The Devil Wears Prada

Common Sense Media says

Amid fun details, teens might miss message.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Questionable message about female body image throughout. Also, main character sacrifices dignity to follow orders of arrogant boss.

Violence

Main character's best friend is in a car accident when drunk and ends up in coma.

Sex

A 20-something girlfriend sleeps with boyfriend, another has multiple casual sex partners. Other characters describe gay sexual relationships and sleeping with someone while away for the weekend. Descriptions of "hard bodies."

Language

"F--k," "s--t," "goddamn," "loser," "bitch."

Consumerism

Designer names everywhere, Starbucks, hotel names, restaurants, etc.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking as social activity. Drunk friend in auto accident. Reference to smoking crack.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book -- which was adapted for a movie by the same name -- provides teens a more than adequate glimpse into the shallow world of top fashion. Characters aspire to be skeletally thin and look down upon anyone wearing clothes off the rack. The protagonist's boss also berates her abilities and criticizes her physical appearance in ways that are shocking, blunt and deliberately hurtful. Young women and men drink excessively, to the point of injury; have casual sex; and at times swear like sailors.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Recent college graduate Andrea Sachs lands a job as assistant to editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly at fashion's top-notch Runway magazine. Though she knows nothing about fashion, she hears that this is a stepping stone to any job in the publishing world. She endures verbal abuse, running mundane errands for Miranda, party planning, babysitting, and along the way feels very sorry for herself. Her friend Lily and boyfriend Alex are slipping away from her as she starts to become more entrenched in the fashion world. She ends up flying with Miranda to Paris for fashion week only to learn of Lily's near death, alcohol-induced accident. When confronted by Miranda, Andrea finally gives it to her and leaves Paris and the job. She ends up connecting with a editor of a magazine who is a former Miranda assistant, but more importantly learns a valuable coming-of-age lesson.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Protagonist Andrea Sachs is learning a life-long lesson about the ultimate virtue in being true to yourself despite potential professional sacrifices. Adult readers know this from the start. But teens curious about the world of New York fashion and this look into the inner operations of clothing designers, stylists, models, and photographers may be too caught up in the glitz to catch the author's point.

The book has a fun premise, but it's a complicated choice for teens, who may miss out on the message embedded here. Unfortunately, by the time the main character does learn her lesson, she has become fairly unsympathetic.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the allure of this book. Why has it been such a success? Is the author trying to have it both ways by attracting readers with the same glitz she claims to be criticizing?

  • Given that the author really worked at Vogue under Anna Wintour, is it fair to write with such disdain about a real experience and a real person? Is this book fiction -- or a stab in the back?

Book details

Author:Lauren Weisberger
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House
Publication date:July 31, 2006
Number of pages:360
Publisher's recommended age(s):15 - 17
Read aloud:15
Read alone:15

This review of The Devil Wears Prada was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

I loved this book.

This is one of my favorite books ever. I read it three times. I could not put it down. Some chilren may not comperhend the story line if not older. I can tell that the book was created for an older aduiance.
Teen, 13 years old Written bytennistay94 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
It's a great book, but the use of rude language is quite extensive. Appropriate for teens 13 and up. Great book though!
Teen, 13 years old Written bycvt75@aol.com April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

LOVED IT

amazing acting and everything else that could be amazing! a definate perfect choice for ANY occasion!

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