One Day by David Nicholls (final thoughts)
After a couple years of being mere acquaintances, Emma and Dexter nearly become more than friends in 1988. Fueled by alcohol and the end of University, they find themselves together in the earlier hours of July 15. However, as the buzz fades and the sun rises, the moment passes. Emma and Dexter graduate and move out in the world, but mange to keep in touch and build a friendship. So begins One Day and in the following chapters we see where Emma and Dexter are in their lives and relationship on July 15th of each successive year, spanning almost 20 years.
As soon as I finished One Day I did what no book blogger should do. I immediately went off and reread a bunch of reviews I had seen on it. Before starting my own post. I know! Bad! But I needed some kind of feedback on what I had just encountered. When all is said and done, One Day is a book you’ll want to discuss.
For most of the book, I was not rooting for Em and Dex to get together. In fact, most of the time I did not want Em to touch Dex with a ten foot pole. I couldn’t really understand why they were friends – Dex, the cocky playboy, and Em, self-degrading and bookish. And indeed they seemed to fight whenever they got together.
Nicholls somehow managed to take these two characters that I did not like and get me to care about what happened to them. Honestly, I was as surprised as anyone. I’ve been trying to figure out how he did it and I think it was a combination of their inner monologues wondering why they kept acting a certain way and of each of them slowly maturing. I began to really enjoy both Em and Dex. And then once I cared what happened to them, well, I have to agree with Meg in wanting to hurl the book across the room.
This is another book that I had to process for a few days before I could make my mind up about it. It’s a difficult one for me to rate because while I’ll admit that One Day affected me much more than I thought it would, I still didn’t love it. And while it’ll be one of my most memorable books of the year, it won’t be one of my favourites. In the end I had to base my rating on my overall enjoyment and whether I could easily recommend it. I feel like I need to be cautious when recommending One Day. If it’s a book you already have on your shelf or were already planning to read, I would still suggest trying it for yourself, as quite a few other bloggers have really loved it.
That all said, I will still definitely see the movie when it comes out!
My rating: 7/10