Friday, June 3, 2011

Book Review: Something Borrowed

Book 16/25 in the 2011 Reading Challenge.  Date completed: June 3, 2011.

Something Borrowed.  Huh.  Not as disastrously horrendous as Safe Haven, but damn close.  I gave it a Goodreads rating of two stars.

My friend recommended this read to me - she enjoyed it for it's lightheartedness and simplicity.  I don't know what I was expecting, I have never read any of Emily Giffin's other books, but this was not enjoyable for me.

Something Borrowed is the story of Rachel and Darcy - long-time best friends and polar opposites.  Rachel is the typical good girl.  Good friend, good daughter, works hard, got good grades in school, average looks...  Your basic girl-next-door.  Darcy, on the other hand, was born with a silver spoon in her mouth.  She's inevitably always the prettiest girl in her social circles, skates by on her popularity and looks alone and has everything handed to her.

Rachel has just turned thirty - a couple of months before Darcy - and is feeling down because as a child she assumed she'd be married with children by age thirty.  Instead, she is unattached, living in a studio apartment, working at a job she hates, and helping Darcy plan the perfect wedding to her perfect beau of seven years, Dex.

Long story short - and I don't think this is actually a spoiler, because it's all pretty much summed up in the movie previews - Rachel winds up sleeping with Dex.

I'm no fan of infidelity (though I do subscribe to the notion that you "can't break up a happy home"), but I was less disturbed by the subject matter of this book than I was annoyed with the characters in it.  I feel like Emily Giffin must have spent a lot of time trying to make Darcy as obnoxious and insidious as possible so that the reader could justify Dex and Rachel's duplicity.

And then there's Rachel.  She is absolutely spineless.  The book's from her point-of-view, and she spends all of her monologues justifying the affair and her "ultimate betrayal", defending (and trash-talking) Dex and Darcy alternately, sneaking around, and feeling sorry for herself.  Ohhh boo hoo I am soooo in LOVE with Dex and he is stringing me along.  Waaaahhhh, I love him so much it hurts.  Darcy is so selfish!  Darcy is bridezilla!  Darcy thinks the world revolves around her!  Darcy is the most loyal friend on the planet!  Dex is so handsome.  I love Dex.  I hate Dex.  I wish Dex would call off the wedding.  I can't bear the thought of losing my friendship with Darcy.  I wish Dex was here to bang.  He is sooo sexy.  I can't believe Dex is going home to Darcy.  I can't believe he had SEX with HIS FIANCÉ!!  The nerve!!

She's absolutely insufferable.  You want to like her but at the same time she is just so extremely obnoxious and idiotic and, well, PATHETIC that you can't bear to.  Well, I couldn't anyway.

And then there's Dex.  I can't tell you very much about Dexter's character because it's almost nonexistent.  All I know about Dex is that he is handsome and good in bed.  Other than that, I've got nothing.  He's the ghosty kind of character I recall reading about here:
First off, the author creates a main character which is an empty shell. Her appearance isn't described in detail; that way, any female can slip into it and easily fantasize about being this person. I read 400 pages of that book and barely had any idea of what the main character looked like; as far as I was concerned she was a giant Lego brick.
 Dex is a douchebag.  He's having his cake and eating it too.  He's stringing along two equally stupid (though stupid in different ways) girls.  I don't know, maybe he has beer-flavored nether-parts, but I doubt it.  There doesn't seem to be anything genuinely special about his character.

This book went on forever.  I agonized over the nearly 300 pages before I hit the halfway point.  The drama of the affair between Dex and Rachel just drags on and on to the point that by the time the book finally ends you feel completely relieved.

This was a New York Times Bestseller?  And worthy of making into a movie?  Starring Kate Hudson?? (Who, by the way, in no way ACTUALLY resembles the Darcy in the book - way to stretch, Mr. Director-man.)  Definitely not impressed, and definitely won't be reading it's follow up, Something Blue - the story from Darcy's perspective.

Ok.  I'll probably watch the movie but only for the sake of comparison, and let it be known that I have very low expectations for it.  This one was just not for me.

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