Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger

Lauren Weisberger is one of the queens of chick lit- her first novel, The Devil Wears Prada, was a huge success and lead to a movie of the same name. Ever since then, she’s been trying to recapture the same Prada magic. Everyone Worth Knowing was good, Chasing Harry Winston I enjoyed (even if a lot of others didn’t) and now there’s Last Night at Chateau Marmont, which I bought without knowing a single detail of the plot.

I thought this book would be about celebrities, wild parties and shopping in LA. It does include all those things, but more as a sideline than the main plot. The plot focuses on Brooke, a dietician (yay for picking a heroine with a career) in New York, working furiously to support her struggling musician husband Julian as he tries to make an album that Sony want to publish. Brooke is constantly tired but has the utmost faith in Julian to make their dream come true. Because this is fiction, Julian’s wildest dreams do come true and he is catapulted to stardom overnight. Enter flying across the country, celebrity parties and paparazzi. Brooke’s work (which is very important to her) suffers as her role as Mrs Julian Adler increases (you can’t chuck a sickie when you’re attending the Grammys) and then the papparazzi deliver the final blow- Julian with a girl at Chateau Marmont. Does Brooke stand by him or give up the celebrity life?

I found Brooke’s character quite insipid and whiny. We’re told repeatedly how important her career is to her but she doesn’t come across that way. She accepts the belief of others readily and seems to be able to make few decisions unaided. A stronger female lead may have changed the ending of this novel. Julian, described as ‘John Mayer’-like (maybe a little too telling) comes across as increasingly insincere and again, incapable of making a decision, just going with the flow. This is what makes the ending unbelievable to me (sweet, but seemingly out of place for these characters).

There’s a lot of name and product dropping here but it doesn’t reach the heights of Prada for me.


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