The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger

27276380The other day, I started looking at my favorite authors’ websites to see if they’ve published anything new while I’ve been working my way through my Brit Chick Lit and public library sale books. Many had, but this was the only one I could actually get my hands on through Link+.

We meet our heroine, Charlie, a professional tennis player, who is about to play a match on Centre Court at Wimbledon. It doesn’t go the way she expects (understatement!), and this sets up a domino effect of changes in the next year of her professional career. She’s got a new coach, new fitness regime, a new image and endorsements to go with it.

I was immediately drawn into this world, even though I’ve never watched tennis. Charlie’s only 25 and she spends 48 weeks a year on the road from tournament to tournament. I could tell you that Wimbledon happens in June and the US Open is happening right now (thanks Instagram!), but I had no idea how much tennis is being played at any given time. A lot of the things that Charlie goes through reminds me of when a gymnast goes pro, trying to balance training and endorsements with trying to have a life and just be a young woman in the world. Engrossing read and I was sad to see it end!

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Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns by Lauren Weisberger

16130307I remember reading “The Devil Wears Prada” in 2004 on a whirlwind trip to San Francisco. I had to come up here for some orientation/advising things before starting college and I picked up the paperback at the airport. I finished the book while sitting in a hallway, waiting to talk to an advisor. Then it was turned into a movie, which I saw and was disappointed by. But that movie is on cable every weekend, so I’ve come to enjoy it as its own thing.

I don’t know how I missed that Lauren Weisberger wrote a sequel to the book, but I finally picked it up a couple weeks ago. The first thing I noticed was how different the book must be from the movie in ways I didn’t remember (like the boyfriend’s name or the Christian guy’s last name) because it was VERY hard to jump back in.

Most of it doesn’t matter because we pick up with Andy ten years later and she’s in a different place in her life, sorta. She’s about to marry the perfect guy, even though his mother doesn’t like her. And she’s back working with Emily, who is now her BFF and they’ve created the perfect wedding magazine. It gets more unbelievable from there. There’s also a ton of time skips (from one chapter to another), so things that happen have been building, but you get a bit of whiplash.

The “devil returns” when Elias-Clark wants to buy Andy and Emily’s magazine, and Miranda Priestley is now the managing editor of everything at Elias-Clark. Except Miranda’s barely in the book and it’s Andy’s own people who end up screwing her over. Maybe Meryl Streep has ruined the “devil” for me, but everyone was being unreasonable and avoiding things, which was really annoying to read about it. They are all my age now, so the immaturity and ridiculousness was a bit much.

It was a quick read, but I didn’t really need to dip back into the “Devil” book universe the way I thought.

Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger

6952534This book had been on my list to read last year and I think I may have actually gotten it from the library at one point, but I only got through the first chapter before I had to take it back. While I was visiting my parents over Christmas, I saw that it was 50% at Barnes & Noble for the hardcover, so I scooped it up.

I really thought it was an interesting read. I’ve also been writing a novel with similar themes, so it was fun to see what seemed “universal” and what was so drastically different between hers and mine. The most interesting part to me was the current references – Facebook, Tiger Woods, Jonas Brothers, 27 Dresses, “Prison Break,” etc, etc. While it works for the right now, I can’t imagine those references holding up in five or ten years. Not that every book has to be timeless, but you could almost pinpoint the moment in time when it was written. Given that it was just last year, of course.

I didn’t think the ending was earned. I accidentally glanced at the last page when I was about 200 pages in and as the book went on, I kept wondering how on earth it was going to go from where I was to where it ended. Well, it gets there, but really not in a way that’s satisfying. But it’s a good read up until that point. 🙂

My favorite quote came from fairly early on in the book and it made me laugh out loud:

“Wait just a minute…” Her mother’s voice trailed off and it was momentarily replaced by Oprah’s before that, too, abruptly ended. “There we go.”
“Wow, you turned off Oprah. It must be important.”
“She’s interviewing Jennifer Aniston again. I can’t stand to listen to it anymore. She’s over Brad. She’s thrilled to be forty-whatever. She’s never felt better. We get it. Why do we have to keep talking about it?”

You go, Brooke’s mom!

American Girls About Town

923454I finished this book last week, but this is the first I’ve had time to actually write about it.

As I predicted, I really loved this collection of short stories. They go by very quickly and there were several that I wished had been turned into full-length novels. I could relate totally to some and not really at all to others, but they were well-written and just really fun reading. Some of the subject matter was the light, fluffiness you expect from these authors, but some was really dark and angsty.

The collection introduced me to some new authors to check out, which is always a plus. To sum up – check it out now!

Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger

426775I definitely liked this book better than Everyone Worth Knowing, but as usual, it just can’t compare to her first book. I didn’t expect it to, however, so I wasn’t disappointed.

It was a little hard for me to keep the characters straight until about halfway through the book. I mean, their personalities are all so different, but I just couldn’t keep the personalities straight with their names. So when she switches points of view, it would always take me a few pages to figure out which girl this was.

I didn’t really get into this book until tonight when I read from about page 70 to the end, first in the bath and then in bed with the television on. Some of the plots veered into “improbability” territory that it is so rampant in this genre (girl gets huge promotion or happens to run into famous person who then connects with awesome job, etc), but the rest of it was fairly grounded, so I forgave it. The ending was not expected at all, so I was pretty excited about that too. Ms. Weisberger will remain on my list of “favorite authors.”