack of Miranda Priestly - let's be honest, she is going to be the reason most people will want to read this, and to find out what her revenge is going to be. I enjoyed it for what it was; an enjoyable read about a woman moving on with her life in New York despite a few wobbles, but for those hoping for The Devil Wears Prada part 2, I'm afraid you might be left disappointed.
ISBN: 978-0007311019. Published by Harper on June 20th 2013. Pages: 432. Also available as an eBook.
Thank you for reading, and to the publishers for sending me a review copy to http://chicklitchloe.blogspot.com