The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

5139

I know that this book has been published a mere decade ago and it’s a little rusty for me to even reviewing it; I’m aware of that. (Of course I watched the movie ten years ago but not able to read the book, just because I haven’t got the copy of the book – I enjoyed the movie.. really!).
Okay let’s talk about the book… There is no truly gripping story line in The Devil Wears Prada. Instead there is factory assembly line of characters: the stand-out-in-the-crowd protagonist, who manages to stay true to herself, despite the pressure around her; the sycophantic colleague who belittles and berates her but ends up respecting her; the boyfriend/best friend who just doesn’t understand!; and finally, the evil boss who thwarts her at every turn but ends up taking the protagonist under her wing.
There’s one thing that really stands out in this very form of book; Lauren Weisberger’s writing style. It’s corny but it feels raw, very descriptive, witty and unadorned in sort of sarcastic ways. She provided the readers a harsh but true reality in the fashion world, of how they worship size 0, even given the fact that this book is actually released thirteen years ago. She manages to keep the pace steady, with a little rush and hecticness in terms of Andrea’s restless job of chasing, catching, searching and fetching every unreasonable demands from Miranda. I also love how the author being so spoiled on giving us an insider of every brand names imaginable, as well as a quick tour of New York. Though sometimes her writing feels like having loose edges and dull events, this book still is considered as one hell of page-flipper in sort of bitchy and expensive way. I also love how Lauren Weisberger rises up the tense on the last 3 chapters and the way she handles the end; seems cliché, maybe, but it’s as simple as that.
While I read the book quite quickly, I still found it too long. This material works perfectly for a movie, but in a book, I really don’t want to read about the main character getting coffee every day. That gets old very quickly. Nevertheless, I really liked the storyline in general, and it had some funny bits. While it’s an enjoyable story, you do need to take this with a massive grain of salt, because it deals with very sensitive topics like women starving themselves just to look good in the eyes of the fashion world. If you can handle that, then I see no reason why you should not enjoy this book. It’s just that, when you compare it to the movie, it’s a little underwhelming. The movie was more exciting. I thought the book was a bit slow paced and repetitive so it lacked tension. I wish the plot grew with more suspense instead of just Andrea getting her tasks done for half of the book. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book because of the chick-lit and young adult mix. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading about fashion and girly things!

Oh, don’t be silly – EVERYONE wants this. Everyone wants to be *us*.

3 out of 5 stars

Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

Serafina and the Black Cloak is an adorable children’s novel with a fairly straight forward plot. Yes, there are twists and turns along the way, but there isn’t anything overly complex. Even though the novel’s main plotline is simple – and I hate calling it simple because it makes it seem like the book wasn’t good – it was captivating because of its characters.
Robert Beatty created a most mysterious girl with Serafina, who is described as having golden eyes and strangely enough, four toes instead of the normal five. Those differences only add to the air of mystery surrounding her and keep you wondering what it is that makes her so special. She’s a girl with a good heart and a kind soul that you can’t help but admire. Befriending the owner’s of Biltmore’s nephew, Braeden, makes this story even more charming. The two quickly hit it off, despite their obvious differences in social class, and they both team up convinced that they’re going to be able to find these children. Through her friendship, Serafina starts seeing the world through a new set of eyes, only seen before through the pages of books. She sees the good in the world but because of the man in the black cloak, she’s also uncovering the bad as well.
She was beginning to see how difficult it was to determine who was good and who was bad, who she could trust and who she had to watch out for. Every person was a hero in his own mind, fighting for what he thought was right, or just fighting to survive another day, but no one thought they were evil.
Combine Serafina’s mysterious storyline with her character development and you have a winning combination. It allows Robert Beatty to create a story that I would certainly read over and over again.
Serafina possesses a definite horror, but isn’t quite as terrifying as it is charming. The unique heroine is definitely the spotlight of this tale with her most uncommon story of her life and how she came to reside in the Biltmore Estate basement.
I will admit that around the half-way mark, it was fairly obvious to me where the author was going with some of the plot elements. I wouldn’t say the entire book was predictable, but some parts were – for adult readers. I do think younger readers, who are the main target audience, will not find it as easily predictable.
Overall, I will admit I enjoyed reading Serafina and the Black Cloak. It certainly wasn’t overly complicated, yet the captivating characters and eerie plot/atmosphere created by the author made it an enjoyable read. It really shows that not every children’s fantasy book has to have an overly complex plot to be good.
Sometimes in children’s literature, especially the fantasy genre, authors try to overcomplicate books. It seems as if there is this fear that simple doesn’t work or that readers will only read a book if it is overcomplicated, which isn’t true. When done correctly, simplicity works and it is shown in Serafina and the Black Cloak.

“Our character isn’t defined by the battles we win or lose, but by the battles we dare to fight.”

3 stars out of 5

 

Pretending To Be Erica by Michelle Painchaud

I have to write this immediately. I mean, my review for this book, while I still have the Violet-Erica hangover.

Because of Goodreads I met this novel. I read the synopsis in advance because the title caught my attention. I want to know what the novel is all about.
Violet was raised by a criminal to be a con artist. Her mission? To con a wealthy woman whose daughter, Erica, had been kidnapped when she was four years old. Violet was adopted by her “father” when she was young and her whole life has been a prelude to the scam.
The entire story intrigues me, simply because it’s creepy and twisted and I just can’t believe that Violet is a fabulous con artist: very smart… she knows very well what she’s doing and the consequences of getting caught. Things start turning complicated as Violet starts forming attachments with people in Erica’s life.
Michelle Painchaud is a brilliant writer, Pretending to be Erica is her debut novel and when I find out about this in Goodreads, my reaction was “are-you-kidding-me?”Really, I am truly impressed, her writing style hooked me in from the very first page, I found it difficult to break away from her novel, to the point that I don’t want to put my e-reader down, I really wanted to finish it all in one sitting (but,that’s not possible… I have workloads to do and I am a wife). I was amazed with the story that Michelle Painchaud crafts along with the characters that she creates. She includes peripheral characters who add to the tense, climactic ending. Twist and turns aplenty keep the reader turning page after page until the very satisfying ending.
Pretending to be Erica is a young adult thriller. The protagonist is a character with questionable motives and an even more indeterminate past. Touching and with a beautiful turn-around at the end, this book will keep the readers thinking long after they have closed the book.

” The boy doesn’t know who I am. He thinks he does. He’s good to talk to—challenges my brain. Seems like he’s always trying to look inside of me. It’s nice. To have someone try to figure you out. He never will, but the effort is nice. “

5 stars out of 5

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

64 pages novel, The Grownup. I have read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, It introduces me that Gillian Flynn is a master of the dark, psychologically twisted character who leads the reader on a delightfully sick reverse of the hero’s quest. The Grownup is no exception. It is a short story by Gillian Flynn published in the form of a book. It is a hybrid between a thriller and a horror story with amusing plot twists. The narrator is a lifelong grifter, having mastered the secrets of successful panhandling before puberty. Her lazy mother never worked legitimately a day in her life, preferring to beg, steal, panhandle, manhandle and manipulate. Even though our nameless main character attended a swanky charter school, she left home at 16 and proceeded to do things that guaranteed she, too, could never hold a respectable job. So, she gives hand jobs to men in the back room of Spiritual Vibes and poses as a psychic up front.  Her business thrives at both ends. She has one special gentleman who visits her often (of course, for the back end service) and lends her books. Thriving businesses add to greed, right? So she agrees to do some cleansing at a haunted Victorian house at the request of a young lady named Susan to rope in a few extra bucks. She dreams big money. Our heroine’s life is perfect. Or is it? Bizarre happenings and Susan’s creepy stepson Miles enter the picture. The story bears resemblance to Gillian Flynn’s writing style of suspense and a manipulative female lead. The story is fast paced and with each page you ask “Who is the Grown up?”. I did not feel the horror said to be embossed in the story, but I was more fascinated by the characters in it. The Grownup was intended to leave the reader salivating – trying to determine who is telling the truth, who is the liar, and what will happen when two totally messed up people arrive at the paranormal convention. There’s sure to be lots of complaining from readers who expected more, and there will be those who will say Gillian Flynn is taking advantage of her fanbase by releasing this as a standalone hardcover. Regardless, each side will be secretly hoping the talented Flynn will flesh this tantalizing tale into a fully fledged novel. “But I wasn’t a well-read  bookworm; I was just a dumb whore in the right library.”  My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

64 pages novel, The Grownup. I have read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, It introduces me that Gillian Flynn is a master of the dark, psychologically twisted character who leads the reader on a delightfully sick reverse of the hero’s quest. The Grownup is no exception. It is a short story by Gillian Flynn published in the form of a book. It is a hybrid between a thriller and a horror story with amusing plot twists.

The narrator is a lifelong grifter, having mastered the secrets of successful panhandling before puberty. Her lazy mother never worked legitimately a day in her life, preferring to beg, steal, panhandle, manhandle and manipulate. Even though our nameless main character attended a swanky charter school, she left home at 16 and proceeded to do things that guaranteed she, too, could never hold a respectable job. So, she gives hand jobs to men in the back room of Spiritual Vibes and poses as a psychic up front.

Her business thrives at both ends. She has one special gentleman who visits her often (of course, for the back end service) and lends her books. Thriving businesses add to greed, right? So she agrees to do some cleansing at a haunted Victorian house at the request of a young lady named Susan to rope in a few extra bucks. She dreams big money. Our heroine’s life is perfect. Or is it? Bizarre happenings and Susan’s creepy stepson Miles enter the picture.

The story bears resemblance to Gillian Flynn’s writing style of suspense and a manipulative female lead. The story is fast paced and with each page you ask “Who is the Grown up?”. I did not feel the horror said to be embossed in the story, but I was more fascinated by the characters in it. The Grownup was intended to leave the reader salivating – trying to determine who is telling the truth, who is the liar, and what will happen when two totally messed up people arrive at the paranormal convention. There’s sure to be lots of complaining from readers who expected more, and there will be those who will say Gillian Flynn is taking advantage of her fanbase by releasing this as a standalone hardcover. Regardless, each side will be secretly hoping the talented GillianFlynn will flesh this tantalizing tale into a fully fledged novel.

“But I wasn’t a well-read bookworm; I was just a dumb whore in the right library.” 

 4 out of 5 stars