Books For Your Summer Beach Bag (VOL. I)


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.

My Thoughts:
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.

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Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan

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 

My Thoughts:
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?

18 comments

  1. The Emily Giffin book is totally on my radar. Hopefully I'll get around to it before the fall.

    Sarah
    aroseinthecity0.blogspot.com

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  2. Downloading that Emily Griffin book to read this weekend!! Can't wait!! Happy Friday!

    <3, Pamela
    sequinsandseabreezes.blogspot.com

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  3. I love Emily Griffin - I have devoured all her books and always want more - so happy that you reviewed it!! Hope you have a great weekend doll!

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  4. I definitely will pick up these books to add to my summer reading list. Your reviews are so helpful. Have a great weekend!

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  5. Love Emily Giffin books - can't wait to read this newest one! The description totally reminds me of the tv show Friday Night Lights, which I was obsessed with. And yay for beach bags!!! Have a wonderful weekend!

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  6. i havent heard of either of these books, but will have to check both of them out. though the second one sounds a little bitchy haha. i dont have any sisters either and not sure if i can handle a book about someone bitchy, you know? it brings out my inner bitch.

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  7. I really need to read more ;) haha

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  8. I've always heard great things about Emily Griffin but I've never actually read anything by her. Definitely adding that one to the must read list!

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  9. Yep - still need to get Emily Griffin's book.
    I'm reading Paper Towns by John Green... keeping me deeply involved in it :)

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  10. I loved Emily Giffin books but haven't read anything recent of hers. I'll have to add these to my post-study list :)

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  11. Thanks for the great recs! Always looking for new books to read. My issue isn't wanting to read it's finding time to finish a book!

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  12. I haven't heard of either of these, but always loved hearing about new books! The first one sounds good as I'm a sports lover!

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  13. totally agree with Love and Other Foreign words.. I also don't have any sisters but if I did I would not like if Kate would talk to me like that.
    I loved both your reviews.. I can't wait to read The One and Only.

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  14. Thank you for the reviews. I haven't heard of these two, but will add them to my amazon list. Have a great weekend! x

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  15. both of these books sound awesome. i'm looking for more summer reads, so i'll be adding these to my list!

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  16. I'm so jealous you got to read both of these ahead of time!

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  18. I guess I need to check out Emily Griffin books.

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