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I was expecting a beach read, definitely not Had a looming sense of dread discomfort through most of the book, and only finished it to find out what happened Blech. I love Emily Giffin, but WOW this was a complete misfire The main character was dull barely changed over the course of the book, the romance was shockingly bothersome than her previous love stories of stealing your bff s fiance, and the central mystery of the novel was never resolved view spoiler Why is the NCAA investigating Walker Now that Shea knows about Ryan s past, she really would rather REMAIN QUIET IN ORDER TO SAVE WALKER S REP than use her journalistic integrity and expose him She was a weak character, and Giffin s attempts to justify sexual assault in the name of loyalty to the game are grotesque Not to mention, the love story was beyond incestuous, with super problematic power imbalances HE CALLS HER GIRL FOR CRYING OUT LOUD hide spoiler @DOWNLOAD BOOK å The One & Only ⚝ In Her Eagerly Awaited New Novel, Beloved New York Times Bestselling Author Emily Giffin Returns With An Extraordinary Story Of Love And Loyalty And An Unconventional Heroine Struggling To Reconcile BothThirty 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 Than A DecadeBut 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 SecretsThoughtful, 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 Ugh No.For the sake of spoilers, I ll just say that this book was definitely a page turner I couldn t wait to see what happened next, but that s because I was waiting for it to get better There was a glimmer of hope at page 400 out of 413, but it reverted back to it s crappy self I m disappointed, I generally enjoy Emily Giffin books, but this definitely left something to be desired It wasn t well written, the character development was sub par, the author seemed to be flippant about serious issues, and the relationships were just creepy It was hard to empathize with the characters I m glad it s over. Too much football and a slightly incestuous like relationship ruin this book The characters are great on their own, but their relationships and the story in general don t feel authentic It is actually a bit disturbing, if you really think about the true dynamics power structure of it all. Here is what I learned from reading this book 1 Emily Giffin s favorite word is smirk Her characters do a lot of smirking If Emily had been allotted a certain number of uses of the word smirk or smirked or smirking for the duration of her life, she would have used them all up in the 413 pages of this book.2 Fictional Texans who treat football as a religion are almost as annoying as Texans who treat football as a religion IRL.3 Ms Giffin needs to learn that the phrase has to do with a bad feeling in the pit of one s stomach Here is a direct quote I didn t answer her question, just turned and walked out the door, a pit in my stomach What kind of pit A peach pit An avocado pit An armpit 4 When I am inclined to quit reading a book because it s so annoying, I should listen to my inclinations For the record, I kept on with this one because I was waiting for the big payoff I was doomed to disappointment The characters are one dimensional and unlikable, the writing is clunky and amateurish, and Emily Giffin needs a much better editor. GAH I ended up staying awake until 3AM finishing this book last night a terrible habit I have when it comes to my favorite authors and am still at a loss of how to rate it Being a gigantic fan of Emily Giffin s first three books, and not omgloving her last three I thought this was one of her best if not thee best written books That being said, I am a football fan but the detail and constant football talk was even a bit too much for me I couldn t put it down, but so because it was like watching a train wreck unfold in front of me it made me SO uncomfortable, maybe because I am close in age to Shea and just can t imagine a relationship with someone who practically RAISED you However, my inner hopeless romantic chick lit loving heart still wanted to see them together at times which made me feel sick and confused all at once I d love a sequel to this story because I just can t fathom the future of this ending I d give it 4.5 stars for the writing but 3.5 for the story I m all about pushing boundaries but this bordered on inappropriate and weird. I was UBER disappointed in The One and Only I am a huge Emily Giffin fan Have read all her books and have even met her twice I also happen to LOVE football LOVE Even went to the NFL Draft in early May You d think combining two things I thoroughly enjoy would be a good thing Nope, I was very, very wrong While, I did enjoy the name dropping of Jon Gruden hee and that Coach Carr happened to be a closet GB Packers Fan Go Pack Go AND that my Aaron Rodgers was named the best QB in the league by Shea s colleague at the Dallas Post BOOM , that s unfortunately where the novelty of an Emily Giffin football book ended Like a few other posts I skimmed, I did not enjoy the saga of Shea and Coach Carr At the early points in the book, I strictly got a father daughter vibe from them Shea was everything Lucy refused to be When we got the tingly touches and longing looks, I became afraid Very afraid I also didn t understand Shea s fascination with Coach Carr outside of football He wasn t a particularly good father or husband to Connie He didn t have strong bonds with his players a la Coach Taylor on Friday Night Lights I didn t see him caring about them as people or being a leader of men as Stephen A Smith so frequently describes coaches on ESPN s First Take There was simply no emotion there Yeah, he was an excellent football coach and was adored by the town of Walker for football Other than that, I just didn t see it One of my biggest issues with The One and Only was the destruction of the character of Ryan Right from the get go, I loved Ryan He was every girl s dream Hot, talented, successful NFL QB As a football loving girl, I totally have had that fantasy Falling in love with the popular quarterback, sitting in the stands with the other wives and girlfriends and cheering on your man Hey a girl can dream Towards the beginning of the book, Ryan was essentially the perfect guy He donated to charities, stayed true to his roots by attending Walker games, and didn t take advantage of Shea when she had too much to drink The thing was.even before the twist with Ryan, Shea just wasn t that into him It was glaringly apparent from early on Sure, she tried, with the weird poofy hair makeover, and the casserole cooking, but she always had an excuse for not attending his games and frequently lied about her whereabouts Ryan HAD to be thrown under the bus to make the weak Coach Shea pairing even kind of work The happiest Shea was in her relationship with Ryan was when she could throw her successful QB boyfriend in her stepmother and half sister s faces After Ryan squeezed Shea s arm, and his daddy issues and history of domestic violence was revealed, I felt like it was Shea s Get Out of Jail Free Card Even when he was the perfect boyfriend, Shea didn t love him His issues were the excuse she was looking for to pursue Coach Carr I thought Shea and Coach were inappropriate, chemistry free, selfish, I could go on and was pretty much creeped out during their romantic scenes I didn t appreciate how Lucy was deemed selfish for not being thrilled about their relationship either I would be SO not happy if my dad dated my best friend and told me to deal with it Ugh I just didn t care for Shea and her self pity, didn t get the appeal of Coach Carr, Lucy was selfish and whiny, I feel almost guilty for still liking Ryan after his character beat down I guess the only characters I still kind of like were Miller and Neil ha They were fun I could see how non football fans wouldn t dig the incessant references and name dropping, but that was the bit I did enjoy The relationships and the characters were lacking for me I will continue to read anything Emily writes, but this one sadly didn t score. I ll be honest, I was prepared to hate this book Emily Giffin s work and I have a relationship in which I go in expecting absolute drivel and she either, a surprises the poop out of me and I enjoy the book Hello, Something Blue, Where We Belong and Love the One You re With , or b I curse myself for spending the money on exactly what I knew I d be getting everything else she s written It s this sort of question mark that keeps me buying her books I don t know why And I read them SO fast because I have to know what happens to these awful, atrocious characters This was a new low for Giffin It s no secret that I am not in the camp of women that LOVE Something Borrowed Girls that sleep with their best friends fiancesno, thank you I don t care how perfect you think they are for each other It s still not cool But now, NOW we get a chick that sleeps with her best friend s dad WOW Let s go over the basic premise first, though Because it was, you know, oh so creative A college football coach, a LEGEND as the main character mentions in the book , REVERED in the small town in which he coaches is not the most morally upstanding human to ever grace the planet He turned a blind eye once upon a time to possible rape, not reporting the allegation to the university officials or law enforcement I ve never heard a story such as this Oh wait, hello Penn State and Joe Paterno, maybe I have All right, so not a creative idea We can excuse our dear Emily for that, right The foreshadowing was there from the beginning as we got the scoop on Lucy she cuts people off if they cross her And I thought, That s my kind of chick She s got backbone She s got gravitas..until, she doesn t.Lucy loses her mother to a long battle with cancer and the super hot, delicious coach 20 years Shea our main character s senior loses his wife Terrible, right But almost immediately, Shea begins questioning where she is in her life Logically, Coach, rather than just grieving his wife, decides that he is ultra concerned about Shea s career trajectory himself Ok, so tons o fluff in between as Shea figures out the obvious she has feelings for Coach, her best friend s dad that has practically raised her and been her only father figure Can we say GROSS Look, I will disclose when I was about 11 or 12, my brother played on a basketball team with a kid who had a super hot dad So I m not saying people s Dad s can t be hot And I m not saying that this example is even remotely close to the same situation However, to act on this attraction, in my opinion, is inappropriate when there is an established relationship between the two families And ESPECIALLY when the man has just lost his wife and the family has treated you like another daughter GROSS So yes, from the 3rd chapter, I was hoping Giffin would take the high road and not allow this relationship to escalate I knew better, trust me In the meantime, Shea manages to snag the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys The ONLY thing I liked about this book was that the description of Ryan James had me picturing Chris Evans the whole time Yum Ok, so Mr Big Time Quarterback becomes super obsessed with Shea and is totally in love with her And she s.just not feeling it Why Because she is hot for the 56 year old Coach that addresses her as Girl HE CALLS YOU GIRL That might be a sign that he sees you as just that Untilnope, all of a sudden over some beef tacos, Coach realizes he s hot for Shea, too But he knows they can t act on itIn between all this, it becomes apparent that Chris Evans hot doppelganger QB has serious anger issues Shea gets told by his ex wife that he can be violent Nonsense, thinks Shea, I ve gotta keep up this relationship so I don t do it with Coach So yes, I love him Eye roll He even FREAKS OUT on a night that Shea doesn t call him by 9pm and goes onto have the worst Thanksgiving game of his career Because she is that powerful So the relationship is falling apart, even though Shea is fighting to make it work with this super insanely jealous Fatal Attraction psycho Ryan JamesUntil SHOCKER , Mr Dallas Cowboys puts his hands on Shea and she ends things with him She needed an out for this relationship, so conveniently, he is a domestic abuser So convenient is Ryan s tendency to abuse his ladies that Shea invites Coach over right after the incident as Ryan is trying to do God knows what to Shea rape her beat her scare her I m glad we didn t go further into that sequence, the book was disturbing enough as is But Coach to the rescue He beats the poop out of the Dallas Cowboys QBTOTALLY LIKELY, by the wayand Shea is all, Coach, my hero Then Coach admits to Shea that maybe, this one timewell, maybe Ryan raped a girl I m sorry, WHAT Well, no, no, I didn t believe her, Coach tells Shea Because, you know, she was probably scheming against Ryan for breaking up with her And you know, she was the loose type Wow, this just keeps getting better So obviously, a woman who gets raped and has the courage to come forward about it must have ulterior motives And if it s not her motives, then, it s her wardrobe She was asking for it Boom, Emily Giffin As bad as the book was up to this point, you TOTALLY lost me here I m sure Emily s husband, assistant and her unwavering fans will tell me that this was to prove a point about college and professional sports That people look the other way Ok, so let s elaborate on thatInterestingly, one storyline throughout the book that was mentioned in passing and never developed was the most interesting one the NCAA violations investigation There s mention of the current superstar of the team getting courted by boosters and a player from back in the day having a car bought for him There s mention of bias in grades and academic violations And then nothing Shea just decides to resign from her job because she doesn t believe she can be objective in reporting about her school or the investigation And then that s it We never hear about the resolution to the investigation Everything gets tied up in a neat little bow from there In about 40 pages, Lucy finds out about her Dad and Shea when they make the intelligent decision to share an intimate moment in Lucy s house Lucy forces Shea to choose between her and her dad She chooses Lucy but not really , gets into a depressed funk, all of a sudden has a fantastic relationship with the father she started out hating in the beginning of the book, gets into a big fight with her vapid mother Then Walker wins the National Championship and Lucy decides, You know what, you two should be together The End Huh I can t believe I finished this thing And I did so quickly But don t confuse being curious as to how an author resolves something with the sign of a good book This wasn t a good book If you re still going to read this, however, make sure you either get it on clearance, from the library, or borrow it from a friend I still feel like I need to take another shower the get the skeeve off of me. What the friggidy frack did I just read It was like a really bad episode of Friday Night Lights Wait, no That s insulting to Friday Night Lights I was so looking forward to the release of this book, but it was terrible A main character that I couldn t connect with, a completely underdeveloped supporting cast, and a bizarre plot with too much random and sometimes disturbing stuff crammed in Overall, 2 giant thumbs down and I have a feeling many fans are going to be just as disappointed as I was.