Wednesday, 2 November 2011

One Day by David Nicholls

One Day by David Nicholls
First published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2009 (this edition by Hodder Paperbacks in 2010)

Description (from Goodreads)

'I can imagine you at forty,' she said, a hint of malice in her voice. 'I can picture it right now.' He smiled without opening his eyes. 'Go on then.' 15th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year that follows? Twenty years, two people, ONE DAY. 

My thoughts
One Day was a book that I had been seeing around quite a lot, especially since the trailer for the film (starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess) came out. I had seen it in my local bookshop a couple of times, but it always disappeared before I got a chance to buy it for myself. Sometime later, I was talking to my Grandma and the subject of books and my blog came up. She said that she had a book that is very popular, but which she read and pretty much hated. And then she said the book was called One Day.

So, you can see that when I got round to reading it myself, I was preparing for the worst. My Grandma has quite good taste in books (though not always), and it was one of the few times that she has expressed strong (bad) feelings about a book to me. But I still wanted to try and read it for myself and it sounded like a nice book to read on the beach, so I did.

The story is told in a rather different way. Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the 15th of July 1988, the night of their graduation. Each chapter in the book is focused on events on or surrounding the 15th of July in later years. So, essentially, you get to see one day of every year in the lives of Emma and Dexter over the span of 20 years.

The book started off as rather promising. Both Emma and Dexter were perfectly likeable (Emma a little more so) and the story was progressing in a nice way. But then something happened that caused Dexter to act like a major idiot and resulted in my not liking him at all. And wondering why Emma puts up with all that idiocy (and other nice words I'm not going to mention). Emma was likeable throughout the novel; she has a lovely personality, is genuinely nice and sweet and definitely brings out the best in Dexter. Dexter is mostly an obnoxious, arrogant and supremely irritating boy (and, yes, I do mean boy, as he pointedly refuses to grow up for the greater part of the book) and it because of him that I ended up not enjoying the novel as much as I hoped to.

One Day is by no means a bad book. It is a lovely love story and it is told in a rather different, interesting way. The fact that the author chooses one day in each year to tell you about all things Emma and Dexter works very well and, essentially, allowed him to span the story over so many years, without it getting too tiring (seeing as there wasn't much space to put unnecessary information in). And then, there was that ending. I was shocked; I was appalled; I am still trying to figure out what on EARTH possessed the author to finish the book like that. You'll know what I mean when you read it.

Rating: 6/10

David Nicholls is a British author, screenwriter and actor. He studied English Literature and Drama at the University of Bristol. After he graduated, he won a scholarship to study at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. Upon returning to the UK in 1991, he worked as an actor, as well as a screenwriter and script-editor. Other books by David Nicholls:

You can find out more about David Nicholls from his official website.

Read for the: 100 Books In A Year Challenge 2011, British Books Challenge 2011

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