Book Review: The One and Only

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Synopsis from Amazon:

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.


I absolutely fell in love with this book. I’m pretty sure it took a week for me to finally move on from it. I just kept rereading my favorite parts over and over again because it was that good to me.

That being said I don’t think this book is for everyone just because it is a unconventional love story but in my opinion those are the best love stories.

The story centers around Shea Rigsby whose life is turned upside down when her best friend, Lucy’s, mother dies from cancer. Shea has lived her whole life in her same small town, Walker, Texas (except for the first few months of her life when she was in New York) loving the same college football team where she attended school and then stayed to work.

The death of Mrs. Carr makes Shea start to rethink her life. She’s start to rethink her career goals, her relationship with her boyfriend that doesn’t really seem to be going any where, and what she really wants from her life and for herself.

With the help of Coach Carr, her best friend, Lucy’s, father, Shea starts to make some changes in her life and begin to realize what it is she really wants.

This book was funny, heartbreaking, gives you butterflies, makes you question everything, and all in all amazing. I fell in love with this book and I will probably continue to reread it when I need to take my mind off something because it so easily pulls you right back in.

If you haven’t read the book yet stop here because now I’m going to get into some spoilers. Okay, here we go.

I truly liked Shea and Coach Carr’s relationship and I so knew that was going to happen but it still surprised me when it did. I totally get that it’s crazy and that’s her best friend’s father and it’s kind of weird but I just loved it anyway. That’s the thing about Emily Giffin, she’s make you support things you normally wouldn’t.

That being said I have to be honest and say I think a lot of the reason why Shea and Coach Carr’s relationship works is because she’s worshipped him her whole life. Everything he likes she likes but this is only because she’s been kind of in love with him her whole life. He drinks his coffee black, so does she. He likes glazed doughnuts, so does she. He’s the coach for Walker, she’s a die hard Walker fan. They drink the same kind of beer. The list goes on.

However, I do think that’s why Giffin had to include the whole thing with Coach Carr not reporting Ryan way back in the day because that shattered Shea’s idea that he was a perfect human being. With that I think it made their relationship more real because Shea had to see for herself that he isn’t perfect but the fact that she’s able to move past that and love him anyway made me really root for them.

Again, I still think it’s kind of weird but they were just too cute together for me to be totally against it. In fact I ended up being all for it. I know people disagree but I for one loved this book and now I want to go reread it. Again.

Also, I think it’s important to note that there is a central focus on football in the novel but I myself know near nothing about football and I still really liked the novel so don’t let that be a turn off for you.

Favorite Line:

He stared right into my eyes and said, “You know anyone who fits the bill?”

“I might,” I managed to whisper.

“Oh?” he said with as much charm as a man could possibly have without being too charming. “You might?”

“Maybe,” I said.

“Well let me know … Because short of that woman, the one I just described … I’d rather be alone … Just sitting here, alone, watching football.”

Stars: 5 out of 5. I haven’t been so caught up in a book like this for a long time. I loved it.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! Definitely something you’ll want on your book shelf.

Other Reviews

She Knows

The Book Chick

Making Thyme For Health

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