Title: Chasing Harry Winston: A Novel
Author: Lauren Weisberger
Release Date: May 27, 2008
Genre: Chick Lit
Rating: 2 out of 5
From the back cover:
Emmy is newly single, and not by choice. She was this close to the ring and the baby she’s wanted her whole life when her boyfriend left her for his twenty-three-year-old personal trainer — whose fees are paid by Emmy. With her plans for the perfect white wedding in the trash, Emmy is now ordering takeout for one. Her friends insist an around-the-world sex-fueled adventure will solve all her problems — could they be right?
Leigh, a young star in the publishing business, is within striking distance of landing her dream job as senior editor and marrying her dream guy. And to top it all off, she has just purchased her dream apartment. Only when Leigh begins to edit the enfant terrible of the literary world, the brilliant and brooding Jesse Chapman, does she start to notice some cracks in her perfect life…
Adriana is the drop-dead-gorgeous daughter of a famous supermodel. She possesses the kind of feminine wiles made only in Brazil, and she never hesitates to use them. But she’s about to turn thirty and — as her mother keeps reminding her — she won’t have her pick of the men forever. Everyone knows beauty is ephemeral and there’s always someone younger and prettier right around the corner. Suddenly she’s wondering…does Mother know best?
These three very different girls have been best friends for a decade in the greatest city on earth. As they near thirty, they’re looking toward their future…but despite all they’ve earned — first-class travel, career promotions, invites to all the right parties, and luxuries small and large — they’re not quite sure they like what they see…
One Saturday night at the Waverly Inn, Adriana and Emmy make a pact: within a single year, each will drastically change her life. Leigh watches from the sidelines, not making any promises, but she’ll soon discover she has the most to lose. Their friendship is forever, but everything else is on the table. Three best friends. Two resolutions. One year to pull it off.
When I first read The Devil Wears Prada, I really liked it. Then came Everyone Worth Knowing, which I adored even more than The Devil Wears Prada. So it was with breathless anticipation that I awaited Lauren Weisberger’s newest novel, Chasing Harry Winston. My only question is: what happened?
Judging by the Amazon.com reviews, I’m not the only one asking this question. This book has none of the charm or appeal of Weisberger’s previous two novels. It is humorous, but has a vapid quality to it that seems to suck the enjoyment out of reading it.
The characters were a mixed bag. I actually really liked Leigh – she was an editor at a publishing company and a control freak. I could really relate to her and enjoyed reading about her. Her character development was satisfying; it’s always nice to watch a character you like become a stronger person. She was definitely my favorite character.
I was pretty indifferent to Emmy. She was fine, but I couldn’t really relate to her story, and her decision to sleep with one guy on every continent (excluding Antarctica) held no appeal for me. The character herself didn’t bother me though.
But then we come to Adriana. I seriously cannot remember ever disliking a character more. She was vapid, selfish, and completely irritating. She didn’t seem to have the capacity to be happy for her friends; every time something good happened to one of them, she would get upset. She also was jealous of them because she was just a poor trust fund baby and they had real jobs and were making a difference in the world. (Seriously, I’m not kidding – she drones on and on about this). Add that to the fact that she is obsessive about her appearance and thinks she is God’s gift to men – an entirely revolting character.
In fact, if it hadn’t been for Adriana, I probably would have thought Chasing Harry Winston was okay (not great, but maybe a 3 star or so). But the character seriously got under my skin to the point where I despised the entire book. And I was surprised by that, considering Weisberger’s talent usually lies in writing down-to-earth and relatable characters. I definitely don’t recommend this book to anyone – Leigh’s story is fun and she’s a good character, but Adriana’s horribleness overshadows any good the novel might contain. Here’s hoping that Weisberger’s next novel is a better read.