The Devil Wears Prada is one of my favorite movies ever. Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep and awesome clothing? Sign me up! Last summer I decided to read the actual book, long time coming. I liked it a lot, but didn’t love it. The easy-going fun of the movie was present in the book, but not in the same amount. Ultimately, I just didn’t love it.
What does this have to do with Weisberger’s Chasing Harry Winston? A lot. I liked the book, it was a lot of fun, but I just didn’t love it. Part of this had to do with the shock that the two books were by the same author. Where The Devil Wears Prada dealt with harder-to-deal-with issues in a light manner, Chasing Harry Winston dealt with light issues in a light manner.
I don’t have a problem with this. Not at all. I adore light, fun books that are driven by a story and not the author’s desire to show their spades of intellect. What I felt lacking in this specific story was the layered characters and highly unique story that I look for in a so-called light novel. The plot, while not predictable, was uninspiring. Three girls, all scared about reaching thirty, old college friends and wanting to make changes in their lives? I may not have read this exact variation before, but it’s a tale as old as time.
The characters, while fun, were unrealistic. A beautiful woman who doesn’t work and lives off a trust fund. A hard-worker in a seemingly perfect relationship who isn’t really happy. And the modest girl who needs to come out of her shell. The characters were not doubt the archetypes that you normally run into, but I didn’t feel that Weisberger added anything highly original to them in order to make the archetype come alive.
Despite the issues I have with the unoriginality of both the plot and the characters, the book was saved by the writing. It moved along at a nice pace, revealing just the right amount of information at critical moments. Even though the characters felt two dimensional, Weisberger made me root for them. Ultimately, I wanted the best for Leigh, Emmy and Adriana, even if I couldn’t relate to them. Their trials may have seemed dramatically un-dramatic, but Weisberger’s writing made the events of the plot interesting. The story was definitely NOT like The Devil Wears Prada, but that’s what made it better for me. I enjoyed the lightness, just wish that the characters and the plot could have been more developed.
So, should you read this? If you enjoy fun books that take you on an escapist journey, I would recommend Chasing Harry Winston. However, if you tend to find yourself gravitating towards realistic books where the characters face hard issues, this may not be the book for you. I’d say that this book is the meeting place of a beach read, such as Elin Hilderbrand’s The Beach Club, and an intellectual light novel, such as Emily Giffin’s Something Borrowed. Even though I won’t be racing to re-read it, I would definitely read another book by Weisberger.
What is your favorite genre of book?