Monday, August 16, 2010

One Day by David Nicholls

I had high hopes for One Day, by David Nicholls, and most of them were met.  The story is about a man and a woman who meet on July 15, 1988.  Every chapter takes place on July 15, year by year, for twenty years.  Emma wants to be a writer who changes the world.  She's a bit of an idealist at times.  Dexter just wants to have fun.  He wants to travel and do things that are exciting.

Despite their differences, their friendship thrives.  They have years where they don't talk at all.  They have years where they lean heavily on each other.  There are some chapters when I hated Dexter.  I hated that he drank too much, partied too much, and didn't realize that Emma was there for him.  There were chapters where I hated Emma.  She was too complacent and accepting of her dull life.  I, being the hopeless romantic, wanted them to fall in love from the start.

As frustrating as the story was at times, I couldn't help but want to know what was going to happen next.  A year in their lives would go by as I moved to a new chapter, but talented writing filled in the gaps.  Ultimately, the book left me heartbroken - but in a good way.  I miss Dex and Em.  Em and Dex.  I look forward to meeting them again in the upcoming movie.

One Day is a very high concept novel that really works.  It's just right.

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