I recently learned that for book bloggers, DNF means Did Not Finish. What is this not-finishing-a-novel business? Seriously, I very rarely leave a book unfinished, and that is including some fairly dreadful self-published memoir and that time I thought I was reading historical fiction but it turned out to be Julius Caesar erotica; because in general, I would rather be reading a book than not reading a book. Also, how awful does something have to be to stop reading it?
Anyway, I recently got The One and Only on audiobook for the car, because I really enjoyed Baby Proof and Something Borrowed, by the same author, and also because driving is the worst.
According to the summary of The One And Only:
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.
I thought this meant Shea was leaving small-town Texas for bigger ambitions in a big city (one of my favorite chick lit tropes, seriously), but actually it means she’s going to take up with Coach Carr, and that was NOT my favorite.
Times I like May-December romances: The guy is young at heart, the girl is tired of dating immature twenty-something dudebros, the two share so many interests that age doesn’t even matter, the man is a respectable Roman senator who is obviously not going to marry someone his own age, etc.
Times it creeps me right out: When the girl has serious abandonment issues with her father, so she takes up with her best friend’s father. The man is a new widower, and he’s stuck washing his own socks until he finds a hero-worshipping young girl to quit her job and do everything that his devoted wife once did for him. Also this starts practically on the ride home from his wife’s funeral. And he is a celebrity football coach, while she’s just gotten her first sports journo gig because of him.
I have never rooted so strongly for characters to seek professional help.
So unbalanced on so many levels. I found myself skipping sections of the story, like when Shea drunkdials Coach Carr, or when they reminisce about the time she got caught in teenage misbehavior, and the cops drove her to Coach Carr’s house for her scolding Not even halfway through the book, when it became clear exactly where it was going, I shut off the CD and drove in silence.
And I guess that’s what DNF means.