Editor's Lit: July

Updated: 2 Jul 2013

Are you seeing red? Well, the devil’s back, Prada heels intact and horns glinting through her coiffed hair. As luck would have it, two imperfect angels stopped Su Aziz from reaching into the pages to strangle the evil antagonist – that, and the 25 per cent Borders’ discount voucher that comes with both books. Phew!

Yes, dear Miranda Priestly’s back with a vengeance in ‘Revenge Wears Prada’ (RM32.90/Simon & Schuster) by Lauren Weisberger. This follow up to ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ sees the world-hated antagonist go soft for babies and pregnant women. Hang on, stop that thought. She hasn’t lost her edge but this is a small facet of the big picture in terms of her personality we didn’t know from the first book. A rather disturbing one, if you ask me.

‘Revenge’ is hot off the press, apparently, awaited eagerly by many fans of Weinberger and the film of her first book where Meryl Streep played the much-feared character – and where it was rumoured how Anna Wintour, after whom the character Streep potrayed was fashioned, had walked out half way through the premier. If chic-lit is your preferred genre, be relieved to know that Weisberger does not disappoint with this one.

Her characters have developed within the decade since we met them in the first book. The protagonist, Andy, has matured. She’s upped and married into an old New York family, got knocked up, had long since left her life-draining position as Miranda’s assistant and is co-founder of a successful glossy wedding magazine. So, what else can go wrong, right?

For starters, Miranda’s world-class publishing company wants to acquire the little wedding mag and she has offered a whole lot of millions for it. However, there’s something in the contract that’s making Andy hesitate. To find out what is it, I’m afraid, you’d just have to pick up the book and read it through. To add to that, Andy’s perfect husband betrays her in a big way – and no, he didn’t cheat on her, that’ll be too easy – while she copes with a mother-in-law who thinks her unsuitable and re-evaluating romantic feelings for her first love. Drama, drama, drama!

So, let’s dial back the drama a notch with ‘Eleanor & Park’ (RM35.90/Orion) by Rainbow Rowell. It’s a book about flawed young adults but adults who are young at heart will definitely enjoy this one. Rowell’s raw, honest style and her quirky characters will transport you back to the days of first love, awkward but lovely moments and the kiss that future kisses after that will have to rival.

She’s the odd new girl in town with whom he shares his bus seat with. It was dislike at first sight. At the start, she deems him as the ‘stupid Asian kid’ in her mind while he, as days bleed into weeks, shares his comic books with her. It doesn’t stop there, he starts making her mix tapes for her to listen to and collects AA batteries for her Walkman because she can't afford them.

As this odd but no less sweet courtship progresses between them, you’ll discover not only your funny bone but also her family life that’s troubled on so many levels – lack of money to the point of not affording even a toothbrush, abusive step father, beaten down mother and a bus load of younger siblings. His love for her, after unravelling all this along with her mismatched and ill-fitting clothes and unkempt red hair, is unshaken.

While her mix tape collection grows, thanks to him, their bond strengthens and this cements their romantic feelings. To quote the book, ‘They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you’re young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose’.

Then drama hits the fan. Circumstances force their separation and here’s where the book will not let you go, through tears (and a small smile) you’ll read on, hoping for a miracle, a change of events that’ll bring them back together. The ending? It’s surprising, ‘painfully real’ and as pleasurable as a warm blanket on a stormy night in Penang.

BORDERS’ DISCOUNT VOUCHER FOR JULY 2013 
Get 25 per cent discount on ‘Revenge Wears Prada’ and/or ‘Eleanor & Park’ by either printing out this voucher or flashing this page on your phone to a Borders’ cashier upon payment. This offer is only valid in Borders Queensbay Mall until July 31, 2013. Printed or digital coupon is valid for one-time use only and is not valid with other promotions.

Tags: Books