We review new books by Lauren Weisberger, Jennifer Vandever, and more

By Jennifer Armstrong and Clarissa Cruz
Updated September 30, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

The latest in Chick Lit

EVERYONE WORTH KNOWING
Lauren Weisberger (Simon & Schuster, $23.95)
Practical, plain Bette tires of her mundane banking job — so she quits to become a glitzy NYC party planner. Source of Angst She falls for a lowly bouncer, but is linked in print to a British heir/party boy by… Media Vixen Villain Vicious online gossip columnist ”Ellie Insider,” who seems to have it in for Bette — even implying she has her own Paris Hilton-style sex tape. Lowdown A ho-hum rehash of Weisberger’s The Devil Wears Prada without the devil — which was the juiciest part. C

THE BRONTE PROJECT
Jennifer Vandever (Shaye Areheart, $21)
Brontë scholar Sara is heartbroken when her Orwell scholar fiancé leaves her for a fellowship in France. Source of Angst The fiancé takes up with a swimsuit model, and her own studies stall when they’re deemed less sexy than those of… Media Vixen Villain Claire Vigee, a visiting ”Princess Diana scholar” famous for her confessional memoir about bedding a politician, who mocks Sara’s lack of witty one-liners at an academic panel. Lowdown A sweet read even a Wuthering Heights fan can love. A-

WHAT DO YOU DO ALL DAY?
Amy Scheibe (St. Martin’s, $21.95)
Former NYC career gal Jennifer copes as a stay-at-home mom after hubby Thom takes a job in Singapore. Source of Angst A busybody mother-in-law and competitive ”Park Streeters” who treat their kids’ birthday parties like red-carpet events. Media Villain Thom’s art-dealer boss tries to convince Jennifer that Thom’s cheating overseas. Lowdown Easy to dismiss as an I Don’t Know How She Does It knockoff, Scheibe wins us over with honest — and funny — observations of parenting minutiae. B+

WISH
Melina Gerosa Bellows (New American Library, $12.95)
Driven Bella grows from a Cher-loving 8-year-old to a 15-year-old Lolita to a 39-year-old entertainment journalist, trying on boyfriends along the way. Source of Angst Body-image issues, family dramas, and failed relationships make her question if she’ll ever find happiness. Media Vixen Villain Bella’s demanding editor, nicknamed ”The Skunk” for her overpowering Giorgio perfume. Lowdown A refreshingly real heroine makes us wish this three-decades-long journey didn’t end. A

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