Something Borrowed is (to steal from the book’s jacket) “a phenomenal debut novel” for Emily Giffin. It is the first in a two book series, the second book being Something Blue.
Something Borrowed tells the story about Rachel, her best friend Darcy, and Darcy’s fiancée Dex. (Something Blue is told from Darcy’s perspective, while Something Borrowed is told from Rachel’s) Rachel and Darcy have been best friends their entire lives, doing almost everything together. Growing up next-door to each other in Indiana, they have been in a constant competitive friendship all of their twenty-five years together. Rachel has learned to put Darcy’s needs and wants before her own to curb the competition. Darcy on the other hand still feels the need to one-up not only Rachel but everyone she knows. On Rachel’s thirtieth birthday she drinks too much and winds up in bed with Dex. Rachel begins to feel guilty knowing what she did to her best friend was wrong.
“The call that was supposed to bring closure only ushered in more uneasiness. And a tiny little stirring inside me, a stirring that I resolve to squelch. ….as I wait on the subway platform, my mind returns to our kiss in the elevator. The feel of his hair. And the way he looked sleeping in my bed, half covered by my sheets. Those are the images that I remember the most.”
The more and more she thinks about it she starts feeling less and less guilty as she realizes that in fact it’s her who is right for Dex and not Darcy. Rachel begins thinking back to her history with Dex. The two went to law school together and became good friends. They never dated because Rachel never thought she was good enough for him. She introduced him to Darcy and the rest was history. Rachel receives a phone call from Dex the day after they slept together and begins to get weird vibes from him. He is not sorry that they slept together, nor does he feel guilty about it. The two begin secretly seeing each other and realize that they are absolutely perfect for each other. Rachel must decide if she is willing to risk her friendship with Darcy to be with the one she loves, or give him up and go back to being the friend in Darcy’s shadow.
I was pleasantly surprised with this book! It had been recommended to me by a few friends all saying that it was a great read. I definitely did not see myself spending my Saturday morning reading it from cover to cover. Giffin makes the relationship between Rachel and Darcy very relatable. It’s not uncommon that friends compete with each other – who has a better car, better clothes, better job, etc. While the conflict of sleeping with your best friends fiancée is not something that all people will be able to relate with, it’s the manner that Giffin tells that story that makes it relatable. She offers real conflicts, real conversations, real consequences, and real feelings for the reader to engage in. My one complaint about the book was how long it took Rachel to realize that Darcy was not a good friend to her. Taking 25 years to figure out that your friendship is basically one-sided? It just struck me as odd that Rachel had never in their friendship ever asserted herself and stuck up for what she wanted.
I’m greatly looking forward to reading Something Blue. I took a strong dislike to Darcy’s character in this novel and am eagerly awaiting her character’s chance at redemption. She tried to make it seem like she really cared deeply about her friends and wasn’t in competition with them, but she honestly didn’t care about anyone but herself. I’ve been told that Something Blue is even better than Something Borrowed, which means that Blue has some pretty high expectations to meet. I’ll definitely be sharing my opinions once I complete the book.
4 out of 5 stars