Alright, I just finished The One & Only by Emily Giffin, who is one of my absolute favorite authors. I read Something Borrowed and Something Blue long before the movie came out, and fell in love. I recently watched the movie on TV and forgot how much I love it and love the story. I’ve also read all of Giffin’s other books and love them. The writing and the characters are so real and relatable, so I was so excited for a new novel after it seemed like so long since she had released anything. Just a fair warning, there are some minor spoilers in this one.
Now, let me preface this by saying I still love Emily Giffin. However, I did not enjoy this book as much as I’ve enjoyed her others. With Something Borrowed and her other novels, I couldn’t put them down. The characters pulled me in and had me rooting for them. In The One & Only, I just didn’t feel that way because I was a little put off by the entire storyline. For those who don’t know, The One & Only is about a girl named Shea Rigsby who was born and raised in a Texas football town (being from Oklahoma, I can totally relate to growing up surrounded by football). Her best friend’s mother has recently passed away, and her best friend’s father is the famous college football coach in said football town. Shea works for the university and has always been very close with the coach and from the very beginning I thought, “It seems like this girl has a crush on her best friend’s dad who just died…ew. That’s weird. Maybe I’m wrong. Moving on…”
I wasn’t wrong. Basically, they fall in love, and of course there are many obstacles along the way for both of them, as there is in any chic-lit novel. Now, I have no problem with a young woman falling for an older man. That’s happened in plenty of books, movies, stories, etc. My long-time boyfriend is six and a half years older than me. I’m not one to judge, especially if this older man is a local celebrity, coaches a sport this girl has loved all her life, and is described as a sexy older man. I can totally roll with that. However, it gets a little weird when said older man happens to be her best friend’s father who just lost his wife of many years, and this older man basically helped raise this young woman because her father ran off and started another family. I liked the other elements of the story (moving on from jobs and relationships that you’re stuck in, dealing with difficult relationship, and NCAA scandals are always interesting to football fans), but I found the relationship between Shea and Coach Carr…icky, for lack of a better word. This man is pretty much described as a father figure to her during the entire book, and then all of a sudden they’re in love? It was too much for me.
All in all, if you’re an Emily Giffin fan, I’d read it. It’s not bad, it’s just a little strange and by no means does it live up to her other books. If you’ve never read an Emily Giffin book and are thinking of checking her out, please do not make this your first choice! I feel like it was highly anticipated and it really fell flat for me. Something Borrowed and Something Blue are both fantastic, and her I also enjoyed her most recent before this one, Where We Belong, and another favorite is Heart of the Matter. Really, this one just falls through the cracks for me and doesn’t compare to her others. I’m glad I read it, but it wasn’t my favorite.
Has anyone else given this a read yet? What do other Emily Giffin fans think? I feel super critical about one of my favorite others, but this one just didn’t do it for me.
Next up: This is Where I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper, soon to be a movie starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey. Yep, it’s going to be hilarious, so of course I had to check out the book!