7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2010
This is a top-notch slice of chick lit from an author who writes very clearly and vividly about two friends and a summer where everything changes for them.
Rachel is a lawyer working in New York - hates her job, approaching thirty, no man in sight. She is best friends with Darcy, who has travelled through a charmed life - has a high-paid PR job she loves, still has a summer of being in her twenties and is about to be married to Dex, to whom she was introduced by Rachel. For Rachel's thirtieth Darcy arranges a party and proceeds to get royally drunk. When she is taken home, Rachel and Dex embark on a series of events that will have far-reaching consequences.
A lot of chick lit deals with infidelity, but this book takes you to the core of the issues. Should you tell? Do you actually love the guy? Why are you doing it? Should you/do you feel guilty? The story is told from a first person perspective and so we 'hear' Rachel's thoughts as she agonises over her actions. Consequently this book has a lot of depth and really causes you to identify with Rachel, despite the fact she is doing something she really shouldn't.
I simply could not put the book down - the story was told simply, with excellent choice of words to keep driving the plot along. There were light-hearted moments, and I really enjoyed all of Rachel's memories about her friendship with Darcy when they were both school children. I particularly identified when Darcy sends a note to a boy asking him to check the box of which girl he would like to be with!
Rachel and Dex were both wonderful characters to read about, and Darcy was brought to fascinating life. I think many girls have a friend who seems to be more beautiful, luckier, gets the guy everyone lusts after, and so it becomes easy to take Rachel's side - especially when Darcy drops her shocking bombshell in the climax to this story.
I would recommend this to those who enjoy Marian Keyes.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2004
I loved this book. My impression after the first chapter was: "predictable", but I was hooked by the second chapter. The storyline proved to be more believable than predictable. I found myself identifying with the truly likeable and real heroine. Without being heavy or boring this book exposes character traits typical of many of us. There was just enough humour and tension to keep me turning the pages and I finished the book in just a couple of days.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2011
I watched the movie first, and when I found out it was based on a book I got really excited because I could see the potential for it to be a good, light read. However, when I did read the book I was just disappointed. It's poorly written and I felt that the characters and their relationships with each other were not developed well at all. Rachel, the main character, is portrayed as weak and naive and at times I just wanted to slap her. Also, the book is written in the present tense which gave it a sense of disjointedness. Although the movie did not stick entirely to the storyline, it managed to draw you in in a way that the book does not. For once, my advice would be: just watch the movie.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2013
(This review contains spoilers for both the book and the film of the same name)
I read this book after watching the film of the same name. Rachel White is a perpetual good girl who has always felt inferior to her prettier and more popular best friend, Darcy Rhone and believes that she is destined to a lifetime of being second best. Thus, it never occurred to Rachel that her close friend in college, the gorgeous Dexter Thaler, could possibly be interested in her (even though there were clear signs that he was) before introducing him to Darcy. Seven years later, and after a lifetime of living in Darcy's shadow, Rachel is single, insecure, suffers from low self-esteem and is trapped in a dead end job that she hates while Darcy and Dex are engaged and planning their wedding. On the night of Rachel's 30th birthday, Darcy ends up going home early, leaving Rachel and Dex alone together. The two of them get quite drunk, kiss and end up having sex at Rachel's flat. What follows are Rachel's attempts to `do the right thing' but figuring out what that is is not that easy, especially when it quickly becomes clear that this is more than just a fling for both of them.
Upon reading the book, I could tell that the filmmakers had made some slight alterations to the plot to make the characters a bit more sympathetic. In the film, a big reason why Dex was reluctant to leave Darcy was because of how his parents would react; his mother suffered from depression, his father had got wind of the affair and warned him off and both parents had just bought Dex and Darcy a house. In the book, none of these are a factor and he just comes across as cowardly for not leaving Darcy earlier. Dex and Rachel's affair is also longer in the book - they meet and have sex several times over a number of weeks but the affair is much more short-lived in the film and Dex calls off the wedding sooner. Also, the film makes it clear from the beginning that Rachel had always had feelings for Dex and it is her playful admission of this to Dex which triggers the whole affair. In the book, Rachel doesn't go into details - it just seems to `happen' and Rachel `finds herself having sex with her best friend's fiancé.' While Rachel does explore her feelings for Dex later on in the novel and comes to realise that she has always been attracted to him, for the first third of the book she comes across as very ambivalent which I found frustrating and I felt made her appear rather shallow and heartless. Indeed, I spent a great deal of the book wanting to grab Rachel by the shoulders and give her a good shake. Her indecisiveness and generally self-sacrificing personality not just in her relationships but little things like not being able to choose a wine in a restaurant (she lets her date make all the decisions) did not endear me to her and led me to believe every situation she found herself in was entirely of her own making.
The novel is less of a love story than it is a journey of self-discovery for Rachel who comes to realise that Darcy is not perfect and has always been envious of Rachel, that Rachel is prettier than she gives herself credit for, that it is impossible to please everyone all of the time and the importance of following your heart. All good lessons but I found it difficult to believe that it had taken Rachel until the age of 30 to realise all of this, possibly because I went through a similar experience in my mid-20s - I was single, unhappy with my life, my job and where I was living and I finally came to the realisation that I had the power to change all of these things. I moved city to be closer to friends and I got a new job and career. A year later, I met someone who four years on I'm still seeing and I'm happy with my life and work. Rachel's journey in the novel is similar to mine but I felt that her progression was less obvious - it all seemed to `come together' at the end rather than gradually as I had expected and I was not completely convinced that Rachel had really changed. Before Dex `comes to his senses' and realises that Rachel is the one for him (something that I felt took him way too long and if I were Rachel I'd have a hard time forgiving him for initially breaking up with her the way that he did), Rachel was beginning to get over him, realising that she wanted to make changes and seriously contemplating moving to London to start a new life. The book hints that Rachel may still go through with that plan, or at the very least that Rachel would never again let herself feel that there were things she couldn't do in life but I found myself hoping rather than believing that were true.
I also had a hard time with the central concept of this novel - that it's OK to cheat if both people are in love. In my opinion it is never OK to cheat and it made me sad that Dex did not have the courage to leave Darcy sooner or that Rachel did not have the courage to explore her feelings for Dex before `handing him over' to Darcy. Having said all that, I did find myself getting caught up in the story and wanting to know how everything would be resolved.
A non-demanding book with frustrating characters but it doesn't take long to read and kept my attention so I'd still recommend.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2011
I had seen the trailer for the film and decided the story looked good, so decided to buy the book. I absolutely loved it, could not put it down. The story itself managed to be refreshing in comparison to many books of this genre, in that I genuinly did not know how the story would end, since there would always be a sad element to whatever way I felt it could go, however, I loved the ending. This is the first book I have read by Emily Gifin, and I am definately a big fan now. A must read!!!
on 7 June 2012
I first read this book when it originally came out, years ago, and then re-read it when a friend lent me her kindle on a journey last week. My point being that aged 20 something the plot didn't disturb me. Aged 30 something, and hopefully a bit wiser, the whole premise of it really affected me and left me feeling really uncomfortable.
Spoiler alert - don't read if you haven't already finished the book!!!
I hated the way that the author tried to lead us to empathise with a character who was clearly doing something wrong. And messing around with your best friend's fiance just before their wedding is about as low as it gets, no matter how much of a PITA the best friend is made out to be. If she were that bad, why would two supposedly decent people have been as involved as they were with her?
As another reviewer said, I couldn't understand how there was a story to tell. After the first indiscretion, anyone with an ounce of integrity would have dealt with the situation one way or another, and the further along I read, the less I wanted Dex and Rachel to be together. Dex was an utter coward, and didn't show any loyalty towards the woman he'd been with for years, nor seem remotely guilty about how he was behaving - how was such a weak, dishonest man any kind of catch? By the end, I actually really felt for Darcy, and didn't buy the reasoning that by betraying both her fiance and best friend through her affair with Marcus, she somehow deserved what she got.
All in all, a page turher, and I really like Giffin's writing style, but I don't plan on reading it again - I think twice is quite enough!
on 12 August 2010
Rachel White is a very good girl who has never done anything wrong in her whole life. She never drank too much, or smoke, or did anything that could upset her parents. Her best friend, Darcy, is quite the opposite: she's used to being the center of attention and is sometimes selfish, but has good intentions overall. On the night of her thirtieth birthday party, Rachel finds herself sleeping with Darcy's fiance. She tries to deny it and forget about it, but she starts falling for him, and he seems to be feeling the same way...
Something borrowed it's not very long or boring; the main problem was that I couldn't sympathize at all with Rachel or feel sorry for her. I actually liked Darcy best: she was annoying sometimes but she seemed more honest about who she was. Rachel claimed that she was a good person but spent the whole book proving she was the worst of friends. She had been friends with Darcy forever and yet she slept with her fiance and dind't tell her about it. She then started "realizing" the true character of her friend, and tried to justify her actions by convincing herself that Darcy was not a very good person.
The male lead, Dex, was not an interesting character at all. I didn't understand how Darcy, or even Rachel could be in love with him; and he wasn't that nice either. Reading the book, I couldn't figure out if he was really supposed to be with Rachel or if he would end up being a total jerk and making the girls realize that they deserved better. I won't spoil anything, though.
In conclusion, i'd say that Something borrowed is a fun read but not deep or meaningful whatsoever. If you can identify yourself with Rachel (which I couldn't) I guess the book can be more appealing, but otherwise you will just enjoy a fun read and soon forget about it.
P.S. There will be a movie featuring Kate Hudson as Darcy(good choice) and Ginnifer Goodwin as Rachel.
on 27 July 2011
This is a very entertaining book with all ingredients a good dramaic story contains. There is a clear duality between the good girl and the party girl. There are friends because the good girl need someone who she thought was cool since she was young to affirm her self-image. The party girl has always relied her decision making on the good girl's personal goals in life. One typical example in this book is the comic story of getting into Notre Dame university after high school graduation in a small town in Indiana. The party girls won many competitions in romance and popularity contests, while the good girl got her fancy degree and a well paid job in a big law firm.
As the story develops, a more humanized version of the good girl appears. There is a backside of being a good daughter and a loyal friend according to all norms, but obeying the ten commandments can not assure one a good life. All kinds of feelings tortured her, the crime she committied was nothing less than infedelity with her best friend's fiancé. It is impossible for me to judge the good girl, because it was the first time she showed that she was eager to fight for what she really wanted in her life. At last the good girl tricked her friend to reveal more truth of her real reason for accepting a separation from her fiancé, when she knew her former fiancé was hiding behind a door. She became suddenly a human with her own flaws. I can not help myself to sympathize her even more.
on 20 April 2013
I really root for the Rachel/Dex relationship - even though they are acting wrong, its right for them so you don't want to give them a guilty verdict from jury box known as book reader. You will them to find a way and Rachel is so likeable even when backstabbing her friend by sleeping with the soon-to-be-groom. As for the bride Darcy, you do feel she deserves it because she has very little redeeming qualities especially in regards to rachel. But the passiveness of Rachel though understanding is darn right annoying, however had she followed the rules and demanded to define her relationships with Dex after their "accident" (and refused to let Darcy get her way) then the novel would have been quite short. Obviously they drag it out 400 pages wondering if Dex really is the one. I think this makes you wonder too and there are so many other choices that would be better for rachel. I ended the novel secrely rooting for Ethan or Hunter mysteriously turning up. I wanted Rachel to find her own path, nothing to do with Darcy even her Dex, though Rachel met him first. Sometimes you can't go back, something you have to let go and be open to what is a head of you.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2010
I have read and heard a lot of people talking about this book, and that it is being adapted into a movie, but honestly, can't see why it is so popular. It is not badly written, I give it that, and it is interesting and bold to have a main character that is not the usual boring too good to be true young woman that does all the right things and is all alone at the beginning and ends up with Mr perfect at the end. So my 2 stars go for that, for daring to change the formula.
I don't give it more stars as I find that the main character is a weak person, not really a bold character but someone who has always been under the shadow of a popular friend because it was easier and it made her more popular in return, she is always comparing their lives and secretly hating the other girl, but in front of her she is all smiles. Then the man (Dex) appears, and the not so pretty girl has a first chance with him, that she doesn't profit from as she is beyond shy and self-deprecating, but then after years of him dating the other girl (Darcy) and due to a mix of self-pity and alcohol, she goes for it and he is more than willing to go along with the plan.
So after the future husband and the maid of honour decide to become lovers in the first chapters of the book, the next ones are based on few ideas: A) they are perfect for each other and everyone except the bride agrees, B) The bride who seemed so nice at the first chapter now is a horrible monster (as we see her only through the eyes of the maid of honour and her friends), C)Everything else that happens only serves the purpose of showing how bad is the bride and how good is the uglier friend.
So not so daring as I though....and besides, the husband-to-be is a real player, he is going out with both women all the time....and never even feels bad about it