Can you trust your best friend to have your back, no matter what? Even if they fall in love with your fiance? I am lucky enough to say that I would be able to trust my friends. I have a great collection of besties that would have my back no matter what because they know I would also have theirs. Unfortunately for Darcy and Rachel, their situation is not the same.
I first heard of the story behind Something Borrowed when I watched the movie (yes, admittedly I watched the movie before I read the book!). The movie tells the story of popular blond Darcy, an engaged 29-year-old in PR and best friend to Rachel. It presents us with Dex (Darcy's fiance) who first knew Rachel in law school and who Rachel had a huge crush on. But when Rachel was too shy to put herself out there, Darcy stole Dex for herself.
Now, on Rachel's 30th birthday, after a surprise party which Darcy plans (and takes all the attention at), Dex kisses a drunk Rachel who gives in in her inebriated state. What follows is a forbidden romance between the two that surpasses anything they've ever felt before.
What the book reveals (which is implied in the movie) is that this break in trust, both in the romantic relationship between Dex and Darcy and the friendship between Rachel and Darcy, would never have happened if the relationships were built on solid foundations.
These books explore the complexities of broken relationships and why relationships might break in the first place.
Darcy is a selfish character who needs to have everything for herself. She relies on her beauty to get by in life (in fact, she got her glamourous job in PR by flirting with someone as a bartender and being offered it on the spot). She competes with her best friend and must always win. Even in her romantic relationships, she is desperate to have the attention of not only her boyfriend (or in this case, finance) but many other men and she constantly finds reasons to be jealous and fight with her man.
Her relationships are broken and this leads to Dex falling for someone else, her best friend sleeping with her fiance, and to the final twist in the book which I won't reveal.
If it weren't for this commentary on life, these books would be disgusting, boring, and much too graphic. Instead, the sexual nature of the books is actually often brushed over (there are no explicit scenes in the books just as the movie is PG-13) and the books tell a story I feel needs to be told.
To be clear, I do not condone sleeping with your friends' fiances. Nor do I condone sleeping with anyone who isn't your spouse. But what these books reveal is that a relationship that is strong and built on the right foundations will weather storms like these. Often, a break in trust reveals a deeper issue with the relationship.
The second book (Something Blue) continues to tell this story with Darcy pregnant and grasping at straws to try and continue to hold her life together. Finally, she ends up in England, envisioning a wonderful, elegant life for herself and her child. She quickly realizes this might not be the case and has to readjust her expectations.
The book does begin to tell a story of reinvention and reunion though. Something Blue shows readers that even ideals, virtues, and ways of life that have been deeply implanted in one's soul can be changed with effort and motivation (and though the book doesn't even begin to suggest it: with God). The book shows how friends can be reunited and friendships can be rebuilt, even those that were once built on shaky grounds. The same friendships that were previously broken can be renewed when one puts their mind to changing themselves and the ground that the friendships were built on.
Though there is by no means any mention of God or the Bible in these books and I do not believe these books are meant to be seen through a Christian lens at all, they do express some Christian ideas. That is that relationships with something wrong at the center are going to need to change (whether that means romantic partners aren't right for one another or friendships need to be built on better ground). The books reveal the idea of forgiveness—that no matter what, it can be found and when one is able to take a look at what's wrong and fix it, relationships can be rebuilt. I believe when we introduce God and the Bible, these books could be even more powerful. (ex. The concept of refraining from sex before marriage. The concept that God forgives us always no matter our sins and no matter our progress in ridding ourselves of them. The concept that God made Christians to dwell in community and love one another.)
No matter how you read these books, they are enjoyable and despite the slight difference in characters (Ethan is less prominent in the first book while another character, Hillary, seems to take his place) from the movie to the book, they are very similar. I would recommend them for any mature teens and adults who enjoy romance novels and stories of friendship.