This post is sponsored by BookSparksPR in honor of their annual Summer Reading Challenge. You can find all of the details here!
The One & Only by Emily Griffin
About the book:
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.
There were so many things I really enjoyed about this book-- including Giffin's writing style. It was the first book of hers that I've read so I wasn't sure what to expect but the story definitely hooked me right up until the end. I grew up in a household that loved college football and my brother played football all through high school so it's a sport I enjoy and am fairly knowledgable about. The book was heavily saturated with football talk, so if you're not a fan of sports I'm not sure how much you would enjoy it.
Without giving too much away, I will say that the relationship between Shea and Couch Carr was a little off-putting to me. While that was the main romantic theme of the book, I felt that there was so much more to Shea really discovering herself and finally learning to step outside of the box a little bit.
About the book:
Sixteen-year-old Josie lives her life in translation. She speaks High School, College, Friends, Boyfriends, Break-ups, and even the language of Beautiful Girls. But none of these is her native tongue--the only people who speak that are her best friend Stu and her sister Kate. So when Kate gets engaged to an epically insufferable guy, how can Josie see it as anything but the mistake of a lifetime? Kate is determined to bend Josie to her will for the wedding; Josie is determined to break Kate and her fiancé up. As battles are waged over secrets and semantics, Josie is forced to examine her feelings for the boyfriend who says he loves her, the sister she loves but doesn't always like, and the best friend who hasn't said a word--at least not in a language Josie understands
I would say this book is more about the relationship with Josie and her family-- mainly her sister Kate-- than about relationships or romantic love. There was a lot of dialogue, but I can't remember how many times I laughed out loud while reading this. It was witty and the characters were well developed.
I can hardly express how much I disliked Kate. I don't have any sisters, so perhaps it's difficult for me to understand the dynamic, but I really can't imagine any sister acting as awful as Kate was throughout the book. She's getting married, yet was behaving like a child, and it wasn't just a Bridezilla thing-- she was just cruel to Josie, and it made me sad. As an adult I could never imagine stealing a page from my younger siblings journal and using that as leverage against them! It really bugged me that no one ever really held her accountable for how she was acting-- because regardless of Josie not understanding love, I don't think it excuses how rude Kate was to her. (See I was really bothered by her!)
I enjoyed this book the more I read, and while the ending was a bit predictable it was still a really enjoyable read!
Have you read either of these books?
Think you'll be adding them to your summer beach bag?
What have you read & enjoyed lately?