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'Prada' latest: So not worth it

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Lauren Weisberger's The Devil Wears Prada was a debut novel that had everyone talking about poor Andrea Sachs and her boss from hell. Alas, Weisberger's sophomore effort, Everyone Worth Knowing, is a novel not worth knowing at all.

In fact, if you've read Prada, then you've already read a better-written, more interesting version of Everyone.

In Everyone, 27-year-old Bette Robinson gives up her wardrobe of neutral-colored pantsuits and her unsatisfying career as a banker, trading them in for Hudson jeans, Manolo Blahniks and what she expects to be an exciting job with a top New York public relations firm.

In Prada, which was a thinly veiled fictional account of Weisberger's experiences working for Vogue editor Anna Wintour, the tension builds as Runway magazine editor Miranda Priestly continuously tops her own atrocious behavior and readers lust wholeheartedly for her comeuppance. The only thing readers will lust for in Everyone is to get through it.

The plot is almost non-existent, and the characters are disengaging.

Though most readers can relate to having to deal with an unreasonable boss, it's just not that easy to relate to Everyone's self-absorbed, drug-taking, alcoholic, underweight, overindulged characters.

Even Bette's nemesis, a gossip columnist, is such a boring, flat (despite her implants) bad girl that it's hard to care what happens to her.

The only truly wonderful characters are Bette's hippie parents, and they aren't even an integral part of the story.

Readers need to either love, hate, empathize or sympathize with a novel's protagonist.

It doesn't happen here. We're expected to feel sorry for Bette because she allows a sloppy-drunk, spoiled, closet-gay rich boy to slobber on her and treat her badly.

And we're supposed to like her potential love interest Sammy and think it's understandable that he is a paid escort to a rich older woman because he's trying to save money.

Not even the revenge is very sweet.

In a world that thrives on scandal, the straw that breaks the antagonist's back is trivial at best.

Everyone is a major letdown because fans -- including this one -- were hoping for a novel as funny and endearing as The Devil Wears Prada.

Instead, Weisberger gives us a lackluster imitation that's a devil to plow through.

*To read an excerpt from

Everyone Worth Knowing,


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© Copyright 2004 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

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