Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
From the author’s website:
Something Borrowed tells the story of Rachel, a young attorney living and working in Manhattan. Rachel has always been the consummate good girl—until her thirtieth birthday, when her best friend, Darcy, throws her a party. That night, after too many drinks, Rachel ends up in bed with Darcy’s fiancé.
Although she wakes up determined to put the one-night fling behind her, Rachel is horrified to discover that she has genuine feelings for the one guy she should run from. As the September wedding date nears, Rachel knows she has to make a choice. In doing so, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren’t always neat, and sometimes you have to risk all to win true happiness. Something Borrowed is a phenomenal debut novel that will have you laughing, crying, and calling your best friend.
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I’ve given Emily Giffin‘s debut novel to several friends but I’ve never actually read it myself. It’s now a movie, though, and so I borrowed it from one of the friends I’d given it to and, well, wow. I devoured the book in a day and a half, thanks to a judicious amount of time spent riding the subway.
First off, I have to say that Something Borrowed was not what I expected. The pastel pink cover, the movie trailer, the cuteness of it all…I thought it was going to be fluffy rom-com. Instead, Something Borrowed is a thoughtful exploration of Rachel’s character and the rights and wrongs of relationships. I was predisposed not to like Rachel since I think cheating is a big no-no, if not the cardinal relationship breaker, but I found myself empathizing with her over the course of the novel. This actually made me a bit uncomfortable since hooking up with your best friend’s fiancé is not right, but Rachel’s pain and confusion make her a sympathetic character. And I like the fact that she knows it’s wrong. It gives the book a lot more pathos since Rachel’s not a vapid, cruel person; instead, she’s forced to examine herself and her relationships with Darcy and Dex (the fiancé). It also helps that Darcy’s not the greatest friend in the world. (Of course, this is not a viable reason to sleep with someone’s partner but it does make you feel bad for Rachel, who’s quite devoted to her lifelong friend, at least at first.)
In her debut novel, Emily Giffin has done a commendable job of creating believable characters with honest emotions and problems. I was never sure if Dex and Rachel were going to end up together, right up to the end, which made me desperate to keep reading. I also really liked the secondary characters, particularly Ethan and Hillary, who are frank but not overly judgmental when Rachel comes to them. Ethan was especially delightful and I hope he shows up in Something Blue, which is sitting in my TBR pile now. (It’s told from Darcy’s perspective and takes place after Something Borrowed.)