An Elephant and a Love Affair

I have finished two books since my last post: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin, both of which are being turned into major motion pictures. I absolutely cannot wait to see either of them on the big screen, but at the same time, I'm worried I'm not going to be able to enjoy the movies as much as I enjoyed the books. I feel as though I'm going to be thinking the whole time "Oh, that was different in the book." or "They never said that." or "That didn't happen in the book!". However, I'm sure that both of the movies will be amazing as movies so I'm going to try to look at them in the movie-goers point of view and not as someone who has read the book and is comparing them because, let's face it: the books are always better than the movies. And now, I will discuss both of these books so at this point if you haven't read either one of them, I wouldn't read any further until you have. Plus, this is mostly for my own thoughts and learning.

If you want to know more about the books themselves here are some links:
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

Also, if you want to know about the movies for the books, here are the links for the trailers:
Water for Elephants
Something Borrowed

And now I will begin the SPOILERS!!!! So please, if you are really interested in reading the books, do not read any further. It will spoil everything for you.

I will start with Water for Elephants first:
The novel's epigraph goes along with this book so perfectly.
"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. . .
An elephant's faithful-one hundred per cent!"
--Theodor Seuss Geisel, Horton Hatches the Egg, 1940
 I didn't think one thing about it until I went back after I'd read the book and read the epigraph that I realized just how much it fits, and really gives a clue as to what's to come in the book. Rosie was indeed a very smart elephant and she knew just who to trust and who not to trust. And after August flicked his cigarette into her mouth, I truly believe that was the last thing she was willing to put up with him. And she also knew that Marlena and Jacob were true to her and would never do such a thing as to hurt her like August did on almost all occasions when being dealt with. And for what August did to her, she decided it was time for a payback. It was amazing to me to see just how alike Jacob and Marlena were when it came to their animals. When they both took on their animals as their own pets instead of letting the other circus take them. And I don't blame them at all for taking them. I probably would've done the same thing myself. And to hear Jacob's story really brought a lot of life into his elderly character in the book. You really got to understand him better through his memories as a young man and just how much the circus affected and meant to him. I really loved him as an elder. Even though he was in his 90's, he still had his wits about him and he still knew who he was: charming, humorous, a little grumpy, yet still full of life.
At the beginning of the story, in the prologue, it is revealed that someone is murdered, but it never quite says who is murdered, or who does the murdering. So from the very beginning, you're given this sense that Jacob was watching a human killing another human. And throughout the entire story, I was waiting for that scene to come. It was always in the back of my head, and I was waiting to find out who exactly it was. And from the start, I truly believed that it was Marlena who did the murdering of August. I just knew all the way through, it was August who was going to end up dead, and at Marlena's hands, for all she had been put through with him. But as the story went on, I kept thinking, surely it wasn't Marlena that kills someone. She's just so nice and sweet. And there's no way that it could actually be her to do it. I just can't see her killing anyone. And I never would have guessed that it was Rosie, the elephant, who actually killed him. But indeed, it was Rosie. And my thoughts on Marlena were correct: she didn't kill August. It was also a surprise, in the end, to see that Uncle Al had actually been murdered also after everyone thought he had just ran away. He always claimed that everyone who worked on the circus is family, and yet he would redlight workers because he didn't have the money to pay them or feed them and didn't have the room for them. And he didn't take care of his employees or the animals, and so for him to redlight people that the workers cared about, for those people to be killed in the process, it really angered them. Some of the people redlighted even survived the fall, and came back to destroy Al. And that is precisely what they did. They destroyed the circus by creating a distraction in the Big Top and though we didn't find out til later, actually killed him as well. And yet, after Jacob had witnessed all of this, he still wanted to continue working in a circus (and did for several years) and has fond memories of the circus. At first, I thought that when he first saw the circus tent outside the nursing home, and had a huge reaction from it, I thought it was a bad reaction. I thought it had resurfaced these horrible memories, which I know that some of them are terrible memories from his time with the Benzini Brother's Most Spectacular Show on Earth, but it was also where he met his wife, and they both continued to work in the circus with Ringling for 7 years after that. And he is really very fond of the circus and has a sense of pride from working for them. And for him, as he says in the book, it is home.

I must say that while reading Something Borrowed, I really got the sense of a feeling of familiarity. Because being a woman, I know all to well that every girl has a friend that they love to hate at some point in her life, whether she's still friends with her or not, she does. And I could really relate to Rachel a lot, because I know I have certainly been overshadowed by my girlfriends in the past. They always got the attention, they always got the guy, they were always pretty and confident, and I was the complete opposite: shy, single, pretty but not as pretty, and self-conscious. And Rachel was just that. But her best friend Darcy was popular, confident, always the center of attention and got what she wanted no matter what she had to do to get there. Things just fell into her lap. Of course Darcy is engaged to a very handsome man named Dex, yet she doesn't know that secretly Dex is in love with Rachel. So they have this huge love affair for the summer and then Rachel makes him choose: her or Darcy. I'm going to back up a little bit to the beginning of the book, when Rachel first sleeps with Dex on her thirtieth birthday. I really think a lot of why she slept with him has to do with the fact that she had been thinking earlier that day about how she was always the good girl and thought things through and had never done anything spontaneous or "bad". She always did what was expected for her and I think she wanted to do something a little wild and crazy. But I also think that behind that, she had always had feelings for Dex, but didn't realize until that night in a drunken moment when she was alone with him. And I'm sure there was a little part of it that she was thinking Yes! Finally, I'm doing something against Darcy and she has no idea! But I truly believe that wasn't the biggest reason of why she slept with Darcy's fiance. And Dex, I do like him. I like Dex a lot, and I know that it had to be really hard for him to end things with Darcy and finally make that decision, but he really should not have cheated on Darcy. I know it was an in the moment kind of thing, but once Rachel and Dex discussed their feelings about each other, nothing else should have happened until Dex and Darcy were broken up. They made the mistake once; they shouldn't have done it again no matter what they were feeling for each other. And the thing I found most appalling was that Darcy had even been cheating on Dex with Marcus and yet she had to blow everything out of proportion when she found out that Dex had been having an affair with Rachel. Yes, they wronged her, but she had also wronged Dex. She really had no right to go about it the way she did, blaming him for everything falling apart when, in fact, she had been having sex with his best friend and even ended up pregnant, and was planning on marrying him. She conveniently (for her) left that out of her story when telling her friends and family in New York and back home in Indiana. Making Rachel out to be the bad guy in this equation, when they were all at fault: Rachel, Dex, Darcy and Dex's best friend Marcus (who Rachel was also having a thing with and Darcy kept pushing Marcus at Rachel as well). So really, Darcy had wronged two people: Dex and Rachel, and made everyone mad at Rachel. Of course, she would. That's what she does. Enjoying the drama and making everyone feel bad for her. People like her really bother me. Nothing is her fault, she is perfect, always has to have high drama in her life to be satisfied and just being an all around bitch to everyone and making them feel down and below her is the only way she can survive. Nothing makes me angrier.

Sorry, got off topic there a little bit. But anyways, enough about the books and my ranting. If you stuck through this, thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it.