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I bought this book because I had heard reviews of the film and it seemed interesting. I don't normally read love stories but this seemed to be somewhat different. Its not a traditional love story.
I really enjoyed the first half of the book, which is quite fun light and humorous. However the second half for me got much heavier and darker and the humour disappeared. There is a big twist in fortune in the lives of the main characters and the book does make you think a lot about what the important things in life are.
I think the story should have ended much earlier but it seemed to ramble on not knowing where to go. I'd be quite interested to see the film to see how they interpreted the book as the book is somewhat disjointed.. Despite not enjoying the second half as much as the first, I still think the book is worth reading.
I love reading all types of books and sometimes crave certain genres or settings. The latest of my cravings was for a good, old love story! I haven't read a love story since Love in the Time of Cholera and really didn't want a typical chick-lit. This combined with an instant obsession to obtain and own some Flipback books - which I'll talk more about at the end of this review - bought me to One Day by David Nicholls.
If you haven't heard of this book yet, you may well recognise it by the distinctive front cover. The book is an international bestseller by a British author, and has been so successful it got turned into a film starring Anne Hathaway as the female lead in 2011. Incidentally, the screenplay was also written by David Nicholls. The book follows two characters, Emma and Dexter, from 1988 to 2007 on the same day every year, 15th July. The premise sounds good enough, right?
Emma is a smart, outspoken girl who can appear a little snobbish but definitely means well and is altogether kind and likeable. This contrasts with Dexter who is very self-centred and a little too confident for his own good. Needless to say, I didn't like Dexter too much especially with his general attitude to love and constantly behaving with the knowledge that he is incredibly good-looking and that is the be all and end all.
Even though each chapter deals with only one day of each year, the chapters are strung together such that you don't feel that there are any unexplained gaps; even when there is something touched upon e.g. a new relationship, it will be mentioned again in a later chapter so the plot is pretty cohesive.
Without giving too much away, the plot was a little predictable and long-winded to get to where it was at the end. The characters get on really well together, but even so Emma and Dexter fall in and out of favour with each other throughout the book. The most interesting thing for me was probably watching the characters grow since the book does start from when they are both in their early twenties, fresh-out from university. By the end, you grow to love all the people introduced because you've seen them develop; this does not just apply to Emma and Dexter, but also boyfriends, girlfriends and even parents. The jobs that Emma and Dexter both go through during these years also plays a big part in their characters, especially Dexter who by chance ends up in the public eye.
I do feel that I'm going against popular opinion when I say that this book is only average (3.5 stars out of 5). There are nice messages and the characters are very believable, but it did not grip me. Who knows, maybe I might even have enjoyed the book more if there wasn't so much hype surrounding it! This has often been the source of a lot of disappointment - I'm sure some of you have picked a film or a book because it was doing well, only to find that it's boring as dishwater! The ending wasn't what I was looking for and the story bored me in several places; I found myself thinking "xyz will probably happen", I was usually right except it would take a chapter or two to happen! It was a fast read so in this way I think there is no harm in giving it a go if you like the general outline of the story!
***********My Copy of the Book***********
As I mentioned above, my copy of One Day is actually a Flipback version published by Hodder. Very briefly now, there have been roughly twenty popular books published in the Flipback format - a 12x8cm book with super thin pages to be turned from the bottom to the top. Reading One Day was also my first Flipback experience - overall, I'd recommend!
I read this book on hoiday and it made perfect holiday reading as it was light hearted enough to not require too much effort yet deep enough to keep me interested.
It is a really interesting idea for a book as it follows two people, Emma and Dexter, on the same day (15th July) every year from the day of their graduation in their early 20s right through to their early 40s.
Emma & Dextre have attended the same university and seen each other around but have moved in different groups of friends and so never really 'met' until the night of their graduation when they finally get together. Following on from this however they both go their different ways, travelling the world, moving in and out of dead end jobs, moving in and out of relationships and yet they stay in touch both by meeting up when they can and writing frequently. Each have their own issues going on, their own ups and downs, but the main theme all the way through is the changes in their relationship with each other, which is sometimes good and sometimes bad.
All through the book you will be rooting for the two of them to get together and live happily ever after, but to find out whether they do, you will have to read the book!
You know how sometimes, when you read a good book, you feel like giving up on reading because you'll never find a book that will touch you in the same way again? Well, ok that's a little dramatic, but that's basically how I felt about this book. I had received it as a birthday present from my brother, who knows that I love to read but sadly don't get much time to these days. He bought it because of the author, David Nicholls, who has previously written other books I've enjoyed including "Starter For Ten".
The premise of the book is something that really appealed to me. It revolves around two main characters, Emma and Dexter, who become friends after having a little fling at their graduation and then the book follows them through the years as they begin adult life and encounter the twists and turns that life offers us all. It follows them as they try to find their way through life's complexities, revisiting them on St Swithin's Day each year, which marks the anniversary of when they first met.
The overriding plot is that of the tentative relationship between the two. They seem to have a "Ross and Rachel" connection and we are left wondering if they will ever get together or if they are fated to miss their opportunities and end up with other people. I wouldn't really describe this as a romance though, it offers so much more than that, and is a great read touching on modern day living and life's ups and downs.
One of the things I loved most about this book, was that it wasn't your usual predictable storyline or characterisation. The character of Emma is very very likeable, and she reminds me a little of myself when I first left university; lacking in confidence, harbouring a dream but working in jobs she hates, slightly directionless and unsure of everything around her.
Her male counterpart in the novel, however, isn't particularly likeable, until you get to know the character a bit better. He is extremely arrogant, loves anything pretentious, doesn't treat his friends or family particularly well, and we are left wondering what anyone sees in him. There are times in the book, however, where you feel sorry for him, and we see a bit of a glimpse into his home life and vulnerable side which reminds us we are all human, and he isn't such a bad guy once you get past the persona he puts on.
I like this yin and yang thing the main characters have going on. All too often in these kind of books, the main characters are unrealistically perfect, and you end up with some boring story about two charming, lovely, can't-do-wrong characters who fall into each other's arms and YAWN, my interest is lost with such predictability.
There are a few other characters who play important roles in this book, but to talk about them might be a bit of a spoiler, so I will just sum them up by saying that the characters are all very believable and engaging.
I found this book so refreshing, as it kept me guessing all the way through as to whether these characters would end up getting together. It is a reality check for most people, that sometimes things don't always work out the way you had planned, and life is very far from being a fairytale. The characters are completely believable, and they both have a dark and very imperfect side at times, which is true of most of us. I like the fact that the man who is the centre of so many women's attraction, isn't idolised as being Prince Charming, in fact most of the time he treats the people closest to him badly and you are left wondering why anyone would like the guy, let alone be in love with him.
After reading this book, I watched the film version shortly afterwards, and although I enjoyed it, I have to say the book is infinitely better. There are so many little details which aren't picked up in the film, as is usually the case, and the style of writing by David Nicholls is absolutely superb in capturing emotions and providing humour mainly through observation. I found myself practically reliving my twenties, as he sums up how around 90% of people probably feel, myself included, after finishing a degree and not knowing what to do with your life. This would make particularly powerful reading for anyone in their twenties who is feeling a bit directionless, as it's a useful reminder that it's normal to feel that way and you're not alone in feeling unsure of yourself and what lies ahead. Ultimately, life is all about the journey rather than the outcome, and so many people get so focussed on their future they forget to live their life to the full in the present day. This novel is a powerful reminder of that.
David Nicholls' style of writing encapsulates everything that is true of modern living. He talks of a generation of dreamers, who have mundane jobs but keep their dream alive, for example when Emma works for a restaurant and is trying to be a writer, she greets a new member of staff by asking what his "stroke" is, by which she means everyone is trying to be something else: waiter/comedian, waitress/writer, waiter/poet. This rings true for anyone who's ever had a dream, or anyone who is in a job they hate.
Although this is so much more than a "romance" novel, Nicholls deals with the modern day relationships very well. He manages to bring out every kind of emotion possible, and I had to be careful where I read this book after laughing out loud in the staff room at work several times, and on one occasion actually crying in the garage when waiting for my MOT to be done (and yes, it was the book that made me cry, not the price of my MOT!). He writes about the first excitement of new love, the annoyances and habits you discover when you move in with someone, the tendency for everyone to be settling down later in life these days, and how the thirties are the new twenties which see a flurry of wedding invitations arriving on the doorstep, all trying to outdo each other. He describes hen do's being organised by a bossy bridesmaid, ensuring there's no chance of spontaneity or fun, which made me chuckle after being on several goddam awful hen do's and consequently refusing to have one for myself when I got married earlier this year!
I could go on forever about this book, I loved it so much. But rather than spoil it for you, the best I can advise is that you read it for yourself. I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed.
(This review is also posted on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)
One Day has become more of a well known book recently, it having been made into a high profile feature film. David Nicholls' books are quite well known, particularly in the UK. Starter For Ten is very funny, and Understudy is also very amusing. One Day sets things a little differently, and it's the presentation of the book that sets it apart from other similar books.
Essentially a piece of high level chick lit, it follows the lives of two people who meet on their graduation day, and then we catch up with them on the same day nearly every year for two decades, following the way their friendship develops as well as how those in their lives come and go. But most importantly it shows their own personal changes over the years, and does so in addictive fashion.
Dexter Mayhew is a middle class biology student with stunning looks and a family with money. Emma Morley has fancied him (yes, fancied!) throughout their university lives but has never mustered the courage to approach him. Working class Yorkshire lass meets home counties upper middle class rich boy - and both their worlds collide. Nicholls keeps sexual tension running between them throughout the book, from the first time they meet and spend the night together without actually havign sex; right through to the last few chapters.
We are taken on a journey full of laughter, lies, despair, successful and failed relationships, mutual events, acquaintances, approval, disapproval, drugs, alcohol, ethics, shallowness - the whole thing to be honest! Nicholls manages to cram everything into the book, but the clever thing about it is the ability many people will have to relate to most things going on in here. It opens your eyes to the fact that most things in literature are relatable, whether we realise it or not. That knowing look that kept coming across my wife's face as she was reading this book was one of the things that led me to read it, and no doubt similar expressions kept appearing on my face.
The writing style is very smooth. The constant switching between anecdotal shallow passages and in depth thought processes of our two main characters helps keep things interesting, and the way in which both characters' life lines go up and down in different ways shows a kinship of destiny. Nicholls ensures the book ends in a different way to the usual chick lit you may expect, and I'd urge those who normally stay clear of this genre to give it a go. There's an element of difference to the standard format, a certain style that makes it hard to put the book down, and an ease of reading that allows you to not only relate to the characters, but also to find yourself rooting for them at the same time as despising elements of their personalities.
I wouldn't say this is the work of a literary genius, and it's not the best book I've ever read. I found it hard to put down and it was very good; it has also made its way onto the recent World Book Day list of the 100 best ever novels (which I'm not sure I agree with). It's certainly a very good read and one I'd happily recommend to anyone looking for something easy to read, with a range of emotions that you can relate to. Well worth picking up.
I'd wanted to read this book for ages, after hearing lots of hype around it, especially with the film adaptation coming out. Never one to watch the film first, for fear of it ruining the book, I thought I better get a move on and read it before I get the chance to see the film. I have to say, it must have been one of the quickest reads of my life, I just couldn't put it down because I was so desperate to find out the conclusion.
The story is basically a snapshot in the lives of two main characters; Emma and Dexter. We join up with them on the day of their university graduation and from then on peek in on their lives on the same date almost every year until middle age. We share the ups and downs, following them as they carve out their lives, forming relationships, making career mistakes and finding love.
This was a refreshing read because of the unusual structure of the story. It wasn't just another story of boy meets girl; it had a bit of meat to it and kept me guessing throughout. I really was drawn in to their lives and wanted to know what was going to be the outcome of their relationship. One of the most captivating books I have read in a while.
I was actually quite disappointed One Day took off in popularity because I thought, foolishly, this book was my little secret.
And it's no surprise this book has been made into a film because David Nicholls' style of writing is naturally very visual - that's what you get for being the script writer for Cold Feet, which indeed he was for years.
It was actually by pure fluke I ever picked up a copy of One Day. It fell under the three for two offer at Waterstones. I had already selected two books and was scrabbling around trying to find a third.
The reason I chose One Day over any others was the fact it visits the characters once a year on 15th July, which just happens to be my birthday. This is not my usual method of selecting my reading material but regardless, the gamble paid off. I loved every moment of this book.
I found that quite unusually for more lightweight fiction, the characters really came to life for me and I missed them once the book came to an end.
One Day as I have previously mentioned, visits its characters on the same day of the year, every year - 15th July - over a period of 20 years.
The two main characters in question are Emma and Dexter who we first meet on 15th July 1988 on the night of their graduation. A little too much has been drunk, the excitement of their graduation day has got to them and they end up spending the night together.
From the off, their personalities are completely at odds with each other and as it is the end of university for ever, there seems little reason they will ever see each other again.
But as we find out there is something continually pulling them back together again.
What I think ensures this book's mass appeal is it revolves around the universally popular 'will they, won't they' storyline. As a reader we are forced to watch from the sidelines as their paths take them in opposite directions, they meet other people, they argue, they decide they should just be friends, when all the time we are willing them to realise they should be together.
Who doesn't enjoy such a love story?
The book has you gripped because you are just dying to know how their futures will pan out, but at the same time I found myself intentionally slowing the pace I read this book down to prolong the enjoyment.
I particularly enjoyed the way Nicholls slowly reveals more and more about the characters as the years go by and so as they get to know each other more, we too as readers develop a greater understanding of who they are.
The method of catching up with the characters on 15th July each year proves an effective way of storytelling. We do not miss out on any of the action throughout the rest of the year through the use of flashbacks and the narration is mixed up from chapter to chapter to follow the story through Dexter's eyes and then through Emma's.
Another reason for One Day's popularity is the characters are easy to relate to. Emma is by her own admission decidedly average in looks and ability and so she is by no means unreachable to the reader. Dexter may be buoyed on by his own success but he too has his own demons to overcome.
Dexter as a result feels he is far above Emma in looks and abilities but it is actually Emma who emerges as the stronger and more able human being who becomes a crutch to Dexter.
There are aspects of Dexter and Emma readers will be able to relate to in the same way they will be able to relate to some of their experiences and struggles.
Nicholls accurately captures the feel of each year as the story moves on through the decades, from the 80s fashion through to the 90s idealism and the noughties politics. I am of a different age to Emma and Dexter but having been born in the 80s, I too made a real progression of growth and development through these decades.
The book takes you on a real roller-coaster of emotions, culminating in an ending which had me weeping out loud. It really felt like tragedy had struck people I knew.
I have pledged never to watch the film because I'm sure it will be no means match up to my own One Day 'world' and my personification of Emma and Dexter who are literary figures I now hold dear.
I hadn't heard of this book until the end of last year when I heard that there was being a film adaptation made. I wanted to see the film but if a film is based around a novel I always try to read the novel first because I hate reading a book already knowing the ending! I don't mind watching a film knowing the ending so much because it takes a lot less time. Therefore I was going to order the book when my sister said she was going to order it too so she said I could borrow her copy once she was finished. She couldn't get into the book so I actually got it sooner than anticipated but felt quite sceptical because she didn't find it a good read.
The book begins by giving us a date in the 1980s and we are introduced to Emma Morely and Dexter Mayhew who have just graduated from university the previous day. Emma and Dexter knew of each other but weren't close friends but last night after a lot of alcohol they had somehow managed to spend the night together.
The following chapters take us to the exact same day over the coming years and we learn what Emma and Dexter are up to each year. Dexter becomes a high flying TV presenter whilst Emma is working in a tacky Mexican restaurant despite longing to be a writer. The pair still communicate with one another but both can see that their lives have taken very different paths.
As the book progresses we learn what Dexter and Emma do over the next fifteen years of their lives. Each chapter represents a different year but every one is focussed on one single date in July. The pair go through marriage, affairs, bereavement and parenthood but they are always in contact with one another, forming a friendship that stood the test of time.
As I said above I was quite sceptical about this book because my sister had said she couldn't get into it. My favourite kind of book is a very easy going chick lit and for the first few chapters of One Day I did find myself thinking that I wasn't exactly getting sucked in by the plot but by the end of the third chapter I was absolutely hooked and couldn't wait to read on.
Initially I thought the fact that the book only focussed on one day of each year might pose a problem because important occasions and events would need to be left out. However, I really liked the way the book only looked at one day because it meant with each new chapter there was so much more to discover about Dexter and Emma and as a reader I could learn what the past year had brought for them.
I really liked both of the main characters but did find Dexter a little selfish and self-centred initially as he did let fame go to his head. However, I thought Emma was very down to earth, realistic, hardworking and loveable. There was one thing that she did in the book that I didn't agree with personally but everyone has their flaws!
To begin with I thought I could predict the ending however although what I thought would happen did happen, a shock to the plot occurs after this that I was definitely not expecting and actually made me gasp when I read it! The plot flows very well and because each chapter moves forwards a year it does mean there is plenty to discover throughout the book. At the close of the book the plot timeshifts back to the day after graduation and we learn a little more about Dexter and Emma when they first met which I thought was really nice as it tied up many loose ends.
David Nicholls writing style is laid back, informal and very easy to follow. The way that he wrote about both Dexter and Emma in first person made me really understand them both and by the end of the book I felt as though I knew both of them very well. The chapters were usually longer than a chapter from my usual reads but I found it easy to stop and start halfway through a chapter without any confusion. The chapters couldn't have been made shorter in any way because you must remember one chapter is the whole of the information provided for each year!
I really enjoyed this book and found that I was always keen to pick it up and read a little more when I had a spare twenty minutes. The concept of focussing on one single day per year was new to me but I found it very interesting and original and liked the way that both Dexter's and Emma's lives had progressed a lot since the last chapter. Although I initially thought the plot was going to have a predictable ending as I said above there was a big shock in store for me! I thought this was a very good twist to the plot as I wasn't expecting it at all.
The book is written by David Nicholls.
My book was published in 2011 as a reprint edition to celebrate the film release but the novel was first published in 2009.
The book is currently available with two covers, one is predominantly orange whilst the other (which I have) has a still from the film.
The book has 464 pages.
It is published by Hodder paperbacks.
The book is currently available from Amazon for £3.86 with the DVD priced at £9.99
I really enjoyed this book and found it a refreshing change due to its interesting layout. The plot was full of interesting moments and events and I found some aspects of the plot shocking and surprising. The two main characters are both very realistic and loveable and this is a book that I wholeheartedly recommend to any fans of drama, comedy or relationship novels.
One Day is one of those books that just suddenly seems to be everywhere! I'd already read a couple of David Nicholls' books including Starter for Ten and The Understudy, so I picked this up with middling expectations. His previous novels had been interesting and fairly witty, with a strength in characterisation, but nothing that especially blew me away. This book, however, was completely different, and I fell for it as soon as I read it. I recommended it to so many friends and family members that I almost feel responsible for its success - I've lent my copy out to four or five people and bought it as gifts for others.
The concept could at first seem quite awkward and contrived. The story follows two people, Dexter and Emma, during twenty years of their lives. However, we visit them on just one specific day in each year - St Swithin's Day. At first I thought this would end up requiring some ridiculous coincidences whereby they would always end up seeing each other on St Swithin's Day, and somehow something interesting and plot advancing would just happen to occur on that day each year. However, it wasn't really like that. Flashbacks were used regularly to fill the reader in on what had happened throughout the rest of the year, and some years the story would follow Emma and Dexter separately, just kind of checking up on them and where they were at in their lives just then. I thought this was very skilfully done, and really saved the novel from being a bit gimmicky and obvious.
As with Nicholls' other novels, the characterisation was excellent. Being able to see the characters develop over twenty years meant that you got to know and understand them really well. Both Emma and Dexter developed and changed a great deal from start to finish, and the ways they acted and thought were definitely believable. Emma is the kind of girl that's really easy to identify with - she's sarcastic and funny, but physically quite average and a real underachiever. She feels simultaneously inferior to Dexter, because he has looks and confidence and money, and also superior to him because she's a lot smarter than him. I definitely looked back at some of the people I had met in my life and recognised that I had struggled with similar feelings towards more popular, outgoing people than myself.
Dexter, meanwhile, is quite privileged, verging on spoiled. He's a far cry from your usual male lead in that I don't think he's especially fanciable; we really do see him at some low points in his life and it's very 'warts and all.' He goes on quite a different journey to Emma and I'd say he was the one who is the most different by the end of the book.
The best thing about both characters is that they are so flawed. There is no idealism or perfection or aspirational role model; the are both absolutely normal human beings who make bad choices and have bad things happen to them and think and do mean, horrible things at times.
Whilst being primarily about a relationship, this book also paints a remarkably accurate picture of the time period in which it is set. The politics and social struggles and popular culture of the nineties are discussed and analysed in such an interesting, absorbing, readable way and whilst the nineties are a bit hazy for me (er... I wasn't on drugs or anything, I was just young - I turned 14 in the year 2000) I definitely remembered some of the television programmes and presenters that Nicholls parodies. It's amazing how dated some of it seems just 11 years after the end of the nineties!
Obviously there is a lot of 'will they won't they' about the storyline, as the two of them manage to remain friends for so long despite their ups and downs. Sometimes I desperately wanted them to get together, and I couldn't understand why they were being so stupid with each other! Then there were other times when I thought they were just completely unsuited to each other and they would never be able to stop fighting long enough to fall in love.
Although there's a romantic thread through the story, I don't think it can be easily classed as a romantic novel or a chick lit. Neither would I class it, though, as a literary novel - this isn't winning the Booker prize any time soon. I would possibly class it as a zeitgeist novel or a social novel, just because it's about society in general as much as Dexter and Emma. Also, Dexter and Emma are often used to represent different sides of much bigger issues - Dexter's right wing politics versus Emma's left, for example, or Emma's working class roots versus Dexter's moneyed background.
I would say that this book would appeal just as much to men as to women. My husband read and loved it, as did a couple of male friends and my friend's boyfriend. I can see why some men might dismiss it as chick lit, but it really isn't. In fact, I think one of the reasons this book has been so successful is its appeal to both genders. I can also see why very literary people might find this a bit fluffy, and it is a very easy read, but you can definitely get a lot more out of it that your average chick lit book. (I seem to say this in every review that I write, but I'm honestly not criticising chick lit here, I read widely and I have plenty of Sophie Kinsella and Jane Fallon on my shelves!)
I was pretty much absorbed completely in this book when I read it. It's wonderful! There were times when I laughed til I cried, and other times that I cried til I ran out of tissues. I read it in a couple of days and I've read it several times since. It's incredibly readable and whilst it appeals to those who are a similar age to Dexter and Emma, I'm a 25 year old graduate and I felt that I face a lot of the issues that they faced when they left university. Nicholl's prose is readable, accurate and insightful, and he knows when to crack a joke and when to bring a tear to your eye. Often these can both happen within a couple of lines of each other! Also the dialogue between Emma and Dexter is incredibly believable - there is nothing stilted or contrived about it.
This is a beautiful, funny captivating, sharp, insightful novel and I recommend it whole heartedly.
Available from £3 online, and you can barely walk into a book shop without seeing it. I rarely see it in charity shops - I think people lend it out or hang on to it - so online's probably your cheapest option.
This is a review of the 2010 novel 'One Day' by David Nicholls. This is a well-read best selling book and also now a major motion picture so I was intrigued by the hype whether it would be as good as everyone said it was.
I came into posession of the book from a friend who said 'you read it first then give it back as I know you'll be quicker than me' so I was under pressure to get it read! In the end this turned out to be no hardship and I tore through the book (not literally, I'm not that strong) which is always a good sign.
The book follows uni friends Emma and Dexter starting on 15 July 1988, St Swithin's Day in Edinburgh. It's their last day at Uni, in fact their graduation and they've spent the best part of the last three years eyeing each other up but nothing really happens. They part from this meeting with a casual friendship that somehow survives another 16 years.
The story is full of highs and lows, covering careers, love, friendship, music, family, infidelity, travel, food and many other topics. There are a few surprises along the way and you keep thinking surely they are going to get together this time for it all to end in a row.
The good life
Dexter is a good time boy who lives his life close to the edge. A privileged upbringing, travelling and money all make his life easy. He is attractive and a total babe magnet so he goes through women faster than your average guy. Emma is witness to all this and at times he manages to break her heart but then sometimes she returns the favour.
I enjoyed this book but didn't find it to be the masterpiece I was expecting. I loved all the 80s and 90s references and the highbrow literature references. I can see exactly why it made a good movie and wouldn't mind watching it at some point in the future. For me this book reminded me of Nick Hornby's books and I also felt David Nicholls wrote sucessfully from a women's perspective.
I wish I liked her more
I wanted to like Emma more than I actually did. I wanted to tell her to pull herself together several times as she can be a bit of a drip but at least she gets out of a rut and pursues a sucessful career eventually. Dexter's far too busy drinking and dabbling in drugs to notice his prime is here and passing him by.
Clever timeline based plot
The book is clever and dips in and out of the 16 year timeline sometimes, a little confusingly to the reader (think: Time traveller's wife and you'll get my drift). I am sure many people in real life have a similar 'What if?' relationship with the opposite sex that travels through more than one decade and this is an exact replica of this situation. They watch all their friends get married off and the styles of wedding get more sophisticated the older they all get.
When Dex becomes a Dad. It is so realistic and true that I found myself laughing at his attempts to entertain her one evening. He knows he makes mistakes but he was trying his best with the baby.
Dexter watches his hairline recede with increasing alarm and Emma hears the tick of her biological clock as she enters her late 30s. You might think you can guess the ending of this book but you may be wrong about that!
I'd recommend this book as a good read for anyone who likes Nick Hornby or similar. It's not too challenging and you'll find yourself a hundred pages in before you realise how much you've read.
I took the decision to read One Day after it was recommended by a friend, and I am very glad I made the decision! Critics have deemed it a modern classic, and I would most definitely agree. The book tells the story of two students - Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew - who meet on the night of their graduation from Edinburgh University, and follows their journeys as they continue through life. The book tells of both the highs and lows of modern day living - the perils of becoming famous on light entertainment TV shows, the graduate given no choice but to work in a series of dull, unfulfilling jobs. It made me both laugh out loud and cry with just the turn of a page. However, be warned, the two main characters can take a little while to warm too, however, when the stories start to flow, you will come to love both of them and you will be glad you stuck it out and continued past the first few chapters. They have since made a film adaptation of the book, and I can't wait to see it; to see if Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess actually conjure up the Emma and Dexter that I imagined in my head whilst reading the book.
*This is my first literary review so please be kind with the ratings! I am stepping out of my comfort zone of cosmetics and healthcare....so here we go. *
I purchased this book through the Kindle bookstore in order to read on my i phone during a long journey, mainly because it was rated no 1 on the Kindle bestsellar list (very fickle). I paid £4.99 for the download.
The book is centred around the loveable main characters of Emma Morely and Dexter Mayhew, although throughout the remainder of the novel we are introduced to other supporting characters. We first meet the two main characters on July 15th 1988 on the night of their graduation. Without revealing too much about the story, we revisit the lives of Emma and Dexter on this particular date of July 15th on particular occassions over the next twenty years. We are able to explore how their lives, and in particular their relationship and friendship with one another, evolves over these years. I have to pay particular tribute to David Nicholls writing, as although we visit the characters lives over the next twenty years, I never felt that the story was broken in any way. The narrative just seemed to continue smoothly, even when there was a jump of a number of years. Another feature I really enjoyed was how Nicholls subtly dropped in references to the changes which occured over following twenty years, i.e politics and technology. When reading each chapter, I genuinly felt that the story had moved on a couple of years because of these references.
There are a number of main themes which are explored throughout the novel, many of which I felt I could really relate to. Again I don't want to reveal too much, but the book begins with the two main characters graduating and trying to find their path in life after University. Even though I was only three years old in 1988, so have no real connection with the time period, I could definately relate to the feeling of excitement at graduating and also fear of stepping into the 'real' world. The book explores their career paths and how their relationships with other people develop over the years. I generally pay little attention to these supporting characters, however they were very effective characters which had a real purpose to the story rather than just being there for the sake of it.
One of the main reasons why I loved this book was that I felt a real affection for the two main characters. Emma is very headstrong and witty, but also seems to struggle a little with her career and lovelife. Dexter, however, can come across as very immature and selfish at times, but it is difficult to dislike his character. As well as being a very humerous book, I actually laughed out loud at certain parts, it can also be very touching and poignant. Certain parts of the book really played on my mind even after completing it, in particular the moments where Dexter carries his Mum to bed and Emma and Dexter argue in the street. I have read some really well written and highly recommended books over the years, but if I don't like the characters I find it really difficult to connect to them and the story. I didn't feel that any of the characters were 'one dimensional,' and Nicholls described the positive aspects of their personalities as well as their flaws.
I must also pay tribute to how 'real' the book felt. Although it was essentially a story about love it was not a traditional love story in the respect that everyone had a happy ending. Nicholls perfectly described the process of falling in love, as well as the painful break ups which I'm sure we have all been through. As well as feeling support towards the characters and willing them to have their own happy endings, there were also many moments where I felt slightly frustrated with their actions. These types of emotions can only be incited by truly well written characters.
As books and films are very personal I'm not really sure what type of person I would recommend it to. However, I hope after reading this review I hope you can gain a little insight into the main themes of this book in order to decide if it is something you would be interested in reading. Sorry if I haven't described in enough detail the major plotlines, as I have tried to detail the reasons why I really enjoyed the book and the particular features I enjoyed. The book has recently been made in to a film, and I really hope that the film does this fabulous book justice.
My friend got this book for her birthday and I started to read the first couple of pages and was hooked! I went out and bought it straight away and having just finished it, it is now one of my favourite books.
The story is written on the same date of every year representing Emma and Dexters graduation day, the day the couple met, exploring their different paths through life while remaining close friends, and is written in a style that is so easy to read and you find your imagination running away with you drawing you into the story more and more. It is such a page turner that I found myself reading it wherever and whenever I could.
With a sad ending to this fantastic story of a couple clearly in love it remains a truly brilliant page turner and one that I have already been recommending to everyone!
This has to be one of my all time favourite books - never have I finished a book so quickly, and thought about it for so long after. After reading this I spent days thinking about Emma and Dex, and found myself imagining the scenario and feeling genuinely 'inspired' to actually take charge of aspects of my life.
Brilliantly written - in a way which i found particularly easy to read, making the sometimes heavy nature of the story much better. The jumping back and forth in time allows you to understand the story in a way which, without it the different time frames, would not be possible. It adds much more depth to the story.
Though an incredibly sad ending, it feels almost necessary for the story to work so well and to touch the reader in such a way.
Such an excellent story and I would recommend it to anyone, it really is a fantastic book and is spectacularly written.
The part of this book that struck me the the most was it's inspiration. Being an avid reader of Thomas Hardy, and counting Tess of the D'urbervilles as one of my favourite books, it was a lovely surprise to see that David Nicholls was able to write such an amazing story based on a very morbid paragraph from Hardy's Tess. The premise of One Day did not hit me until I read this paragragh as an intro to one of it's last chapters, and it made me love it even more. I can't say that I really felt for either of the characters particularly, but I did enjoy the attention given to the settings in the story, most of which I had been to and could immerse myself in. Nicholl's may again have been inspired by Hardy's attention to nature. I have to finally add to this review that I cried for about 4 hours straight at the end of this book, I was so emotionally shattered I didnt know what to do with myself. Any book with the power to break your heart this badly at the end is definitely worth a read.