Book Review: The One and Only

the one and only emily giffin
As I sit down to write a review of Emily Giffin’s The One and Only, I’m realizing how conflicted I feel about it.

Let me start with a brief synopsis. The story follows 33-year-old Shea Rigsby from Walker, a small town in Texas. The town takes a Friday Night Lights-esque approach to football – they live, eat, and breathe it. Shea is no exception. In fact, she loves football arguably more than anyone in town. She idolizes the local coach, who also happens to be her best friend’s father. Shea finally decides to step out of the Walker football cocoon career-wise, but soon learns that the obsession follows her everywhere.

I did finish this 400+ page book in two days. Then again, that probably doesn’t hold much weight considering I’ve said similar things about my last several reads. Being a bookworm and a night owl is a deadly combination!

Now let me follow up by saying how uneasy this novel made me feel. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like reading it – it just means that the storyline wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Frankly, it made me feel pretty weird.

It’s hard to explain that without giving away any spoilers. But I will say that based on the book description you’ll find on the inside cover, you’re going to assume this is your standard chick-lit. I sure did.

However, the novel covers some intense topics. And I can’t say I loved how Giffin addressed them.

In my opinion, though, some of the best books I’ve read present a sort-of moral dilemma to the reader. You keep changing your mind about whose side you’re on.

The One and Only certainly kept my interest, as I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. It was one of those “I’ll sleep after this chapter…no wait, after this one!” situations. So the entertainment value was certainly there.

At the same time, it seemed a little like Giffin went in so many different directions in the first three-quarters of the book that she ran out of steam in the last quarter. (See my little football reference?! I can be sporty!) Many of the topics that had been brought up felt undeveloped in the end.

You’re probably sitting behind your computer screen thinking about how completely unhelpful this review was, but I’m just going to have to let you find out for yourself.

Give it a read and let me know in the comments whether you loved it, hated it, or felt a little of both. Happy reading!

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