Book Review: Chasing Harry Winston (Lauren Weisberger)

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Plot: Meet Emmy, Leigh, and Adriana. Best friends since college, each has seen her share of career foils and romantic foibles over the past decade. Now, as they approach thirty, they’re looking toward their future…but despite all the success and luxuries they’ve attained—they’re not quite sure they like what they see.

When they are each alone for one reason or another on Valentine’s Day, the trio makes a pact. Within one year, each woman will change the thing that most challenges her. For Emmy, whose boyfriend of five years just left her for a personal trainer, it will be to find romance—or a fling—in every foreign country she visits. For Leigh, a book editor with a dream boyfriend and dream apartment, no change seems necessary—until she starts to notice a brilliant and brooding man named Jesse. And for commitment-phobic, drop-dead-gorgeous Adriana, her goal is to have an engagement ring and a house in Scarsdale. Each woman starts the first day of the year with the best of intentions—which is exactly why the pact goes immediately, and exceptionally, awry.

Filled with delicious insider details, Chasing Harry Winston whisks readers into the heart of an elite world, where friendships will be tested to the point of breaking, and showcases Weisberger’s best storytelling efforts to date

Rating: 5/10

This had to be one of the most grating books I’ve ever read. If you don’t remember, I felt like the other novel of Weisberger (The Devil Wears Prada) was essentially full of white girl problems where the character felt she was being treated badly because work was tough and people didn’t automatically just like, like her. While Chasing Harry Winston doesn’t directly deal with Privileged College children that expect stellar treatment everywhere they go in life, it deals once again with the type of people I suspect the author knows and understands way too well because she is one of them. Emma, Leigh and Adriana are all three insufferable for legion of reasons. Adriana was the worst of the three – a privileged trust fund baby that hasn’t had to work for anything in her life, which is spoiled and is weak of character and completely lacking of morals. I rarely consider myself a prude, but with the amount of men Adriana has slept with she seems to be the ambassador for the local brothel. I found her way too annoying – her constant attention seeking, her sleeping around and her lack of any direction was just too much in one character to deal with. I felt that the character was written in a way to represent Sofia Vergara’s character on Modern Family – anyone share that notion?

Emma was more frustrating than she was intolerable. She’s just one of those women who are so stuck on relationships becoming married that she’s a shadow being without any real personality and that makes me furious. I appreciated that she took note of the fact that she should immediately think marriage when meeting a man, but it was extremely ridiculous that she felt ashamed with only sleeping with three men in her life – again, I must be a prude here to dare think that three sexual partners are sufficient (a bit more than).

Leigh was probably the character I identified the most with – she’s so happy to just be by herself and constantly worrying whether it is a crime, and living a stress ridden life that most people think is perfect but is actually just a lot of managing crises after crisis. Although, she really should have dumped Russell’s ass early on – while he seems to be a nice man he’s obviously a walkover and not the man for her. I’ve been where she was – in a relationship because everyone wanted her to be in one, which is about as healthy to your mental well being as tuberculosis is to your physical well being.

Something that made me see red was the constant use of the “dear” and “sweetheart” –I use “dear” only to friends when I’m being a little sarcastic and really only in emails in work where I am forced to be polite. These three characters? DEAR DEARDEAR SWEETHEART. Every conversation contains these endearments and really, who even addresses people they know like that? What is wrong with you?

This book lacks originality – the story has been used ten million times and nothing new – people who need to change: one woman is too commitment heavy, the other too commitment phobic and the last is seemingly perfect but really not. This is a standard story for any half-baked author who wants to push chicklit onto the market and if you’ve read it once, you’ve read it a hundred times.

The ending very slightly redeemed the book. It wasn’t an original ending by any means– like I said, if you read it once, you’ve read it a hundred times. Everyone ends up being more themselves than they were, more accepting of their own worth and heading forwards into life. Emma discovers that she can truly walk away, Leigh finds the courage to do something that she should have done ages ago and Adriana finally gets a job. It’s worth something that Adriana didn’t end up marrying Toby, but gosh, still one of the most disgusting characters I’ve read about in a while.

I was obviously riled enough at this book to write this entire review out, so there’s something. The print was also exceptionally tiny on my copy – so the book was actually quite long. However, reading it went quick, so I can probably mention one thing good that it is a fast paced read. Anyway, it was an exceptional waste of time. Have you read it? What did you think?

Book Review: The Devil Wears Prada (Lauren Weisberger)

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Plot: (via Amazon)

When Andrea first sets foot in the plush Manhattan offices of Runway she knows nothing. She’s never heard of the world’s most fashionable magazine, or its feared and fawned-over editor, Miranda Priestly – her new boss.

A year later, she knows altogether too much:

That it’s a sacking offence to wear anything lower than a three-inch heel to work.

That you can charge cars, manicures, anything at all to the Runway account, but you must never, ever, leave your desk, or let Miranda’s coffee get cold.

And that at 3 a.m. on a Sunday, when your boyfriend’s dumping you because you’re always at work, if Miranda phones, you jump.

But this is Andrea’s big break – it’s going to be worth it in the end.

Isn’t it?

Rating: 7/10

Hmm.Despite the incessant use of “Um” and the inexplicable length, I enjoyed this book. It is well written and paced, but it gets very (excessively) descriptive in places. I am really fond of beautiful clothes but hearing every few pages about brand upon brand upon brand from a character that claims to not care about fashion got tiring quickly.

Then there is the whole spin on first time employees. An experienced worker can spot them a mile away. With a freshly printed university degree in their hands, these children expect superior treatment just because they deigned to show up for the interview. In my book experience eclipses education every single time. I’m not saying that Anna Miranda wasn’t terrible to Lauren Andrea. I’m just saying that you are sitting here with a woman who has already lifted herself up in the world, risen to success, and a snot bag university graduate that expects to be treated like royalty just with absolutely zero experience. But it is a good look into that whole first experience of employment, as well as how relationships that worked in the carefree university life simply collapses under the weight of the real world.

Now to the farce that “this book isn’t a real life account of my experience at Vogue”

I truly don’t believe Anna Wintour gives a shit what an ex assistant says about her. Who would? By selling this book Wintour was only made more notorious and I don’t think she saw that as a bad thing. If you read Andrea’s life, and you read Weisberger’s life, it’s the same thing. At this point I’m only really interested in who Christian Collinsworth is in real life.

Book to movie adaption: They changed quite a bit, but both the book and the movie works well. I loved Emily Blunt as senior assistant Emily in the movies, but think her character was much more nasty in the movie.

The main character sporadically comes across as a petulant brat who thinks everyone was put on this planet to be nice to her, but I think that is a result of the first person way the book was written. It also seems that she has misplaced intellectual snobbery – she constantly places herself above her coworkers in the intelligence food chain. I had a really good time reading this, just thought it was a bit long to match to content, but it was pretty enjoyable. Now I must re-watch the movie because I love that movie!

Life Lately – November 2015

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Phew, I know I often say this when I write these posts, but it really feels like I’ve been waiting ages to write one of these up again. Life has just been lifing around, busy and stuff.

So what’s new? It’s been more than a month now since my father’s passed away. It is still incredibly hard and I miss him very much. You can’t really understand the feeling if you’ve never been there. I was able to sit with a friend who lost her father last week and empathize, so I am grateful that this loss has enabled me to actually help someone else too.

I have had the worst Pharyngitis and Bronchitis for a week now. I’m nearly back to a subhuman level where I can talk without coughing my lungs out, so there has been improvement. Lessons learnt: 1) go to the doctor 2) I am a terrible patient.

I’m in the middle of exams now. I have no idea what made me choose Physiology as a major. Talk about HATE. So bleak that I’ve done all my Microbiology work already because that is interesting. I hope to struggle through and pass these monsters. Also, writing Medicinal Botany the 20th, but after watching the Martian I have accepted that Botany has value and will study hard in the likely event that I get stuck on Mars.

I am also currently way behind with Blindspots – I have three left (The Prestige, The Good Life and Pulp Fiction), and I’m sure you realize that it is way too many. I hope to get through two of them within next week when I have a really quick break between my last two tests.

I’m currently reading way too many Nora Roberts romances – they are such silly, quick reads that my exam brain just laps it up. Have you ever noticed how improbable the men are in these? Amazing. I am also reading the Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger, and am having such a good time with that. It really is just chick-lit but it is well written and a really good look into the politics of a first job. I am about half way with Angels and Demons – it really isn’t bad and of much better quality than The DaVinci Code, but goodness, can Langdon be anymore pompous and annoying??

Listening – mostly to Adele’s new song (yeah, totally on that boat). I have to say I’m shockingly impressed with the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack. You can see what I thought about the movie here, but I think the soundtrack was really well put together. Also – Ed Sheeran. He is not really my ideal idea of a date, but he can sure sing. Rampant thought for the week: Am I getting old or is most music just truly shit these days? I so rarely enjoy anything I hear on the radio these days.

Excited about: Firstly, my new job. I initially thought that I could hold out at my current company until I received my degree, but I don’t think so. I am starting a new job in December and I have to say that I’m pretty amped. This year has been so terrible and a part of that has come from the fact that I’ve reached my expiration date with my current company. It’s not a bad place and I really love some of the people here, but you know when you’re done, you’re done, right? Anyway, I am terrified and excited and everything, so I just can’t wait anymore.

I’m also pretty excited about the New Year, mostly because I am 100% certain that nothing will suck as bad as 2015. It is going to be hectic – I already have three weddings lined up (pretty sure that I will soon star in the sequel to 27 Dresses!) and have three practical modules due, but I am so ready to drown this year in a substantial amount of alcohol.

List of things I really hate at this point of my existence:

Paper finishing in the printer. I mean really, who needs such negativity in their life?

Kardashi-anything

Scanning things into a PC. Most hated part of my job.

Sitting in an office next to the big boss.Really not on.

Studying, for obvious reasons.

Things to get done:

Watch Pulp Fiction

Watch The Prestige

Watch A Good Year

Mockingjay, Spectre, Possible Star Wars in cinema.

Finish: Angels and Demons, The Devil Wears Prada, this list.

Make new tabs on blog for: Links I Love, Blindspot.Possibly new theme for Blog. Used to love the minimalist lay out, now it only looks meh.

I really want to watch Vikings Season 2 now. It is terrible that I’m this behind!

Really amused by:

I’m pretty sure this one guy isn’t wearing underwear to work. It’s quite hilarious, though it does get awkward from time to time.

Well, now that I’ve left you with that titbit of information, what’s going on in your life?