Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Emily Giffin: Something Blue

Something Blue: C+
Darcy Rhone
chick-lit, women's fiction

Giffin's sophomore effort-which tells the story that her bestselling Something Borrowed did from a different character's point of view-stars such an unsympathetic narrator that it's a little like reading a Cinderella story featuring one of the wicked stepsisters. Perhaps beautiful Darcy Rhone isn't really wicked, but she is one of the most shallow, materialistic, self-centered and naïve 29-year-olds around. Ostensibly a high-powered PR person in Manhattan (though she never seems to work), Darcy spends most of her time shopping, partying and getting ready for her wedding to perfect guy Dex. But an alcohol-fueled Hamptons fling with one of Dex's pals, Marcus, starts to break Darcy's perfect life down; and discovering Dex hiding in her best friend Rachel's closet really shatters it. Pregnant with Marcus's baby, Darcy decamps for London, where she crashes in high school pal Ethan's flat and annoys the heck out of him with her endless shopping and complete disregard for her impending motherhood. But after a good lecture from Ethan, whom Darcy has started to fall for a little, Darcy embarks on a self-improvement plan, thereby demonstrating she can think about someone besides herself...
(publisher's weekly)

The funny thing about this book is that I actually read it. Considering all things, I was sure I would fling it to my wall and have it be a thing of the past... and yet, there I sat, on my family cruise, flipping through the pages.

As you know from my (scathing? unpleasant? hate-love-hate?) relationship with the first novel in the series, Something Borrowed, that I pretty much hated all of the characters in this (and that) story. Rachel for being a vile home-wrecker (though the home was on its way to being wrecked), Dex for being a nimwad (who proposes to a loved one if the loved one isn't really loved?), and Darcy for being a superficial, callow bee-atch.

Something Borrowed ends with the calling off of Darcy and Dex's wedding, Darcy pregnant with Marcu's child (Marcus, as you know, was Dex's best man and the one she had been cheating with while Dex was with Rachel. Egh...), and with Rachel and Darcy's friendship in the pooper.

Something Blue starts out with Darcy still being her usual, selfish, spoiled (but beautiful!) self. In reality, 3/4 of the book is about her, her selfishness, and her spoiledness. Realistic, I suppose. Though I would expect any normal human being - after having experienced the kind of drama (and trauma?) she went through to critically analyze herself and to examine why things happened the way they did... Darcy doesn't.

She proves to be an insecure individual who thrives on the attention of others to feed her "ego." She fools herself in thinking she's in love with Marcus, so that her child will have a father, and so she will have someone to lean on.

Eventually, Darcy's idiocy drives Marcus away (and let's be honest here, Marcus was no fine catch to begin with..). He tells her, in no short words, that he wants out of the relationship, and that he can care less about the child whose DNA he's supplied half of.

Panicked, she decides to go to London and stay with her (and Rachel's) friend, Ethan. She packs her bag with the largest misconceptions of London and of motherhood and jets on over to Ethan, who is less than pleased to see her; Ethan (correctly) remembers Darcy as the selfish, spoiled, likes-to-party, center-of-attention (but beautiful!) girl.

Once in London, she spends most of her savings buying designer outfits, trying to fit in, assuring herself of her beauty, despite the ever increasing baby bump.

It's not until 3/4 of the way through the novel that Darcy miraculously comes to her senses, with the help of patient Ethan... and a little bit of blossoming love..

As with Something Borrowed, Something Blue is a book that uncovers human nature to its dirtiest and grittiest, and is shows, perhaps, the most honest part of ourselves. It makes you think and it exasperates you.. and shows you the consequences of reality.

Read with caution!

No comments: