” As close as sisters for twenty years, Sarah and Lauren have been together through high school and college, first jobs and first loves, the uncertainties of their twenties and the realities of their thirties. Sarah, the only child of a prominent intellectual and a socialite, works at a charity and is methodically planning her wedding. Lauren—beautiful, independent, and unpredictable—is single and working in publishing, deflecting her parents’ worries and questions about her life and future by trying not to think about it herself. Each woman envies—and is horrified by—particular aspects of the other’s life, topics of conversation they avoid with masterful linguistic pirouettes. Once, Sarah and Lauren were inseparable; for a long a time now, they’ve been apart. Can two women who rarely see one other, selectively share secrets, and lead different lives still call themselves best friends? Is it their abiding connection—or just force of habit—that keeps them together? With impeccable style, biting humor, and a keen sense of detail, Rumaan Alam deftly explores how the attachments we form in childhood shift as we adapt to our adult lives—and how the bonds of friendship endure, even when our paths diverge.” – Rich and Pretty
Overall, I have a love/hate relationship with this book, and throughout the novel I had mixed feelings and could not tell if I wanted to go on or just give up and put the book down. It was a roller coaster of “do I like this book?” or “this book lacks purpose, so why am I still reading this?” I could not figure out if I wanted to finish this book since this book had so much hype, and everyone was talking about this being the book of the summer, or the debut novel of 2016, but I have to disagree, it is not the best novel I have read this year or the best debut I had read this year. There were parts of the book which I loved and think are a clever way of bringing issues to light, but something about the characters and their development through out the novel just rubbed me the wrong way. It is a story of two childhood best friends and how they ultimately drift apart due to life choices and that thing we all fear in the end; time. Time and the process of getting older not only changes us but also changes the relationships around us. I am still in contact with people I grew up with but our relationship has changed through the years, and it should. The things I loved when I was 9 are not the same things I love now; I am no longer interested in riding my cool purple mountain bike down to the pool without my parents, and collecting Pokemon cards. I have to admit, now that I am 30, I do not collect Pokemon cards or ride my bike to the pool; I collect books now and can drive my car either to the beach or pool if I need to. As we grown older, our hobbies, habits, relationships change right along with us.
Rumaan tried to bring to light the concept and understanding that our friendships are never the same, and they shouldn’t be. They should shift, change and evolve as we grow older. Rumaan shares an under lying message with his readers of how friendships are viewed in the 21st century. How we try so hard to keep our friendships the way they have always been, instead of allowing them to change and evolve as we do as individuals. The story is simple, and basic on the surface but after thinking it over, it is quite deep in a way that wouldn’t be obvious at first glance. Rumaan has taken the dynamic of the female relationship, and opening it up be interpreted by the people who witness the mess first hand in their every day lives. Women are now able to look at a childhood friendship from the outside and watch to see what will happen as the two friends grow up, and witness the outcome of what is to happen to the characters and their friendship. His work, yes this book was written by man, has done a profound viewing of what the female relationship looks like from a man’s perspective but written it in a way that it can be relatable to women.
I only have one qualm about the book; the writing or maybe the way the characters were speaking sounded a little pretentious. When I pictured how Lauren and Sarah would speak to each other, they spoke as “hipsters” would speak to each other, which annoys me beyond belief. It is just an air of being so much better than everyone else because they eat organic or they don’t do anything “mainstream”. I got that same vibe from Lauren and Sarah which made me not like them. It could be their “background” make them feel like they are entitled, which is a theme the millennial generation deals with. The idea that they feel entitled to everything even though they haven’t worked for it. I am trying not to go into a rant, but this is just the image that Lauren and Sarah give off. Also, the characters were annoying with what they did, show they acted around each other, and the decisions they made on a daily basis. This is probably why I have a love/hate relationship with this book. The themes are very profound and thought-provoking, touching on modern themes and sociological trends, but the characters make me hate people.
Rich and Pretty should be a book that women should read, whether you like it or not. It’s an eye-opening novel of how women in the modern world interact and build relationships. After reading this, I took a good look at the relationships around me and evaluated the ones that I needed to spend more time working on and other that needed to naturally die out. It was reassuring to know that not all my friendships were perfect and I promise they never will be because we are all human and flawed.
If you aren’t aware, I am giving away a copy of this book to my subscribers! If you haven’t entered the competition, you still can! Contest ends next Monday, and I will be picking a winner next Tuesday! Link here for giveaway rules and details!
Disclaimer: I was sent Rich and Pretty for free from Harpercollins for an honest review. This review is of my own work, and I did not copy or refer to any other reviewers/writers/bloggers for this post. All content provided on “A Comfy Chair” is for informational purposes only. I make no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. I will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. I will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.
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