©2004 Emily Giffin; (P)2009 Macmillan Audio
This story just left me feeling cold. The characters and story were well written but I was looking for something a little more "feel good" and this wasn't it.
A romance based on cheating is a hard sell anyway and it's hard to stand up for the protagonist when she isn't taking responsibility for her actions and is constantly rationalizing them by pointing out what a jerk her friend is.
The friend is selfish, so it was disgruntling to find myself feeling bad for her. The boyfriend was weak and I couldn't get on board for someone so spineless, and Rachel, the lead, just seemed to be trying to show how much more she deserved the guy.
This stuff happens in real life. The story is a much more realistic version than what I wanted it to be but, in real life, I avoid these people.
Thoroughly enjoyed the entertaining story --- I actually looked forward to my hour-long commute so I could listen to it. On top of that, the reader, Jennifer Wiltsie, was terrific --- great job with all the voices.
I'm looking forward to the sequel, Something Blue, but just wish I could find the unabridged version so I can listen to the entire story.
First, the good: Jennifer Wiltsie is a great narrator.
Now, everything else: The people in this book are universally horrible. The lead character--Rachel--is a spineless victim who spends most of the book moaning about things that she has the power to change. Dexter (Rachel's beloved) is a cowardly cheater who continually makes decisions that mark him as stupid and morally deficient. And Darcy? Darcy is written to be 100% vile and unappealing, and it never makes sense why anyone would engage her in conversation, let alone be her best friend or propose to her. Also notable is that this book takes place in an alternate universe in which adultery is just something you do on the way to true love. I spent most of my listening time rolling my eyes and saying "Are you kidding me?" out loud to myself.
If you're looking for quality chick lit, skip over to "Garden Spells" by Sarah Addison Allen, "Tara Road" by Maeve Binchy, or any Marian Keyes book, and forget that you were ever on this review page.
The narration by Jennifer Wiltsie is the only thing I enjoyed about this booked. I read this booking thinking that it would explain to me why I would like a character that has an affair with her best friend's fianc??. On the surface this character is not likeable and I thought the book would give her some likeable depth that I could buy in to. It didn't. I hated her more with every chapter and almost stopped listening to the book all together. Rachel whines and complains about being a victim through the entire book. I just felt that if you lie on the floor, you shouldn't complain about being stepped on. Rachel chose her path and could change it but she just blames her unhappiness on Darcy. Plus the writer does everything possible to make sure you dislike the Darcy character; as Darcy is clearly self indulgent and self centered. Then Rachel's friends that are practically gleeful at her betrayal of Darcy mainly because of how Darcy treated Rachel in grade school...COME ON! This book tries to justify deep betrayal with trivial nonsense and it just didn't work for me. Don???t waste a credit on this one; I wish I had read the reviews before I did.
Say something about yourself!
A lot of chick lit involves wacky misadventures with larger-than-life heroines. "Something Borrowed" could have very easily followed suit (I'm picturing Rachel and Dex hiding behind planters to avoid Darcy.) Thankfully, wacky misadventures are not Giffin's style and it's one of the reasons why she's the best chick lit author writing today. That's not to say there's anything wrong with madcap plots and bold heroines (I'm looking at you, Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series.) But there's something to be said about the serious way Giffin approaches the topic. Rachel is jeopardizing her lifelong friendship with Darcy by sleeping with Dex. But as she analyzes her friendship with Darcy, Rachel sees that maybe things aren't as cut-and-dry as one might imagine. I thought their friendship - for better or for worse - was incredibly realistic. And yes, the ending was a bit predictable but there were still a few surprises along the way.
I loved the writing. Giffin doesn't get bogged down in extraneous details and as a listener, there's nothing that causes me to lose focus on a story faster than a long-winded description of a room or someone's outfit.
I also loved the narration. Jennifer Wiltsie does an excellent job of capturing the different characters' voices. When Rachel speaks about Darcy, you can hear the barely contained jealousy in her voice. Darcy is loud, brash, and a little whiny, just as I imagined.
If you loved this as much as I did, you'll definitely want to listen to "Something Blue" and the rest of Emily Giffin's novels. She worked cameos of characters from "Something Borrowed" into "Baby Proof", "Love the One You're With", and "Heart of the Matter" that give you a glimpse into their futures. It's one of my favorite things about any given Giffin book!
To keep it simple. I was looking for a book that would make me fall in love with the two main characters. I wanted to be glad they had done everything they could to be together after they found each other. Instead I found them weak, and whinny. Who wants a hero who won't stand up for himself, do the right thing by heroine (without having something happen to him first), and is too afraid to be with the woman he loves? Unless you like that kind of hero, don't waste your money.
I read this book a few years ago and I loved it. I really enjoyed the audio book too. It's bringing me back to the summer I first read the book. The reader is really great and is good at engaging you. Some great laugh out loud moments too.
WOW, this was great! Love the characters, the storyline, of course my main reason why I selected certain books is becuase of good voices by the narrator. Awesome! Can't wait for the movie
I listened to the successor "Something Blue" first. But there's no order required: Both books are stand-alone novels. I enjoyed this one as well: It has everything you expect from this genre. Darcy wouldn't be my best friend and Dex is a bit too perfect, yet, if you're looking for some distraction from reality I can recommend it.
Narration good but at times a bit imposing.
I don't know what it is about Emily Giffin's books, but I am always hooked from the first minute. Maybe because she includes references to Andy Gibb, the Brady bunch, or any one of a million things I remember from my youth? Or maybe it is just a good story, interesting characters? While I know it is "chick lit", it is a cut above the rest of the genre. Good narration, too.
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