Book Review: The Devil Wears Prada

Book cover courtesy of Broadway Books

Despite the hell that Andrea went through while working at Runway, do I still aspire to work at a fashion magazine that pays me pennies and treats me like dirt? Yes. Yes I do.

"The Devil Wears Prada" by Laura Weisberger is an adult fiction comedy and romance novel about Andrea “Andy” Sachs. She's an optimistic “go-getter,” who lands a job at the prestigious Runway Magazine, despite knowing next to nothing about the fashion industry.

The Savvy Synopsis

Sweet, kind-hearted Andrea was hired by the all-powerful, cut throat and merciless editor in chief, Miranda Priestly. Miranda is infamous for putting her employees through borderline emotional and psychological abuse. However, like the basic female protagonist archetype we have seen one too many times, Andrea thought she was different.

Andrea’s internship at Runway is centered around being Miranda Priestly’s personal slave — constantly overworked and underappreciated. From booking last minute flights to tracking down identical copies of "Harry Potter" books for Miranda's bratty children, Andrea was treated more like a Louis Vuitton-wearing gopher than an actual human being. Due to this overwhelming life, we see Andrea’s character change from the sweet, understanding intern to a skinny, stiletto-wearing she-devil. This change is further emphasized with how this impacts her life and relationships as a whole.

Thoughts From the Reader

As for the book itself, I thought it was quite enjoyable and very well-written. Weisberger does a fantastic job of introducing us to distinct characters at the beginning of the story, who play a significant role in how the story unfolds and how Andrea’s character is developed. Alex Fineman — Andrea’s boyfriend — and Lily Goodwin — Andrea’s best friend — are perfect examples of this, as we not only see how the job at runway has negatively affected Andrea’s life, but their lives as well.

We, as readers, can empathize how difficult maintaining relationships with someone who never seems to have enough time for the important people in their lives. While you feel bad for the neglect she’s showing her family and friends, you can’t help but sympathize for Andrea and the utter abuse and torment she goes through on a daily basis. You really can’t choose a side!

Casual Critiques

While the book was a delightful read, there were some aspects that, if done differently, could have made the book feel a bit more complete.

For example, since the climax didn’t come until the end, the rising action took up the biggest chunk of the book. Because of this, the novel started to get repetitive. To be honest, there were times when I was reading that I would start zoning out because it was the same formulaic routine that almost seemed copy and pasted, with only a few minor changes. The readers quickly catch on to how terrible it is to work at Runway, so reinforcing that over and over made the book seem somewhat predictable.

Another structural element that was impacted with having the climax near the end, was the conclusion. Since the turning point didn’t seem to come until the very end, the conclusion as a result felt very rushed. It ended up creating an unequal plot balance in my opinion. If the author had spent less time creating fillers in the rising action, the conclusion and final ending of the book would have been a bit more satisfying and complete.

Worthy of Recommendation?

Therefore, while there were some elements of the book I personally would change, the book overall was a solid 3.5/5 stars! Many themes such as class divide, maintaining relationships and personal growth were promptly addressed and impacted the plot immensely. While I wouldn’t consider "The Devil Wears Prada" a must read, I definitely recommend it if you're looking for a fun book that will make you want to move to New York City and work for a tortuous magazine company!