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Inside the Cover Book Reviews
Review by Amy Brozio-Andrews

Something Borrowed
By Emily Giffin
St. Martinís Press
2004
336 pages
Fiction
 

Emily Giffinís debut novel, Something Borrowed, looks deceptively light. With its pretty pale pink cover and sparkly diamond engagement ring standing in for one of the Ďoís in 'borrowed,' itís easy to assume that this will be just another chick lit confection. But Something Borrowed has a little something more. More than just the story of the typical single in NYC girl trying to find happiness, Rachelís tale is one of finding her way out of the shadows of her larger-than-life best friend, Darcy.

From the time they were just little girls, Darcy always had to have the best of everything, manipulating and charming her way into getting what she wanted when she wanted it. Rachel always knew this, but something about being Darcy Rhoneís best friend made it so worth it.

Now Darcy and Rachel are grown women, turning thirty and living in New York. At Rachelís 30th birthday bash, Darcy leaves early, having had too much to drink. Rachel shares a cab home with Dex, Darcyís fiancť. Before the night is through, Rachel and Dex have shared more than the cab ride. Rachel is stunned to realize she doesnít feel guilty; she may just have genuine feelings for Dex. Worse than just being Darcyís best friend though, Rachel is Darcyís maid of honor.

Rachelís not so satisfied with basking the reflected glow of her best friend anymore, still the woman who finagles her way into always coming out on top. But she worries about how much her relationship with Dex will hurt her best friend. As time ticks closer to Darcy and Dexís wedding, Rachel needs to figure out if this illicit relationship is for real, and if so, is it worth sacrificing a lifetime of friendship, even if that friend hasnít always been the best.

Emily Giffin has written a novel of unexpected seriousness. Rachelís struggle to see her childhood friendship through the eyes of an adult brings weight to Something Borrowed. While there are plenty of comic moments, Something Borrowed is primarily a character-driven book, charting a course from youthful idealization to adult acceptance of someoneís character.

Giffin captures the tone of teenage insecurities perfectly in Rachelís memories of her Indiana youth. From the coveted Forenza sweaters to Trapper Keepers, any reader who was a child of the 80s will certainly enjoy the little trip down memory lane. While younger or older readers may not catch all the brand names, the emotional memories are surely the same, whether the coveted item in your clique was a Superfriends lunchbox or a Rainbow Brite doll.

Her writing style is smooth and easy, quickly drawing the reader in to Rachelís confidence. Told only from Rachelís perspective, the reader is left anxiously awaiting the clarification of Rachel and Dexís relationship along with Rachel herself. 

With an ending thatís unexpected yet classic Darcy, Something Borrowed is a worthwhile read for fans of both womenís fiction and chick lit.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE BOOK.   

Amy Brozio-Andrews is a freelance writer and book reviewer. She brings more than five years' experience as a readers' advisory librarian to her work, which is regularly published by Library Journal, The Imperfect Parent, and Absolute Write. Her reviews have also been published by The Absinthe Literary Review, ForeWord Magazine, January Magazine, and Melt Magazine. Amy is also the managing editor and an international markets columnist for Absolute Write. Visit her online at http://www.amyba.com.

 

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