My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Book Review: The One & Only by Emily Giffin

Please Note:  I am in the Amazon Affiliate program. If you click on the book cover, and buy the book through that link, I will get a small fee.

Synopsis (From Goodreads):
Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas—a small college town that lives and dies by football, a passion she unabashedly shares. Raised alongside her best friend, Lucy, the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, Shea was too devoted to her hometown team to leave. Instead she stayed in Walker for college, even taking a job in the university athletic department after graduation, where she has remained for more than a decade.

But when an unexpected tragedy strikes the tight-knit Walker community, Shea’s comfortable world is upended, and she begins to wonder if the life she’s chosen is really enough for her. As she finally gives up her safety net to set out on an unexpected path, Shea discovers unsettling truths about the people and things she has always trusted most—and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets.

Thoughtful, funny, and brilliantly observed, The One & Only is a luminous novel about finding your passion, following your heart, and, most of all, believing in something bigger than yourself . . . the one and only thing that truly makes life worth living.

While I was looking for a fun romance to delve into a friend graciously let me borrow this book.  This was just the ticket. The characters were compelling, and unique, and the setting (college football) was new to me. And it was very romantic, as well.

What I Liked:
Shea Rigsby is a fun-loving woman who is not desperate to find a husband and start a family.  I found this to be so refreshing!  She does have relationships with men, but she is just enjoying her life.  I love how smart and strong Shea is, as she questions some of her safe life choices.  But she does have her faults.  For a woman in her thirties, she seems to behave more like a college student, getting drunk several times in the book.  This leads to some situations that I feel are far-fetched, given how mature Shea is.

I found the Coach to be more than a stereotypical man's man.  He works hard and has many people looking up to him.  But being stuck standing on that pedestal is lonely.  He sees in Shea an opportunity to relax and be himself.  He is also not perfect.  As the head coach of a major college football program, he may have looked the other way when some of his players have done unethical things.  But why?  And does that automatically make him a terrible person?

Domestic Abuse:
I thought the author handled this difficult issue very well.  She showed how easily the victim (and even bystanders) makes excuses for the abuser.  If the person is someone well regarded in the community, most people will choose not to see the obvious.  She also shows the aftermath of how the victim blames herself, and how the abuser promises and promises to change.  

At first, I was put off by where I thought the book was going in the romance department.  But I think my discomfort was actually beneficial to my reading experience!  What happens when you are attracted to someone you know all of your friends and family will object to?  Do you have the courage to follow your heart?  Does that person also have the guts to let the chips fall where they may, and stand up for love?  That uncomfortable dread I felt was what the character felt, and it made me empathize with her.

Shea is the ultimate football fan.  She memorizes stats, playbooks, and even all the Heisman trophy winners!  Reading about her obsession is contagious, and makes me want to pay attention to college football in the future! 

What I Didn't Like:
I am not a fan of explicit sex scenes in books, and  there are one or two of these in this novel.  I didn't find them too offensive, but I think if you are looking for a "clean" romance book, you should look elsewhere.  Which is a shame.  I don't think these scenes added much to the story.  Thankfully, they were not a frequent aspect of the book, so that is why I am only subtracting half a star from my rating.



Release Date:  May 20th, 2014

Genre:  General Fiction

Trigger Warning:  This book does have scenes of domestic abuse.

Publisher:  Ballantine Books

Length:  432 Pages

Source:  Borrowed from a friend

Format:  Paperback

Recommendation:  This is a fun romance that will keep you entertained, especially if you enjoy football!
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1 comment :

  1. I did DNF this book, because that is just one trope I am not a fan of, but I will agree, the characters were great and I really liked the parts of Shea I got to know. Great review and I am glad you liked this one.


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2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
MsArdychan has read 10 books toward her goal of 120 books.


80% 80% 100 Book Reviews 2016 NetGalley Challenge
clean sweep 2017

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