Wednesday, June 18, 2008

book review: love the one you're with by emily giffin

Love the One You're With 
Let me preface this review by confessing my undying adoration for Emily Giffin. I adored her first book, Something Borrowed. She made a woman who stole her best friend's fiance the one I rooted for. When Something Blue had the scorned former best friend as the narrator, I couldn't imagine Giffin could make her likable. She did. When Baby Proof came out, I sat on my couch and read it cover to cover, despite nomadreaderboy's sweet offer to do something interactive. When I was at the library to pick up a book I'd requested, I'm quite certain I literally squealed when I saw Love the One You're With had already come in too. Needless to say, I had ridiculously high expectations.

As Giffin does so well, she hooked me with the first few sentences. I adored the first 100 pages. The characters were all flushed out beautifully. I knew trouble was coming, and I didn't imagine it would be tragedy. As Ellen made some poor choices, I started identifying less with her. Giffin kept bringing me back to Ellen, however, by making even her silliest, stupidest choices seem logical. It's an immensely satisfying read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also loved the shifting geography of the story: Pittsburgh, Winston-Salem, New York City and Atlanta. I'm familiar with all the cities, and they provided lovely richness to the narrative.

Love the One You're With might be my least favorite Giffin book yet, but it's still a winner. I will buy it when it comes out in paperback, and place it on the shelf of books I'll reread in a few years. I also imagine if I hadn't read it right on the heels of Laura Dave's London is the Best City in America, I might have been even more starved for quality, young female narrators. For the record, Baby Proof will perhaps always be my favorite Emily Giffin novel.

Rating: four stars (loved it)

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