I’m a HUGE Emily Giffin fan.
I read her first book, Something Borrowed, in June of 2007. I had just finished grad school and didn’t have a job, so I read a ton of books to pass the time (when I wasn’t looking for a job, of course). I fell in love with her characters, her writing style and I knew I just had to read everything she wrote. I finished Something Borrowed in two days and even stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish it and was at the bookstore early the next morning to buy the follow-up, Something Blue, and her third book, Baby Proof, both of which I finished in one or two sittings.
Fast forward almost seven years, I’ve purchased and read all of Emily’s subsequent novels the day they’ve come out. I get completely caught up in her characters and stories and for the short time it takes me to read her novels, nothing else exists and they’re all I can think about. I was on vacation in Park City two years ago when her last book, Where We Belong, came out and I stayed in for an entire day reading it and was so sad when it was over, that I immediately read it again.
Not only do I love Emily’s books, but I also adore her. I follow her on Facebook and Twitter and her personality is fantastic and she has created such a great community with her readers. We have a ton in common and I want her to be my BFF. Really.
Her new book The One & Only was released this past Tuesday. I pre-ordered the book on my Kindle and it actually downloaded the night before the book was supposed to be released. Eek! I was so excited and began reading it immediately and finished it at 2:30 this morning.
The book takes place in the college football-obsessed town of Walker, Texas and is told from the point-of-view of Shea Rigsby. Just like the rest of the town’s residents, Shea’s world revolves around football and the hometown Walker University Broncos; she attended Walker University and at the start of the book works in it’s athletic department. The book begins with a somber, tragic event which leads Shea to re-evaluate everything in her life including her job and boyfriend. Underneath it all, this book is really about finding your true passion and love in life and following it to wherever it takes you no matter how scary that prospect may be.
Emily has a way with words that is enviable to me. She is great at creating memorable characters who you want to be friends with in real life (or at least, I do). This book wasn’t my absolute favorite of Emily’s (that title goes to Something Borrowed or Where We Belong), but I still enjoyed it. I loved that the book took place in Texas because it reminded me of the years I lived there while I was in college. She even mentioned Mi Cocina in Highland Park Village which I’ve been to quite a few times and was one of my favorite restaurants in Texas. Also, the amount of football research she did to write this book was incredible and much appreciated.
While I did like Shea, I can’t say she’s one of my favorite characters Emily has created. Coach Carr was also a likable character, but not as “dreamy” on paper as some of the leading men in her previous books. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the Shea/Coach Carr relationship. I didn’t find anything wrong with it, but to me it wasn’t totally believable. I didn’t get as hooked to these characters and this story like I have in the past, but the story was intriguing and I was interested enough to see where the characters ended up once the book was over – hence staying up until 2:30 in the morning to finish the book. There is A LOT of football talk in the book, so I could see how if you didn’t like the sport or don’t know a lot about it, those parts of the book could be boring or annoying.
Overall, I did like the book and if you’ve read all of Emily’s other books, this one is another one to add to your list. If you’ve never read one of her books, I’d start with the Something Borrowed/Something Blue series or Where We Belong then move on to this one. Not that if you read this one first, you wouldn’t like her writing or wouldn’t want to read anything else of hers, but I think the others showcase her way with words and ability to create an all-consuming story a bit better.
Did you read this book? Or have you read any of Emily Giffin’s other books? What did you think?