Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger

Chasing Harry Winston, by Lauren Weisberger, is what chick-flicks are made up of.

Chasing Harry Winston Chasing Harry Winston

(No, its just one book, I just like the different covers of the book. A note: I read this book in a third version that was different from the two above. So far I like the second picture above the best.)

Anyway, as far as the book itself is concerned. I'll use the words the author herself (in describing another book inside the book which one of the characters, Leigh, reads) has used - "Sure its not got many lofty intellectual themes, but its witty, and fun, and I liked it." (paraphrased) Its actually ironic how the author describes her own book, but anyway, this is as accurate as it gets. It's a fun book for girls to read, to laugh over, to gush over, and then forget about in a few days. I don't mean this in a bad sense. I absolutely think that it was an enjoyable book (if it wasn't I would have bothered to finish it in a day) but I just didn't think it was brilliant the way Devil Wears Prada was (now that's a book and movie that just worked).

The basic premise of the book: There are three friends, bombshell, brazilian beauty Adriana, who is turning thirty and wondering if she's still got the appeal, Leigh, an editor, who has a seemingly perfect life with a great boyfriend (whom she finds repulsive) and a great job, and Emmy, sweet and innocent and naive, who finds out that her long-term boyfriend is cheating on her with an cheerleader cum trainer whom she actually hired for him. One day, soon after Emmy's boyfriend breaks up with her, the three make a pact (actually its only Adi and Emmy who decide to make a deal) and prepare for the year of their lives.

An exciting premise, and author Weisberger executes this with skill and finesse. Her characters don't have revolutionary turn-arounds, but they change in subtle ways that makes them more real and sympathetic. I really enjoyed the way that Weisberger writes (and the hilarious title-names that she comes up with). The fast pace was perfect for the kind of story it was. At parts the story became really, really funny, and at times it actually became sad. I cared about what happened to most of the characters, and even the minor characters, like a hairdresser, came across as unique and interesting.

My favorite character was undoubtedly Leigh - a neurotic loner who loves her job and who everyone believes has the most amazing life ever. I mostly liked her because she was the most like me, what with the love for reading and the tendency to panic. Leigh's life is on the edge at the start of this book, and she's ready to fall down the valley of adventure or come back on to the safe-but-boring plateau that is her boyfriend, and this makes for a highly interesting read. Emmy, the sweet naive girl who decides to have some 'fun' as the book progresses to get over her horrible boyfriend, is another great character. The problem according to me was Adriana, who was too-perfect and far, far too shallow for me to like her or care one whit what happened about her. However, her parts were at least fun enough for me to read through them, so the book did progress.

Final thoughts: Overall, I'd repeat my earlier statement: This isn't a masterpiece. It's not even this author's best work. Its a chick-flick to pass away some time. I would recommend borrowing it from a library (like I did), because I don't think it'd stand up to a re-read.

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