The Throwback Thursday review is where I take a book I recently reread and review it with new eyes. It could be a book I’m reading for the second, third, fourth or millionth time. Some books haven’t been read in years so its fun to flashback and see if my opinion has changed!
This week’s book is Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin – a book that I read for the first time years ago and reread once every year or so because I do enjoy it. I wanted to tackle it in a throwback review because now I’m older than the main character.
Please keep in mind that Throwback Thursday reviews are based on reread books. They most likely will contain spoilers as the books have already been released for some time. This is your only warning if you want to avoid spoilers for these books.
PART OF A SERIES?:
1st in a 2-Part Series
June 1st 2004
St. Martin’s Press
YOU CAN FIND THE BOOK AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE OR THE FOLLOWING LINKS:
Meet Rachel White, a young attorney living and working in Manhattan. Rachel has always been the consummate good girl–until her thirtieth birthday, when her best friend Darcy throws her a party. That night, after too many drinks, Rachel ends up in bed with Darcy’s fiance’. Although she wakes up determined to put the one-night fling behind her, Rachel is horrified to discover that she has genuine feelings for the one guy she should run from. In her wildest dreams (or worst nightmare?) this is the last thing on earth Rachel could ever have imagined happening. As the September wedding date nears, Rachel knows she has to make a choice. In doing so, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren’t always neat and sometimes you have to risk all to win true happiness.
I still absolutely love this book – hands down. I think its enjoyable and that the character of Rachel is just so likable. I don’t even particularly care for Dex – Rachel’s love interest and her best friend Darcy’s fiance – honestly, he’s just sort of boring to me, but I genuinely adore Rachel and I think a lot of women can connect with her character. I know when I first read this book, I was in high school, and was constantly overshadowed by my best friend at the time, just as Rachel was with Darcy, and I always felt too ordinary, too plain, not exciting enough, always destined to be the best friend, and I think that is what has made this book stay close to my heart for so long.
As I’ve grown older and more experienced, I’ve really appreciated this gray approach to life – life isn’t black and white and while its easy to just judge people based on their decisions without really knowing them, you don’t know the situations. Rachel is not a good person for sleeping with Darcy’s fiance. Dex is not a good person for falling for his fiancee’s best friend. But they are not inherently bad people and the situation is incredibly complicated. Especially since its obvious that Dex and Darcy are not meant for each other – made clear by Darcy’s own infidelity. There is a lot of hurt that goes around but it seems to me that the characters in the book never intended to hurt anyone and that it genuinely hurt them to cause that kind of pain. Life is incredibly messy and Emily does a great job at really tackling that in this book. Even while you’re rooting for Rachel and Dex – because, my god, Darcy is just a terrible friend – you’re still sad that the situation is happening at all.
The one thing I noticed with this read through though – this book came out in 2004. If we say Rachel was 30 in 2004, then she is now 45 years old, which is 14 years older than me. I’m 31 years old now so I’m just about the age of Rachel, Dex and Darcy in this novel but I didn’t connect with them as a thirty-something year old at all and I think it definitely definitely definitely shows the difference in generations. Rachel having her own apartment, having a steady job – one she doesn’t like but definitely pays the bills, feeling old at 30, feeling weird about being single at 30 – its not that these things aren’t happening but they aren’t things I’m familiar with. When I read this, the characters seemed so much older than me and now I’m older than them and they still feel so much older. By 30 in the early 2000s, you pretty much had your shit together and its not like that anymore, not to the generation who graduated high school into a great recession.
There was definitely a disconnect between the fact that I’m the same age as the characters but it didn’t feel like something I was experiencing in life. When I would read a YA book in high school, I connected with what the characters were going through because often I was going through it as well – I still do. I didn’t have that with this book, which is interesting considering that the 30-year-old demographic should be familiar to me. It just didn’t though; all the characters seemed so much older than me and I didn’t dislike it or anything, I just found it so funny and interesting and it just seemed like a big piece of evidence in the difference in the way generations experience life.