Monday, October 24, 2011

One Day by David Nicholls

One Day by David Nicholls
Release Date – August 28, 2009
Publisher – Random House (Vintage)
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 435 pages
My Rating- 9.5/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

It's 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met. They both know that the next day, after college graduation, they must go their separate ways. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another. As the years go by, Dex and Em begin to lead separate lives—lives very different from the people they once dreamed they'd become. And yet, unable to let go of that special something that grabbed onto them that first night, an extraordinary relationship develops between the two.
Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day—July 15th—of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.

The premise of this novel intrigued me right from reading the synopsis. Checking in with two people on one specific day over a span of 20 years. I got to thinking about what it would show about me if I were to do that with my life, and what story it would tell. It was interesting to see Dexter and Emma as hopeful 20 somethings, disillusioned 30 somethings, and somewhat settled 40 somethings.

I was hooked by the writing style. It’s funny, charming, heart wrenching and real. You feel like you’ve become friends with both Dexter and Emma, and it’s because you’ve gotten to know them so well. The book was much funnier than I was expecting.

Emma is the type of girl I would be friends with. She’s a little lost, not really sure who she is and what she wants to be. Her journey over those 20 years is to find herself, and come into her own. It’s a journey so many young 20 somethings take when fresh out of college. She was relatable, likeable, and you wanted her to succeed. She is caring, and a true friend to Dexter. She sees things in him that he doesn’t see in himself.

This brings us to broken, heartbreaking Dexter. I spent half the book wanting to kiss him, and the other half wanting to smack him. Dexter is the type of guy that my younger self would have fallen for head first (who am I kidding, I still would). There is a letter that Dexter writes Emma early on in the book, that honestly made me swoon. He, unfortunately, is a big mess. Borderline alcoholic, unreliable, and honestly a little selfish. When he is involved and caring he’s wonderful. He does love people in his life, and he tries to show it. He does not think he is worth much, and is easily influenced by others opinions. Emma makes him want to be a better person (most of the time, when they are talking to each other). The thing with Dexter is you end up wanting to take care of him.

The ending of the book made me want to throw it across the room. I loved the book, but the ending…sigh. I honestly wished for any other ending. It wrecked me. The true significance of the date - July 15- is revealed and it’s heartbreaking, and devastating. I understand why so many people are angry about it.

One Day is one of those novels in which the characters truly come alive, and leap off the page. I will never forget getting to know Dex and Em (or Em and Dex) and wish it could have had a happier ending.


  1. I have been wanting to read this for so long--your review definitely just convinced me I need to go out and get a copy! Great review :) I'm hoping I won't be too disappointed by the ending. I hate when the end of a book lets me down!

  2. LOL this made me laugh, "I spent half the book wanting to kiss him, and the other half wanting to smack him." We girls are suckers for the broken guys, aren't we? The ones that need fixing, because underneath you see that charming, sweet soul.

    You have me SO curious about this ending!! I am definitely interested in reading this now, it sounds like such a unique story that hooks you in emotionally. Brilliant review!

  3. I picked up a copy of this book from my local used bookstore the other day :) Can't wait to dig into it once I get through my other books waiting to be read! I'm glad I've been warned about the ending ahead of time so I know that not everything works out perfectly and I won't be as heartbroken!

  4. I have been wanting to read this book and see the movie actually. I will brace myself for the end!

    Thanks for your review!

  5. Haha that's about the same reaction (both to Dexter and the ending) that a lot of my other friends have had too.. LOL.. I wanted to smack Dexter SO many times (uh, that restaurant scene??)

    Here was my review! :)


  6. Hi, new follower! *waves*

    I actually only bought this book yesterday after wanting to read it for absolutely ages, so I've only skimmed your review because I don't want to ruin it for myself.

    I'd heard that a lot of people were angry about the ending, but I just don't know why :)

  7. AH! As if I wasn't curious enough about this book before, you're making me want to read it even more now! I have to find out what happens at the end. Em sounds like a great character! I look forward to getting to know her. :) Thanks for sharing!

  8. Great review Kat! It really sounds like the movie is a lot like the book. I'm sure there are differences though, as there usually are with movies adapted from novels. I totally winced at that ending. So unexpected. Totally reminds us that things can change in a heartbeat, so we must enjoy and relish every second.


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