What do you get when you mix Cruella DeVille with a posh fashion magazine editor in chief? The ultimate boss from hell, rightfully named “The Devil Who Wears Prada.” Meet Miranda Priestly, a sadistic tyrant who just happens to be the Editor in Chief of a high-fashion magazine Runway. Miranda is so evil, she ranks right up there with the most wicked female Disney villains. She takes pleasure in beating down her helpless assistants with brutal insults and impossible tasks. Unlike the remaining cast of forgettable characters, the infamous Miranda Priestly almost makes this book worth reading. Unfortunately the main character (Andrea Sachs) is as bland as flat soda. There’s nothing there, no life, no spunk, just a boring, one-dimensional creation. This lifeless puppet begrudgingly goes through the motions as her tyrannical boss dictates her every move. The reader is supposed to feel sympathetic for this unfortunate soul, but it’s easy to grow tired of Andrea’s sarcasm and self-serving attitude. The plot (or lack there of) is just a cluster of scenes where Andrea leaps from one disaster to another. There were a couple of instances in this book that didn’t sit well with me: Weisberger’s snide remarks about Texas and people with southern accents, and her nonchalant attitude towards drinking and driving. Being a fan of the “chick lit” genre, I didn’t expect to read a literary masterpiece; I just wanted something fun and light to read. This book, however, proved to be a little too light, and brainless. I’ve read young adult books with more captivating characters and storylines. To all the fashionistas out there, this book may be worth reading. Considering that author, Lauren Weisberger once worked for a real-life Miranda Priestly during her employment at Vogue, she’s able to gives the readers an inside look at what it’s like to work in the high-fashion industry. To the readers that aren’t solely interested in fashion and designer duds, don’t waste your time with this book. With a cast of characters that you’re likely to forget, a plot-less series of redundant misadventures and a ho-hum ending, this book is a chick-lit miss.
The fast-pace story takes off when Clark paints a vivid portrait of Liza Barton’s picture-perfect childhood. At the beginning, Liza had it all: loving parents and a dream home in New Jersey, complete with scenic pastures and horse stables. Little Liza’s seemingly flawless life was ripped out from under her after her beloved father’s mysterious death. Shortly after the tragedy, Liza stumbled upon her new stepfather in the midst of murdering her mother. In an effort to stop her vindictive stepfather dead in his tracks, Liza grabbed a gun and accidentally shot multiple rounds into her mother’s chest. After that fateful night, Liza Barton was dubbed “Lizzie Borden” by the media circus.
Two decades later, Liza (renamed Celia Nolan) wiped away all traces of her past, married a hot-shot lawyer and moved back to her hometown. Celia knew keeping the closeted skeletons at bay would be a challenge, but she wasn’t prepared for the surprise birthday present her unsuspecting husband had in store for her: Her childhood home, complete with painful memories and a vandalized front yard.
Soon after the seemingly happy couple moved into Lizzie’s house of horrors, things go from bad to worse. A slew of dead bodies pop up and everything points to Celia.
True to Clark’s telltale formula, all characters are possible suspects. Clark has a knack for creating atmosphere when describing the beatific East Coast fall scenery; however, these descriptions are few and far between. Despite the story’s lack of ambiance, the characters are fully developed with their own sordid back stories.
The solid who-done-it plot will titillate readers, causing them to anxiously speed through the pages until the wee hours of the night.