Sunday, July 27, 2008

Love the One You're With

I'm back from my ocean adventures! Did you miss me? I might put a picture or two up of our weekend boat trip, but I must first wait for Jeff to upload and resize the photos. In the meantime, here is a review.

It's been a while since I read a guilty pleasure book, so Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin was a bit overdue. While I gobbled this book up in one day, that's not to say that I loved it. I've read all of Giffin's other books (Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and Baby Proof) so I was looking forward to this book.

What I liked:

Her writing is so easy to zoom through. I like the first person style of writing and the way she sucks you into the drama the main character, Ellen is experiencing. You actually get nervous about whether she's going to get out of her sticky situation or not. I guess the word I'm looking for is engaging. The writing style definitely engages the reader. She also does a good job of not villainizing any particular character. Just when you think someone is becoming hatable, she reels it in and makes them more likable, more real. Sometimes chick lit resorts to very simplified "good" and "bad" characters and Giffin doesn't take this easy way out.

What I didn't like:

The plot is about a woman tempted to cheat on her husband. I've mentioned it before and I'll say it again - this always makes me very uncomfortable. I basically squirmed through the entire book silently yelling, "Don't do it Ellen!!!" It also made it hard to really like the main character. Particularly because at the end (warning - spoiler) it seems like she totally would have slept with the other guy if her sister hadn't yelled at her and told her not to. I'm not saying that she doesn't make a compelling case for cheating, you can definitely see why given the circumstances in the book that she's tempted, but eeeararugh (this is the sound effect of me squirming). You'd think that my visceral reaction to the subject of cheating would imply that someone at some point has cheated on me, but actually that's not the case. Maybe it comes back to my Mom. I remember watching the morning news with my Dad once when the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal was all over the place. My Dad listened to the news update about how Hilary was going to stand by her man and my Dad shook his head and kind of laughed under his breath and said, "If I ever cheated on your Mom, she'd cut my nuts off. I can't believe he's getting away with this!!" This was said not with a tone of awe or jealousy, but total confusion. Thanks Mom, for underscoring at an early age that cheating is wrong and bad and bad and wrong. Now I can't even read a girly chick lit book without feeling uncomfortable!

After finishing this book, I started East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I'm only about half way through, so look for a review later this week.

1 comment:

Mary Anne said...

weird. i was just wondering if you liked emily and was heading over here to ask you. you've got your finger on the chick lit pulse. i knew i liked you. PS I'm moving a block away from the library so count me in on the challenge.