When Life Gives You Lululemons Review
by Lauren Weisberger
Published in 2018
A loose continuation of The Devil Wears Prada books, this now follows Miranda Priestly’s other assistant, Emily, and her life in LA years after she left Miranda Priestly. I was nervous to get this book since the sequel Revenge Wears Prada really didn’t impress me much. However, since I really enjoyed Emily’s dry and cynic humor in the previous books, I had to get When Life Gives You Lululemons to see how Emily was doing years after leaving Runway and The Plunge.
When Life Gives You Lululemons is told from the perspectives of three women: Emily, Miriam, and Karolina. Years after the events of Revenge Wears Prada, Emily has been working as a PR agent in Los Angeles with her husband Miles. She has been steadily losing clients to a newer agent, Olivia Belle, and after her husband decides to take a business trip in Hong Kong, Emily decides it’s time to visit her friend Miriam in Greenwich, Connecticut. Miriam used to work as a lawyer in New York until her husband sold his business for millions and they both decided to move to Connecticut to raise their three children. Miriam feels incredibly bored living in the suburbs and worries her husband is cheating. Karolina is a friend of Miriam’s who’s been charged with a DUI after getting pulled over by police who see that she’s driving around children and has several open champagne bottles in her backseat. After being released from jail, Karolina finds that her husband, who is a governor and has dreams of presidency, has kicked her out of the house and publicly announced that he’s leaving her for recklessly putting the children’s lives at risk.
After Karolina’s husband starts dating Regan Whitney, the daughter of a former president, as well as keeping his son away from Karolina, who raised him since he was 2 years old, she decides to follow Miriam’s advice and hire Emily as a PR agent. Miranda Priestly has been asking Emily to return to Runway and Miles has been asking her to come to Hong Kong, but she instead decides to take the offer to work as Karolina’s PR agent, even if it means elongating her stay in suburban Greenwich, Connecticut where all moms wear athleisure instead of couture. She takes Karolina and Miriam on a spa retreat in Utah to pretend that Karolina is going to rehab as they begin planning to better Karolina’s public image in this dispute.
Miriam decides to represent Karolina as her divorce lawyer where they discover that her husband had a vasectomy. Karolina had been taking multiple fertility treatments after her husband suggested that she couldn’t have children. Karolina also reveals his biggest secret: he crashed his car into a four-year old girl in his teens, but his family paid off the family to cover this up. Emily takes this to Miranda and agrees to work for Runway again if Miranda helps blackmail Emily’s husband into giving Karolina custody. Karolina also tells Regan how her husband led her to believe she was barren even though he had a vasectomy, and Regan shares the truth to the press about his secrets.
Final Rating & Thoughts: 7/10
While this one is still not as great as the first book, The Devil Wears Prada, When Life Gives You Lululemons more than makes up for the disappointment of Revenge Wears Prada as we get to see more about Emily’s life and character in a way we had never gotten to see before. Emily has always been a side character in the first two books and is seen as this snob that might have a conscious somewhere in her size 2 body, but we don’t get to see it very often when she is bossing Andy around and trying out a new diet to fit the next couture. In this novel, the reader gets to read every single thought Emily has and learn that most of the time she lacks a filter and says what’s on her mind anyways. I feel like it completes fits how the character has been in the past and creates consistency, but we also get to see a side of her that we didn’t see before as a caring and almost maternal figure as she tries to help out her friends.
In terms of story, I felt like this book was captivating and interesting and I found myself wanting to read more and more about what’s going on, but I felt like there was some meaningless sub-plots that occurred during the book that didn’t really add to the story. The first that comes to mind was Emily flirting with another man during her stay in Connecticut because she feels “disconnected” to her husband. While I am sure this is a valid reason, we don’t really get to see much into Miles or their marriage during the book so I found myself not really caring if she was flirting and not really caring when she has this pivotal epiphany that she loves her husband more than anything. I also didn’t really care much for the drama between Miriam and her husband as well about him potentially having an affair and it ended up just being a romantic surprise for her. I feel like they had such strong material in Karolina’s story and them working as support to help her that it became muddled with their side stories.
Overall, I would still definitely recommend this book to others, especially if you were as big a fan of The Devil Wears Prada as my mom and I. It is a funny read filled with some good old fashioned drama and it just makes you feel good to read about these three women who have each other’s back during this difficult time. I loved the plot twist where it seemed like Karolina’s husband was planning this in order to date someone more suitable for a future president and found myself rooting for Miranda to blackmail him because really what a dick move.