February 4, 2011

Book Review: My One and Only by Kristan Higgins

At First Sight: On the verge of her 34th birthday, divorce attorney Harper James is determined to marry her boyfriend of two years, Dennis, a hunky, good humored firefighter. They love each other and get along great, so Harper thinks it will be easy enough to get him to accept. But, just as the awkward silence was stretching between them, Harper's younger sister Willa called her to inform her that she was getting married! for the third time! in two weeks! to Harper's ex-husband's brother!

12 years ago, Harper and Nick got married, madly in love but - to Harper's mind - too young to really make a success of it. Their marriage was short and burst into flames well before their first anniversary. And now they not only have to see each other again, but also find themselves driving across the country together, with just way too many emotions too close to the surface.

Second Glance: For me, Kristan Higgins is a hit/miss author, some of her books I've liked, and some I have really disliked. My One and Only was a bit different from Higgins' previous books. She usually writes about these well intentioned, if a bit naive and too optimistic for their own good heroines, girls who generally don't see that all they ever wanted was right in front of their face all along. Harper James is the complete opposite, she's cynic and way too grounded. She has abandonment issues because her mom walked out on her when she was 13 and, in many ways, that doomed her relationship with Nick from the start.

For Nick, Harper has always been the one and only, and he was the driving force behind their relationship and convinced Harper to marry him straight out of college, but then, he didn't know how to handle it - I'm sorry he didn't! - and that didn't help things at all.

For the most part, I understood both of them, they both had issues and they both let their marriage bomb, yes they loved each other but it wasn't enough back then. Harper always made sense to her own psyche and I appreciated that, but Nick... just when I was liking him the most I realized something: he's a whiner - in a very subtle way but yeah. It takes him a lot to accept this mistakes and yet, at the same time, he's making the same mistakes again.

The first 200 pages were awesome and I kept racing through them, trying to figure out what had happened between Nick and Harper 12 years ago and how it related with what was happening as they drove across the country. Then the book hit a bit of a snag for me. 

Bottom Line: I started by loving this book and ended by linking it only. We just weren't that good of a fit. Kristan Higgins does know how to write a funny, engaging story and this is just that. A good enough read though maybe just not in my 'favorites' pile.

Favorite Quote: "Because this woman was my real mother. For twenty years now, she had loved me despite myself, and that was real mothers did. That was what unconditional love meant."

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