Even without the fabulous pair of Louboutins and the three gorgeously fantabulous diamond rings on the cover, the name Lauren Weisberger is enough to make me pick up the book. Not that I think she's a particularly great writer, but because I know that it will be light and fun summer read- just what I am looking for. The whole fabulous, gorgeous people living extravagant and successful, perfect lives looking for love is a bit overdone these days, but I've always felt a connection with Weisberger's books. Even though it wasn't very memorable to some (HG barely remembers it), I felt a strong connection with the character in Everyone Worth Knowing. Bette's story might as well have been the fictionalized version of my future (she went from finance to the fabulous life of party planning to realizing that her true calling was writing)!
Back to the book at hand (at this point, you should realize that there are potential spoilers here). This one is about three best friends making a pact to change their way of lives. One tries monogamy after a life of polygamy. The other goes in the opposite direction and goes on a tour de whore. And the last attempts to convince herself that her perfect life really is perfect. Over all, I thought it was pretty badly written and that Weisberger is now just publishing by reputation rather than by content (this situation sounds oddly similar to the dilemma of yet another bestseller author mentioned in the book!). A lot of times the writing was long-winded and unnecessary. She spent the majority of the first chapter, where the author is supposed to captivate the readers, talking about Leigh's need for personal space and control freak quirks with a detailed description of her apartment. It just made me want to pick up a pen and edit everything out! Only her name on the cover kept me going.
The plot was predictable and mellow. I felt like I was just cruising along the story. Nothing exciting ever happens, because she tries this technique where she just ends the chapter when something does happen and then picks up again after the event. Leigh breaks up with her fiance and we get to read about how nervous she was before the event and her reflections after the event. Adriana meets her "future husband" and we hear about them dating from talks by the other two girls. It was like a whole book of reflection, where the readers were put in the peripheral of the story instead of INSIDE the story. And the other thing is that nothing bad ever happens to the characters. They all lead a charmed, perfect life and everything just magically comes to them, with no obstacles to overcome or anything. One decides she wants to travel the world and a fabulous job miraculously appears. One wasn't even trying and simply finds her true calling in writing. And the other just decides to leave everything she's worked for behind and everything works out. I know that being realistic is not exactly the primary goal of chick lits, but this is just a bit overboard. To give her credit, the characters do each experience life changing revelations (there really wouldn't BE a story otherwise), but everything just came together a little too perfectly.
The relationship between this story and Harry Winston is not a giant rock on a ring as I'd first imagined (and the cover alluded to). The only reference to Harry Winston is a pair of diamond earrings that Salma Hayek wore to the Oscars from there, that a suitor gave to one of them. I guess they were just looking for a catchy title.
One thing Weisberger does do well however, are her characters. She paints them all in a very distinctive but relatable light. My favourite character is Leigh, who has the perfect job and the perfect boyfriend. The thing I love about her most is her control freak tendencies and need to be alone. I can totally relate to that. I LOVED it when she applied sunscreen on her body, then sprayed herself with more sunscreen in case she missed any spot and THEN applied a more expensive sunscreen on her face- rationing that the rest of them will regret it later when they need botox and laser treatment to get rid of their wrinkles and dark spots. That is MY rational as well (although I don't apply quite so thoroughly as she does). Next is Emmy, who just got dumped by her ex of five years, and her dearest dream is to get married and have lots of kids. Having never "played around," she is still very shy around guys and we get to see her get out of her shell in that respect. I feel for every step she took. Then there is Adriana, the fabulously gorgeous and wealthy Brazilian girl who leads the perfectly charmed life. However, even she feels a bit empty, lost and worried about her future. Sounds familiar?
Honestly, not a very original, engaging nor well-written book. But if you are looking for something light and brainless to past time on the beach (or just time in general).........then by all means. It's good and cheery enough to bring a smile to my lips in the end (happy endings always warms me up!).
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