Read Remark Book Review - Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam

Book Review: Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam

One-sentence summary:

Sarah and Lauren find their longtime friendship unraveling in this book by Rumaan Alam.


Sarah is rich and Lauren is pretty. Once, they came together to create a whole. Now they find themselves on divergent paths, crossing mainly out of habit.

I liken Rich and Pretty in my mind to a rousing round of ring around the rosie. You begin with almost hysterical, intoxicating laughter as you spin each other round and round and round, clinging tightly to each other’s hands as if the world depends on it. Eventually, as you keep turning, it grows tiresome and the firm grasp you had on each other grows weaker and weaker until, exhausted, you fall to the ground with exhausted wisps of giggles and at least a touch of nausea.

Sarah and Lauren have been spinning around each other for so long they forgot to let go. And now, they’re surprised to find their grasp has loosened and perhaps both secretly wish the game would just end already.

It’s incredibly depressing, the slow extinction of a friendship.

Rich and Pretty made a lot of “best of 2016” lists. It even made The Morning News’s 2017 Tournament of Books Long List (which is 100% why I read it). While it’s a good book, I wonder if I’m missing something? Is there something extra about this book I’m looking past?

I do sometimes read books about the ultra-rich and their petty ways, almost as an anthropologist studying a different culture. I half thought this book might be another of that sort.

This is not the case. It isn’t a shallow slice of uber-wealthy life. It’s a look at a friendship that’s finished its run. Even then, though, is it a revelatory best book of the year?

I hate to throw shade on a book. HATE IT.

Authors work hard at their crafts, and do much more than I do with this blog, where I get to come in after the fact and pass judgment.

The fact remains, this book is good, but maybe the accolades were a bit too heavily granted?

This review fills me with guilt. Rich and Pretty is a good book. It’s not great, but it is good.

I won’t hesitate in recommending it, but I will be reserved in any over-the-top gushing.