Thursday, March 22, 2012

Book 8: "The Devil Wears Prada" by Lauren Weisberger

Think of the worst boss you ever had. Think of every ridiculous habit, every ridiculous demand, ever time you wanted to set the building on fire because of them. Now multiply that by, oh, a thousand, and you'll end up with Miranda Priestly, the villain of this book and one of the most hilariously evil characters I've ever read.

The story is told by Andrea Sachs, a perfectly normal girl who dreams of being a journalist. Almost by accident, she ends up working at a prestigious fashion magazine named Runway, as the second assistant to the Editor-in-Chief, Miranda Priestly. Even though she hates everything about her job (which she's constantly assured millions of girls would kill to have), she stays because she's been told that it could lead to work with an actual magazine. Though, holy crap, I'm not sure any job would be worth putting up with a nightmare like this.

The job is ridiculous. Miranda treats everyone like shit, basically because she can. She makes outrageous demands, throws money left and right to get everything her way, is sarcastic, shrill, infuriating. And it's kind of hilarious to read. I'd say it's completely unrealistic, but I'm sure there's people like that out there. Brr.

So, the book is really about Andrea's nightmare year in fashion. It's funny and definitely hooks you in, though there's some boring distractions here and there, like the side-plots involving the boyfriend and best friend. And there's times I find myself wanting to shake Andrea and force her to learn just a little bit about the magazine and fashion worlds and not whine so much. I'm sure I would, too, but, come on.

But aside from that, this is, more than anything, a fun read. One second you'll be sitting there thinking this is all ludicrous and impossible, and the next you'll be yelling at the book wanting to slap a fictional horrible boss. Beware the nasty flashbacks, is all I'm saying. I didn't love the book (the subject is a little silly for me), but I liked it quite a bit. Miranda Priestly will stay in my nightmares forever.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Books 6 and 7: "Kiss of the Highlander" and "The Dark Highlander" by Karen Marie Moning

Oh, boy. How do I get out of this one? How do I admit that I read not one, but two romance novels about sexy, sexy Highlanders who have racy adventures with plucky, virginal girls? I buck up, that's what. I sit my butt down and try to review them as quickly as possible so that we can all forget that this ever happened.


These two fine examples of ridiculously fun 'literature' are part of the cleverly titled "Highlander" series, where the basic premise is that there's a group of Highlanders who are druids and possess ancient, secret magic. They use it to travel through time and encounter sexy, plucky girls who change their destinies. And by that I mean 'Have lots of sexy with them and make them happy Highlanders". It's all outrageous and ridiculous and terribly fun to read.

The first, Kiss of the Highlander, features Chloe, the (you guessed it) sexy and plucky 21st Century chick who takes a trip to Scotland to find a guy to take her virginity. No, I'm serious. She actually says she's looking for a "Cherry Picker". YES. Those words are IN THE BOOK. So you get an idea how ridiculous it is. Anyway, she stumbles into a cave near a loch and finds Drustan, a super sexy Highlander who was put under a spell and has been asleep for 400 years. Awesome. So they have to figure out a way to get him back to his century, and they have fun (and sexy) adventures in the 20th Century.

The second book, The Dark Highlander, deals with Drustan's brother, Daegus. Spoiler alert (snerk): He used his magic powers to help Drustan and Chloe be together, and in the process somehow became a Dark Druid. He's now living in the 21st Century and is trying to find a way to keep from becoming a completely evil being or something. One thing that helps is having sex, because of course it does. So he runs into sexy, plucky Gwen and they're terribly attracted to each other. So he decides to take her to Scotland for some reason, where they have to try and get back in time to keep Daegus from turning evil. Or something. I honestly can't remember the details.

They're both equally ridiculous, and they're both damn good fun to read. There's all the stupid cliches of romances, but luckily the author has a great sense of humor about the whole thing. She knows it's silly and cliche, but she wants to have a good time writing it and for you to have fun reading them. And it works. They're two of the most fun romance novels I've read, and I'll confess it: there's some scenes that are incredibly sexy. Be warned though, they are graphic. Like maybe three steps away from flat-out pornographic. But really, that just makes them funnier.

So, I highly recommend these two pieces of fluff if you're looking for something completely harmless and fun to read. There's the usual hilarious dialogue, the "Aye, lass"es, the sex scenes and all the usual cliches. But the characters are fun and not completely stupid, and the plot is actually interesting. You'll probably crack up more than a few times, but I think that's actually intentional for once.

OK, now let's all forget this ever happened.

(Unless of course, you actually read them and want to talk about them, because I'm all up for that).