on 26 February 2006
I picked up ‘Everyone Worth Knowing’ because I wanted a fun chick-lit book to chill out to after a bout of reading quite heavy books about the Holocaust. While it started out as fun and chilled I found finishing this book more a mission than a pleasure.
The story centers on Bettina Robinson (Bette). She works 80hr weeks at a safe boring job in a bank, a job which she decides to jack in when her annoying boss gives her one pep-talk too many. After several weeks of lazing on her couch she decides to get a job and ends up working as a party organizer for Kelly & Company. All of a sudden she’s propelled into the realms of the super-rich where her job is to party and be seen in the hottest nightspots Manhattan has to offer. Before long she goes from reading the gossip columns to being in the gossip columns for her ‘relationship’ with the notorious British playboy Philip Weston.
While Bettes boss, Kelly, is loving seeing her Company’s name in the news thanks to Bettes ‘relationship’ with a notorious playboy, Bettes own hippy parents are totally aghast at the antics of their daughter. Then Bettes somewhat celebrity columnist uncle Will gets dragged into the gossip columns, right around the time that best friend Penelope decides to head off to LA with her trust-fund fiancé. And poor Bette is left on her lonesome with only the super-rich A-list party crowd to keep her company.
While the author tries to make you feel sorry for Bette and how a life of partying and rubbing shoulders with the A-list is so tough it just annoyed me. Bette to me just came across as a selfish, attention-seeking blonde who would whinge no matter what job she had. Poor dopey Penelope is just such a cliché as was the plot of Sammy who goes from zero to hero in no time at all. Oh please!
This book was a true light-weight with no real plot to it. I found it mildly amusing to start with but eventually just grew tired of the ‘poor me’ story-line. My advice - pick up a Cathy Kelly book instead.
"Going out is part of your job now, just remember that!" squeals one of the characters in Lauren Weisberger's second novel, "Everyone Worth Knowing." As with her much-hyped first novel, this is a boo-hoo-poor-li'l-me slice of chick-lit, bemoaning how very tough it is to be live the exalted life. Oh, stop whining.
Bette Robinson quits her tedious job when her boss (think Lumbergh from "Office Space") annoys her one time too many. At first, she's confused about what to do next, and being a gossip columnist with her gay uncle is not exactly her idea of a great job. But then she falls in with a different kind of "journalism" -- at a PR and party planning firm.
At first, Bette is intoxicated by the wild nightlife of A-listers and clubs, and is rescued by a hot-yet-arrogant British "Nightlife Adonis." Soon SHE is in the gossip columns. Unfortunately, her new job threatens to derail life with those she loves -- her hippie parents, who want something better for her, and the hot bouncer she's falling in love with.
Someone needs to tell Wisberger that a guilty pleasure is no fun if the author gets sanctimonious about it. Sure, cater to people's love of the high life, wild parties and even throw in a moral or two about the shallowness of fame. But if the author has actually lived it, then moaning how very terrible it is to be famous, pretty and well-paid will only be annoying.
Much of the middle of this book exists just to tie the end and beginning together; Weisberger tries to cover up the lack of a real plot with lots of topless costume parties, celebrity name-dropping, drugs and a contrived subplot about a pal marrying her trust-fund loser. It takes some special writing to redeem a plot full of cliches and tabloid fodder, and this is not special writing.
And Bette is not the heroine to redeem it either -- she hardly even has opinions of her own, let alone a personality. Her self-righteous hippie parents at least have a quirky appeal, even if her boyfriends and pals are cardboard cutouts. And someone needs to tell Weisberger that it is not cute, clever or funny to name a gay pal (even an uncle) "Will."
"Everyone Worth Knowing" comes across as an attempt at self-justification by someone who has been there, yet doesn't want to admit that it was fun. Like a drunken one-night stand -- sloppily done and unmemorable. Once it's done, you'll wonder what you were thinking.
on 31 July 2007
While The Devil Wears Prada was cutting edge, fresh and scandalous, Everyone Worth Knowing was tried, true and predictable. Here's the premise: Young New Yorker, fabulously beautiful, but doesn't know it; Super talented, but bad job; Great connections to other fabulous people, but doesn't seem to care; Men who like her, but really don't act like it. It seems to have been just a reworked version of 'Devil' or, incredibly, this book really reminded me of Something Borrowed (which was a fantastic book). Regardless of this predictability, 'Everyone Worth Knowing' was okay to read because we like stuff like this. It's fun, it's easy to read, and it requires no cognitive thinking skills. It's just that if you're looking for something new and different- it wasn't there. I had a really hard time envisioning the main character, Bette, and I don't think it was because she wasn't described well. What we read was that she was smart, beautiful and talented, but that these traits were unnoticed, unrevealed and undiscovered. As much as Lauren Weisberger tried to bring those things out of her- her visage just didn't manifest itself to me. 'Everyone Worth Knowing' is an okay book that would be an easy, quick read on a plane trip, because if you got distracted, it wouldn't be hard to just jump back in and keep reading- it does not require a lot of thought to process this book. Recommended if you don't have anything else to read.
on 4 February 2008
I've seen some bad reviews for this book and I really can't understand why?! I'm not very well read on chick-lit so maybe those that are will see whats coming from the end of the first page but i was completely hooked! And i love all things New York which just happens to be the setting.
it can only be classed as chick-lit but as long as you know what you're getting, you can't go wrong.
I thought it was great.
on 10 October 2006
I really enjoyed reading this book. I think part of the appeal for me was that it's set in Manhattan, which I find to be a fascinating city. I could relate to the superficial club scene, as I live in London and I laughed out loud at quite a few of the self-obsessed characters that you often find in PR and Media here in London.
I found the central character of Bette to be the least interesting part of the book. Her surrounding characters were more interesting and fun. I felt the ending was dragged out for far too long and her love interest was a bit sickly (especiall the ending).
Not as good as The Devil Wears Prada, but a nice, light, entertaining and fun book.
on 15 July 2016
The Devil Wears Prada was a massive hit for the author, and of course turned into the marvellous movie with Meryl Streep and Anne Hattaway. Ambitious young woman in the big city, looking to break into high energy world of fashion, journalism, PR. Over time finds job not quite what was envisaged, loses herself and her friends in her new world, crisis time, leaves the business, finds new and better direction in life, refinds self and friends. Amen.
Crikey, why not try that formula again in another novel! Be onto another winner. Maybe.... Set in New York (again), Bette is unhappy in her banking job, dumped by her boyfriend, best friend just engaged to the worst possible man, all first world problems. In a moment of madness she chucks her job, and after spending time moping around feeling sorry for herself, her high profile journalist uncle introduces her to a PR wonder woman, big cheese of her own PR company that does stuff for 'everyone worth knowing'. Bette is immediately thrown into the world of the very rich, the very upwardly mobile, celebrities, socialites, wannabes, mostly unpleasant bitchy backstabbing wastes of space. Yet somehow Bette is a resounding success in this new job, somehow manages to avoid the drug taking that everyone else is doing, doesn't have any sex, falls in love with a bouncer, and remains a nice person. Gee that sounds realistic!
She has plenty of obstacles to face - New York's sexiest man, a gossip columnist who won't leave her alone, a boss who wants to keep seeing her in said gossip column, keeping her sleep quota up, upgrading her image - so many challenges! The crisis, when it comes, is complete and utter chaos, almost as good as giving Meryl Streep the brush off in Prada! But with Hugh Hefner and bunny girls instead. Really all quite hilarious, very contrived, perfect pool side holiday reading which is where I read it!
But way better than the book are the online reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. Don't people love to trash and tear things apart! I know it isn't prize winning literature, but there are way worse books out there than this one. And who doesn't like a bit of chick lit to giggle over and lose oneself in.
Try this for size - "If you thought Devil Wears Prada was insipid, wait until you read this vomitous waste of valuable wood pulp, time, eyestrain and anxiety (the latter due to agitated anticipation of the novel's anticlimactic denouement)."
Or this one - "One of the worst books I've ever read. Stereotypical characters, dull plot, predictive and anticlimactic ending and superficial world building. The dialogues were unrealistic and immature. And don't even let me start describing this dull and pathetic excuse for a "love story" or spectacular failure of love triangle. Everything is horrible about this book."
Such vitriol for a piece of lightweight fiction! I liked it.
on 19 April 2006
I really LIKED this book, not loved it, but hey i really liked it. I was disappointed that no one found out the truth about some stuff etc and we had so little time at the end after the bday party but like i said, i LIKED it. I would buy it for an aeroplane trip, or sumthin for a bit of fun
on 30 October 2005
I would have enjoyed this book more, if I hadn't already read The Devil Wears Prada. There was a similar theme - young New York woman allows the demands of her job to come in between her and her friends and family - and another dramatic exit from the job when the crisis point is reached.
Having said that, it was a good read: Lauren Weisberger is a talented writer, and her stories have just the right amount of glamour to keep the interest level up without being over the top or unbelievable. I would recommend this book, but leave some time between reading this and her first novel.
on 19 March 2006
This was an enjoyable book that is worth reading. At first I thought it was too similar to her previous book but I soon forgot about that as I got more into it. It's interesting, quite funny and is also enjoyable because it doesn't require much concentration so would be great light summer reading!. It's worth buying and i've read much worse before!.
on 21 December 2007
Exactly the same plot as her last book, The Devil Wears Prada, girl falls into new job, gets sucked into social scene or will lose job, cancels arrangements with friends/family at short notice etc etc. A slightly more polished version however than last time, possibly giving rise to a slight hope that with a change of plot the next book might be better