Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin, an imprint of Macmillan

Rachel has always played second-fiddle to her best friend, Darcy.  She’s always been okay with this, even introducing Darcy to her gorgeous law school buddy, Dexter, only to watch them fall in love and get engaged.  When Darcy asks Rachel to be her maid of honor, Rachel isn’t surprised and is happy to accept the job.  But on the eve of Rachel’s thirtieth birthday celebration, she finds herself in bed with Dex – the same Dex who is engaged to her best friend.  In the weeks following the incident, Rachel and Dex realize that not only do they like each other, but they really are in love – and they need to make a decision about what to do about Darcy, the oblivious girl in the middle of it all.

Every now and then I’m in the mood for a lighter novel, and as I’d been hearing good things about Emily Giffin for years, Something Borrowed was just the book I was looking for at the time I read it.  I need to be honest here – I don’t usually expect a lot out of “chick lit”.  I expect to be entertained but that’s about it.  I was blown away by how much I enjoyed the experience of reading Something Borrowed – it was so much more than I expected!

First off, let’s get something out of the way:  yes, this is a book about the worst kind of infidelity.  A best friend and a fiancé sleeping together is NOT cool.  I don’t like reading about cheating, not one bit.  But there was something about this novel that made me love it despite the fact that the centerpiece of the story is this horrible betrayal.

What propelled the book for me into the category of awesome was the character of Rachel.  I really, REALLY felt for her.  Even though she was the one doing the despicable thing, she was so authentic, such a sympathetic character that I couldn’t help but be enamored by her.  She was in such agony, felt so guilty about what she’d done to Darcy – yet she couldn’t help her feelings for Dex.  As they spent more and more time together, they realized they had so much in common, to the point that they should have just gotten together years ago.  I think everyone can remember those early days of a relationship – one in which you feel so sure that this person is the one for you, when everything just seems perfect and you can’t stop thinking about that person – that’s how Rachel and Dex were with each other.  And it came across so clearly, I could really feel what they were feeling and put myself in her shoes.

It didn’t hurt matters that Darcy wasn’t exactly innocent in the whole thing, either.  She was quite a terrible friend, always ignoring Rachel’s concerns and needs in favor of having Rachel take care of her instead.  She didn’t treat Dex very well, and was overall a very shallow and self-centered person.  Plus, she had some issues of her own having to do with their relationship, which made it clear to the reader that Dex and Darcy had anything but a solid foundation.  Giffin really set up these characters so that the reader would love Rachel and hate Darcy, and while I didn’t exactly hate Darcy I certainly didn’t care for her.  It really allowed the reader to root for Rachel without feeling guilty about the fact that she was the one hurting Darcy.

In conclusion – if you haven’t read a Giffin book and you have even an inkling of enjoyment for chick lit, go for it!  Something Borrowed really surpassed my expectations and I would absolutely recommend it.