Title: One Day
Author: David Nicholls
Cover Artist: Craig Ward
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: August 1st 2009
Genre: Romance fiction
Page Count: 435
Original Language: English
Format Read: Paperback
Other books in series: N/A
Movie Adaptation: One Day, released 2011
I knew about this book, and just like The Rosie Project I was passing an independent bookshop on holiday and decided to buy it, because I felt like some romance fiction at the time. All I can say is that I can't believe I didn't read it sooner. Anyway, here's the review.
You can live your whole life not realising that what you're looking for is right in front of you.
15th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet 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?
The first page:
*Spoiler Alert - this review assumes you are familiar with the story's ending*
I read this a while ago so I just have a lot of scribbled notes in my book journal to go on - bear with me! I'm getting quite passionate about this book whilst I'm thinking of things to say about it, and I'm thinking that I'm definitely going to have to read it again.
And you all know how much I hate romance novels, let alone consider reading them for a second time.
So I guess you can say that's a compliment in itself.
The book is about Emma and Dexter, who go from strangers to best friends to... more. The novel covers a whole twenty year period, and that's an immense amount of time to cover. I expected it to feel more strained and laboured, but I think this is the only book where I can confidently say it works well for the story. It was very absorbing, and I just had to finish it. I can't quite remember how long it took me to read it, but I can tell you it probably wasn't very long. It's just like Picture Me Gone - it consumes you whilst you read it.
Whilst I was reading it, I could visualise Emma's POV so clearly, but perhaps one of the only negatives of this book was that I couldn't always visualise Dexter's as clearly. It wasn't much of a problem though, I only found this around the middle of the novel, at Dexter's downfall moments. However, the imagery was so strong, and I could spot a few subtle foreshadowing techniques. I love a good foreshadow if its done correctly, and in One Day, it certainly was.
I've written down "I guessed she would die though" at the bottom of my page. Sorry if I spoiled it, but you were previously warned in bold lettering. I presume I meant this with sadness and despair, but knowing me it was as cold-hearted as a snowman in wintertime. Don't look at me like that... I just knew. It's not obvious from the text, but I've read far too many novels to know that when everything has been going stupendously well, it never ends in the same way. At the time, I do remember feeling a bit broken, because I was really rooting for Emma. And I don't have that much experience with romantic novels. God, I just remembered why I hate them so much. Those darn feels.
Overall, it was shocking, sentimental, and left me nostalgic for something that didn't happen to me.
I've also written "reads like a five, reviews like a four" and I have no clue what that means, but I'm going to take my past self's advice anyway and give it 4/5 cups of tea. It wasn't perfect, but it wasn't far off. You know, for a romance novel.
About the author:
David Nicholls is a British author, screenwriter, and actor. He worked as an actor for the eight years, followed by a job at BBC Radio Drama as a script reader/researcher. This led to script-editing jobs at London Weekend Television and Tiger Aspect Productions. Simpatico was turned into a feature film in 1999, and this allowed David to start writing full-time. He has been twice nominated for BAFTA awards and his first novel, Starter for Ten was featured on the first Richard and Judy Book Club.
Where to find David Nicholls: Website