Title: One Day
Author: David Nicholls
Genre: Romance, comedy, drama
"You are smart and funny and kind (too kind if you ask me) and by far the cleverest person I know. And...you are also a Very Attractive Woman. And...yes I do mean 'sexy' as well, though I do feel a bit sick writing it down. Well I am not going to scribble it out because it's politically incorrect to call someone 'sexy' because it is also TRUE. You're gorgeous you old hag, and if I could get you just one gift ever for the rest of your life it would be this. Confidence. It would be the gift of Confidence. Either that or a scented candle."
This is the first time in a long time I have read a book which when I closed it on a night I looked forward to picking it up again. I had heard good things about both the book and the film, however I was told the film ended differently to the book. How wrong these people were!
I started the book with the thought that it would take me a few weeks to read like it has done with previous books. I did not expect this to only be 11 days. 11 days to read 435 pages is impressive for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I enjoyed how each chapter tells you the perspective of both Dexter and Emma on their life events on the 15th July every year from 1988. They have known each other since they finished university in their early 20's. They met each other at their graduation and spend one night together getting to know each other and enjoying each others company. However, they do not sleep together, as the years move on there are a number of opportunities for them to move their friendship further, they do not until a number of years later.
It is clearly obvious Emma and Dexter love each other and they are destined for one another. They have a number of different boyfriends and girlfriends over the years but they always remain good friends and are in contact through letters, postcards, phone calls and the occasional birthday mix tape. Dexter is a male who is not ready to become a man but he is too old to remain a boy. He continues to live the life of a single, young, care free man all the way to his late 30's, regularly getting drunk, taking drugs, going home with random people compared to Emma. Emma graduates with a First Class Honours Degree from Edinburgh University. She has high hopes of changing the world and making an impact in her career. She finds herself working at a Mexican restaurant that sells questionable quality food. She finds her calling in teaching and becomes head of English and Drama at a London Secondary School. This is something which she enjoys and finds rewarding. This is until she has an affair with her married headteacher boss. Her love for teaching soon disappears and she decides to pursue her ambition for reading and books. She starts to write a series of books which are published and become incredibly successful.
In contrast Dexter graduates with a respectable but not as impressive 2:2 degree in Anthropology. He has no idea what he wants to do with his career but sees himself in the public eye. He starts as a researcher and quickly moves up to a researcher and then onto a presenter in television. He quickly achieves fame and stardom and is invited to a range of parties and award ceremonies filled with people he thinks are his friends. The more he parties the more he needs the popularity and the parties and the alcohol to feel worthwhile and feel loved. Its not long before he finds himself going home with strangers and waking up not knowing where he is and finding himself with the craving to drink as a way to numb the pain of the previous nights hangover. He slowly spirals out of control and doesn't know how to get his life back on track. The only regular, familiar face is Emma. The death of his mother is the tipping point for Dexter and he parties more, drinks more and as he's getting older finds it even harder to recover from the hangover.
I am not going to ruin the ending of the book but I really did not expect it to end this way. As I previously mentioned, I was told the ending was different in the book to the film, however, that is not the case. If you have seen the film then I am not ruining anything for you, it ends the same way I'm afraid. Just when things seem to be getting better for Emma and Dexter, fate takes an unfortunate turn and their lives are changed forever.
This book was funny, emotional, romantic and just what I needed to finish my summer break. It was the first book by David Nicholls which I had read but I would definitely consider another book by Nicholls in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have already recommended it to friends and family. It is a great read and I really enjoyed it. I would definitely read it again.
10 word review: great book, would definitely recommend for everyone to read it.
My next review will be a relatively new release and a follow on of my previous review of To Kill a Mockingbird. I will be reviewing Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. I have been looking forward to another Harper Lee book since the first time I read To Kill a Mockingbird at the age of 14.
Thank you for reading the blog and I have now passed the 1000 page views. Thank you to everyone who has read and viewed my blog. I never thought I would get this far and I look forward to the future for Three Minutes and Forty Five Seconds...Steph xx