Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Giffin it all she's got!

From Emily Giffin's Facebook author page
To celebrate International Chick Lit Month right here, we're all doing tributes to some of our favorite authors. Here is what Tracey Meyers had to say about Emily Giffin.

Someone Fantastic

It was the pastel pink and blue book jackets that first attracted to her books "Something Borrowed" and "Something Blue." Had the covers not caught my eye, I don't know that I would have even given them a first look. I would never have looked to see what the books were about, which eventually led me to purchasing both of them at the same time. (Whomever it was in her marketing department that made the color recommendation deserves, at the very least, a raise! They had me, and probably many other women, pegged.)

However, like anything pretty on the outside, it's what is inside that inventively wins over my affection. Thankfully, these books were up to the challenge and succeeded with flying colors! (No pun intended.)

Seriously, how was it that I was rooting that Rachel when she was the one cheating with her BFF's fiancé? Yet, Darcy was a bitchy, self-centered twit so I guess it kind of made my allegiance to Rachel ok...right?! And that was just after reading "Something Borrowed." As I ventured into "Something Blue" I still held resentment towards Darcy -- especially in the beginning when she recapped her side of the "Something Borrowed" saga. However, something truly odd happened by the end of the book...I found that I really liked her. I found myself rooting for Darcy and hoping that she would also get her "happily ever after." (Which she did!)

Once hooked on Emily Giffin's books, purchasing a copy of her 2006 book, "Baby Proof" was a no brainier. In 2008, I took my love for Emily's books one step further by attending a booking signing for "Love the One You're With" at Anderson's Bookstore in Naperville, IL.

This was the very first book signing I had ever been to, so I found myself standing through the whole event because I came too late to get a seat, which was fine, and actually turned out to be a good thing. It gave me a better vantage point to take some video and pictures.

At HOTM signing in
Naperville, IL, May 2010
Two years later, in 2010, I left work three hours early to ensure I would not only make it to my second Emily Giffin book signing at Anderson's on time, but also that I would get a seat. (I worked about an hour or so away at the time, and I feared rush-hour traffic would delay me a bit.) Not only did I make it in time, I got there before they had even set-up for the event. (Let's just say, I got a front row seat this time.) This was perfect because we were celebrating the release of "Heart of the Matter," which turned out to be a book that really spoke to me.

So why such enthusiasm for Emily's books, you ask? (If you can't answer that question, then you obviously haven't read one of Emily's books.)

Emily has the ability to create characters that are realistic, relatable and even more important, LIKABLE -- remember I was rooting for Rachel even though she was sleeping with their BFF's fiancé.

Also, she somehow takes real-life scenarios she hasn't been through herself and creates a compelling story that makes you look forward to each and every turn of events. For example, how did Emily capture the struggle one encounters when they are cheated on, like she did in "Heart of the Matter?" Or, the conflict that can arise when one individual in a marriage changes their mind about having children when the other doesn't, which is the central focus of "Baby Proof". Time and time...and time again, Emily has created characters that really bring to life the struggles many women (and couples) face on a daily basis, with such authenticity and compassion.

Additionally, the backgrounds she creates for her characters are as authentic as her the characters themselves. For example, once on her Facebook page she asked her followers a question regarding a local Chicago suburb she was using as base point for her upcoming book, "Where We Belong." Though I understand that fact checking is an important part of any writing, I believe a few "mistakes" are forgivable -- remember, this is fiction we're talking about. However, as I could see by that one simple Facebook post, Emily values authenticity in every aspect of her works.

I can't wait until this summer, so I can get my hands on "Where We Belong." The release of a new Emily Giffin novel has become a semi-annual event that I look forward to with much enthusiasm. Since Emily is from the Chicago suburbs, I can't imagine her not making an appearance to talk about her latest novel. I'm always excited see what she has to say about her new story and all the recent experiences she has had as an author. Until then, I'll be visiting her at her website and on Facebook and Twitter.


Stephanie said...

LOVE Something Borrowed and Something Blue!! And I too was not a fan of Darcy at all in the beginning of Something Blue. I was really worried..not sure I could get into the book with a main character that i did not identify with. But eventually i did :)

Christy {SparklesandSpinach} said...

I love Emily Giffin! She's one of my fav Authors!!! =)