People – it is an International Bestseller for a reason.
And I had the pleasure of reading it while I was death sick with a cold at a random cottage for a weekend. I don’t even know where to begin. I guess it really hit home because the story begins with a guy (Dexter) and a girl (Emma) on the eve of their university graduation – and I could feel their sense of possibility; the deliciousness of an unknown future.
At my university graduation, I knew where I was going to work in September, where I was travelling in the summer, who my boyfriend was etc. But I DO remember that feeling of unknown possibilities that I felt in years 1 through 3 and I’m trying to find it again now.
From the beginning, there is an undeniable connection between Emma and Dex, that is so rare to find in life. Period. Add to that the mystery that comes with young attraction and they become addictive to the reader. David Nicholls develops his characters in such a gradual, sharp way that it feels as though they are real life people. I could run into them on the street and have a conversation.
The dialogue is hilarious with Emma as a sarcastic, unconfident, artistic, going-to-save-the-world-one-day goody-two-shoes and Dexter as a lucky, flawed, superficial, fun-loving lothario. The story interchanges between his and her points of view and every chapter occurs one year later on the same date – July 15.
The title of this book could not have been more perfect, since it encompasses the unique structure of the book, as well as the state of Emma and Dexter’s relationship…One Day.
Through their twenties they make questionable decisions, waste time, fall flat on their faces, get closer and farther from who they are but they ultimately survive and evolve as individuals. It gives me hope that I will emerge from my muddled and confusing twenties, a little scarred perhaps, but ultimately on my way.
Their relationship is a prime example of the saying “Timing is Everything” – while men and women come and go from their lives, their friendship is the one constant. And I felt so frustrated with their relationship –a little “Rachel and Ross” if you ask me, but sooo much more affecting. The writing is honest. I can’t tell you how many times I raced through a chapter to find out what happened.
I laughed out loud and I cried hard. I just re-read the back cover of the book and almost started crying. This book made me think about fate, destiny, love, life purpose, happiness, loved ones, death, the insignificant and the significant times. I hope ONE DAY I can write a novel that is even half as good as this one. I think it is age, culture and gender agnostic. You MUST read it. Before the movie comes out with Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. Le Sigh.
So, what did you think? I’m assuming you’ve read this book.