Friday, September 7, 2018

One Day (David Nicholls)

This post will essentially be Spoiler Free, however comments by other users may possibly contain information that spoils portions of the plot, so read at them your own risk. This book is the fourth one that I've completed for my 2018 TBR Challenge.

What it's about:

Emma Mayhew and Dexter Morley, although schoolmates who have seen each other around, meet properly one day - graduation day, July 15th, and everything changes. For some inexplicable reason the two connect and become fast friends, but they couldn't be more different. Over the next twenty years, through good and bad, they are Em and Dex, Dex and Em - no matter what their futures hold. This novel looks at their journey once a year on the anniversary of their meeting.

Why it's worth a read:
  • If you're looking for a modern day (well, 80s to early 2000s) romance that has a lot of realistic elements to it, this is likely to be more up your alley.
  • For anyone in their mid-20s who is trying to figure out what to do with the rest of their life, this will be quite relatable in a lot of ways.
  • It's not written from exclusively a male or a female perspective. You get to see the relationship and their lives progress through both Emma and Dexter's eyes. 
  • Great for people who enjoy stories that deal with male and female friendships over the span of years such as Love, Rosie and When Harry Met Sally, and Never Let Me Go.
Where it disappoints:
  • The beginning isn't the best. It's rather drab and dreary, and I didn't feel much of anything positive for the main characters. I sort of forced myself to go through it because I figured it would improve.
  • If you are looking for an escapist romance, this isn't it. There are a lot of hard times and very few moments that are sweet and lovely. It's a bit more realistic that way.
  • Not everything works out perfectly. This isn't one of those fairytale romance type books where bad things happen but then the couple lives happily ever after and all is beautiful. It is much more of a novel about growing up and change and becoming who you are. The relationship is central to it, but it is more how we see these two people grow.
Final Thoughts:

I saw the movie adaptation of this book several years ago, so that definitely affected my perceptions. I knew the ending walking into it, and already pictured the characters as their cinematic counterparts - and that was okay. The beginning of the book wasn't my favourite, but knowing generally what was coming made me continue on rather than DNF it (not that the beginning is terrible, but it isn't really my style, and didn't particularly grab me). That being said, if you have seen the movie (which to my recollection was good - not incredible, but definitely worth your time...just get over the funky accent for a little bit...and yes, it is supposed to get less noticeable, that is a plot point) there are some differences here and there, but I don't recall any glaring differences. So, if you like the movie, the chances are pretty good you will enjoy this - unless the massive spoilery event makes you hate the universe and not want to subject yourself to both the book and movie.
Overall, I found this book to be decent, but not fantastic. I think it's overall relatively forgettable, however if you really enjoy those books that explore the dynamics between male and female friends, you will want to pick this one up.

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