Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ranking Emily Giffin Novels


If you are a girly girl and you love romantic comedies and chic lit books, then continue reading this post. If you detest girly books much like Moushumi detested American television in the book The Namesake, then perhaps this author isn't for you. And if that's the case perhaps this blog isn't for you.

I first became familiar with Emily Giffin about five years ago when a girlfriend of mine recommended I read the book Something Borrowed and immediately I was hooked. And then of course I had to read the sequel, Something Blue, and then quickly on to her third book called Baby Proof (Not in connection to the other two). 

And then I went into a reading sabbatical. I knew Giffin had put out three more books during my rest period, but after reading the synopses I never felt too interested in reading them, until this past month. I started with Love the One You're With, then Where We Belong and just finished Heart of the Matter last week. The great part about her books is that they are such easy reads. The books really draw you in and they are fast reads so you can easily finish the book in a couple of days. 

Emily Giffin's books all tend to center around women in their 30s living in New York City and searching for happiness in their relationships. What I love the best is that she doesn't waste time in description. I hate books that go into depth describing what the bathtub looks like in their hotel in Anguilla. (Such is the case with Revenge Wears Prada. Oh, did I mention the book came in from the library? Halfway through, will review later this week.) Because there is not descriptive explanations of irrelevant locale, the book moves fast. Which is also what I love. I hate when a story remains at a standstill with the protagonist dissecting the minutiae of the dilemma they are faced with. I don't want to read a soap opera in a book, I want to know the outcome.

And now that I've finished all of her books, I thought I'd rank the order of my liking, in case you have not yet read them you will know which were the best and worth reading. (Actually, I recommend you read them all.) I am going to go in backwards order and reveal number one at the end, although through process of elimination it will be obvious.

6. Something Blue 
Something Blue is the sequel to Something Borrowed and is story of Darcy traveling to London where she delivers the baby and starts her life anew. Basically, if you abhorred Darcy in Something Borrowed, then you will see her get her well deserved karmic retribution. Overall, I just didn't care for the story as much because I never felt a connection with Darcy, so an entire book centered around her is too much.

5. Where We Belong
This book revolves around two protagonists. A woman has a baby and gives her up for adoption when she is just 18 years old. Now the daughter is 18 years old and comes searching for her birth parents. The birth mother kept the birth a secret, the only person who knows is her own mother, so the story is the quest for the daughter to unveil all of her mother's secrets. This one had the potential to be a really good story, and I actually really enjoyed it, but I felt the emotions in the story just weren't accurate. At the denouement there seemed to be a quick switch in emotions in order to  have a happy ending, although there was some room in the end to lead toward a possible sequel, perhaps the continuing love story of the birth parents? 

Now this is where the rankings start getting tough as the last four I love!
4. Heart of the Matter
Initially when I read the synopsis I didn't think I would enjoy this much too much, but because it was an Emily Giffin book, and I had read all the others, I decided to give it a try. So this story centers around two women who share a connection through a surgeon. One woman is the wife of the surgeon and the other is the mother of a patient of the surgeon. I don't want to give too much away, but you can pretty much guess from that sentence that some dalliance is involved here. One of my favorite parts of the book is that the characters from Something Borrowed return and you can see where they are now! 

3. Baby Proof
This book I read years ago and it's actually currently in my library bag to re-read after I finish Revenge Wears Prada because I remember loving the book but don't recall the ending. This book is about a couple who get married and decided, before marriage, that children are not for them only for one of them to change their mind after getting married. You know how sometimes where you are in life will change how you perceive a book? Now that I'm married and have children I'm anxious to read the book again to see my take on it.

2. Love the One You're With
This is the book that brought me back to Emily Giffin books and had me yearning to read her entire collection. The story revolves around a young woman (in her late 20s living in New York, of course!) who recently married her best friend's brother and is in madly in love. But then her ex-boyfriend, who she has unresolved feelings for, comes back into her life and the turmoil and emotions that results. This is such a sappy, Lifetime movie book but it had me riveted, I couldn't put it down. What can I say, I'm a sappy, Lifetime movie kinda girl! Oh, and I did shed tears in this book. 

1. Something Borrowed
So of course I had to put Giffin's first book, the book that started my obsession, as number one. It's the first book I've ever read that I was just so into that I couldn't put it down. (Although Judy Blume's Summer Sisters comes in a close second, but I was on a plane back from Hawaii, I had nothing else to do but read!) This is the love story of Dex and Rachel, but there is one tiny problem. Dex is engaged to Rachel's best friend Darcy. It's the first story where an affair is glorified and the affair comes out on top. In case you missed it, Something Borrowed was a chic flick with Ginnifer Goodwin playing Rachel and Kate Hudson playing Darcy. Oh! And Jim Halpert plays Ethan, personally I think he stole the movie simply with his facial expressions.

Now, if you haven't read an Emily Giffin novel, I think it's high time you enter into the world of 30 something women living in New York battling relationships. If you're not a big reader, not to worry these books fly by, don't be intimidated by their length. And if you are an avid reader and don't want to be bothered with this fluff, be bothered by the fluff! Great easy reads for when your mind is inundated with enough stress that you just need a light, easy escape. 

And if you're more of a movie person and watched Something Borrowed, Emily Giffin recently tweeted asking if her tweeters were ready for the movie of Something Blue! 

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