Before I launch into my thoughts on this one – and there are many! – I feel like a brief synopsis is in order.
Rachel and Darcy have been BFFs since grade school, but their friendship has always been somewhat lopsided. Darcy has always been the prettier one, the more outgoing, the bolder, the sassier, the luckier in love. She is also more than a little bit self-centered. Why on earth would Rachel want to be friends with her? I found myself wondering the exact same thing.
But anyway, the book starts as Rachel is celebrating her thirtieth birthday. Which, as anyone who has celebrated one can attest to, it’s sort of a big one. Rachel is feeling all those things that anyone who is unattached and unlucky in love feels at that age. She is wondering if she will be alone forever. She is asking herself if she is fundamentally unlovable. Is there something wrong with her?
So, at her birthday party, Darcy and her other friends leave and Rachel is left with Darcy’s fiance, Dex, who she met in law school. In fact, it was Rachel who introduced him to Darcy. Well, one thing leads to another, and Rachel and Dex end up in bed together. And the rest of the book details the aftermath of that one evening, as Rachel, Dex, and Darcy sort through their messy, entangled lives.
What I liked
I loved, loved, loved this book. I loved how it felt like sitting down with a girlfriend over coffee and hearing her dish about her love life. I loved how it made me think about myself, my past relationships, and how I might handle finding myself in a situation like Rachel’s.
I liked how morally ambiguous the characters are. Without giving anything away, there are quite a few moments in this book where the characters’ actions are questionable at best, heartless at worst. But, I’m not the kind of reader that needs to actually like the characters I’m reading about, or even be able to relate to them. I wouldn’t want to be friends with any of the characters in this book, but I still really enjoyed reading about them.
What I didn’t like
Let me start off by saying that this isn’t really a complaint, because I totally understand the author’s motivation for doing it, but…At a certain point, I started to get annoyed with all of Rachel’s internal thoughts about Dex. I just wanted to shake her and tell her to get a grip. There’s no man on Earth that’s worth all of that inner turmoil!
Would I recommend it?
Yes, especially for fans of Jane Green or Helen Fielding. This book reminded me quite a lot of a Jodi Picoult-type book, but with less drama. Or less drama over serious, life-threatening issues, anyway.