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15th July 1988 Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation Tomorrow they must go their separate waysSo where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that?And every year that follows? back cover

10 thoughts on “One Day

  1. says:

    Rarely am I left speechless I usually have plenty to say but as I reflected on this novel I realized there would be no surefire way to describe this book It is a complete conundrum Readers will either love or hate this book I don’t think it there is much of a middle road with this one It will speak to those with similar personal experiences I enjoyed the format It gives the reader snapshots of Dex and Em’s life like flipping through a stack of polaroids just a flash of what was going on at a particular time Picking the same day established a seuence and highlighted that life and circumstances can change so uickly at times or not change at all as was in Em’s case when two days start exactly the same I think this was an intelligent way to approach a story that spans 20 years We don’t really need a full depiction of every single event in their lives to have a sense of what they are going through Characterization was excellent Dex and Em uickly became real in my mind as if I was peeking into the lives of a couple of friends or reading their journal pages I too uickly began to know what Emma would or would not like just as Dex did The characters were genuine Some reviews say that they were stereotypicalbut I find that some people latch onto stereotypes it helps them define themselves I feel this is what Emma was doing in her youth with her political stances and thus why they are not as important as she grows older So are they really stereotypical characters? Or are they just portraying their ideal personas as so many people do?I find that comparisons to When Harry met Sally fall short I understand the reasons for the comparisons in that they are both about friends that seem to circle back every few years and make sarcastic uips to one another But I feel like it ends there To me this is of a modernized Wuthering Heights The author’s ability to write from a woman’s POV is refreshing I am hesitant when I read something written by a man trying to sound like a woman I generally feel like it’s not authenticlike there is something off Not with this book Em thought the way I would think said things that I would say In the end this novel deeply affected me I have not read something that has touched me this much in some time It spoke to me completely as I was tortured by my own Dex in my youth and early adulthood The emotions are portrayed as they should be; the frustration the yearning are from my perspective completely legitimate I found myself feeling like I was reading bits and pieces of my own story I had knots in my stomach through most of the book and after finishing this at 1 am this morning I could do nothing but stare at the ceiling and walls absorbing what I had read tearing it apart mentally and extracting lessons from it to be applied in life That for me is the mark of a wonderful novel reading that reaches into your soul and touches your heart writing that moves you to feel

  2. says:

    THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERSI just copied this from my blogand didn't realize until it was pointed out to me below that I didn't copy the whole thing sorryPlease be warned this blog post contains SPOILERS for the following books One Day Message in a Bottle Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows The Lord of the Rings The Way We Were A Walk to Remember Atonement Bridges of Madison County The Time Travelers Wife The English PatientThis is the first book that is so beautiful that I want to uote it and keep it with me and yet I hate itI mean seriously hate it I am sorry I read it if I hadn't bought it on the Nook I'd burn it I don't want to read any books by this author just incase he tricks me again I want toI am cryingshame on David Nichollsinsert cuss words here And no I WILL NOT be watching the movieseriously Yes I hated the ending that much not since Atonement have I felt this emotionally cheatedEmma Morley dies and no I in no way saw that coming Why didn't I see that coming because this book One Day by David Nicholls a name that will be seared in my brain so I don't slip up and buy one of his books again was not advertised as a book in the same vain as Message in a Bottle See the thing is I hate when books have needless death and dying I hate books that intentionally kill off characters you love think the Weasley twin in HP7 to make you cry not to propel the plot along And in this book after reading about 360 pages of a wonderfully tormented friendship on the verge of something I was relating to the characters to the places I mean Emma has a flat in Earl's Court really Earl's Court and I was relating to the hurt and desire of wanting your best friendhmmI was relating soooo much that when Emma died I felt like a friend died and my breathing became erratic and my world darkened Frankly if I'd known this was going to happen I wouldn't have read the book as I do not read such books And that's just itI feel that Mr Nicholls had Emma die towards the end because yes there's still like 30ish pages after her deathI don't know whyI suppose so you can short out your Nook crying while reading because that was the ending no one expected This is what I feel Nicholas Sparks who is on my banned book list did with Message in a Bottle and what I feel Ian McEwan did in Atonement what a shame the ending of that was and what I feel The Time Travelers Wife was I mean that book doesn't even adhere to the science of time travel or the science it creates in the story if you canumer'meet' yourself you can also 'save' yourselfI mean he even knew what was over there in the forestgah I'm not into gimmicks and I am not into tricks while reading I don't have to guess the ending and I don't have to see it coming but I do have to feel at the end that the book and its characters led to the conclusionI have for many years read books that use to death or separation to propel the plot I was a little sad that Boromir died in Lord of the Rings I was a little sad when Jaimie died in A Walk to Remember and I cried like someone died at the end of Bridges of Madison County you know the part where all she has to do is get out of the truck and leave her whole life behind to be with the one she loves and she's there grabbing at the handle and you know she isn't going to do it but you want her to you really want her to I don't mind that The English Patient dies I don't mind that Hubbell and Katie never get together in The Way We Were I understand weakness and I understand death when it is used in a proper way to drive home the major themes and symbols of a book or movie Nicholls used Emma's death to do neitherI read a review on GoodReads I read many reviews looking for closure and answers that talked about how David Nicholls wrote a book that didn't really address any audience and therefore made a certain type of audience incredibly upset This is true maybe he didn't understand his audience I know I'm all for learning about relationship mistakes in a work of fiction I just don't need characters to die to do that I also know that there are people who love this book just like there are people who can't get enough of Nicholas SparksI have had enough of both

  3. says:

    Frankly after reading a spoiler about the ending I simply have no will to continue on there is just no pay off after enduring this depressing tale sprinkled with occasional one liners Granted I am never opposed to taking a good dose of drama but melodrama I detestThis story is about a man and a woman who one day come together as lovers then break up but stay connected Their relationship is followed through the next 20 years by presenting just one day July 15th out of their lives This is indeed a great premise and techniue but I wish they were used on different characters and situations Both Dexter and Emma are not likable enough for me to care to see how their relationship unfolds I dislike watching Dexter waste his life on partying and hooking up and Emma on pining over him for years There is nothing remotely romantic deep or compelling about it IMOI agree with one of the reviewers here who said that the author didn't uite know his target audience One Day is neither a literary fiction which can spin the star crossed lovers theme in a meaningful way see Atonement nor a light hearted chick lit some reviewers mistakenly compare this novel to the movie When Harry Met Sally It is somewhere in the middle which is IMO a decently written relationship melodrama perfect examples of which are The Time Traveler's Wife and tear jerkers by Nicholas Sparks Jennifer WeinerJodi Picoult and the likes But alas this is not my favored genre

  4. says:

    Is love really all that difficult? Yes yes it is David Nicholls crafts a beautiful love story about two people who are so different that they really only have one thing in common they are both mad for each other The frustrating thing is though that however much these two people love each other they maintain a friends only status throughout most of the book What starts out as a possible love affair after just graduating college Emma and Dexter's chemistry and attraction falls through the cracks as the years pass Distance missed opportunities and even a letter that never gets sent are all obstacles that ultimately determine their romantic fate and and life that they may have led together when they were young Each character experiences struggles dysfunctional relationships setbacks and successes and eventually it is clear that life is passing them by because their true soul mate is not truly in their life One Day offers laughs tears and insight and encourages to not limit yourself and if you truly want something don't hold back If you're in love go for it Missed opportunities are hard to overcome Don't let the years go by in vain Thanks David Nicholls for such a glorious heartbreaking read

  5. says:

    Every moment with this book felt like a waste of my time I've seen it all before the ugly duckling pining after the rich asshole who could be transformed into a better man if he only realized that the right woman was right there in front of him This plot is so well trod that I feel like there are hundreds of better examples of it that I could have been reading And here is the thing I love these kinds of stories as the size of my romance shelf can attest But I hated these characters so much that I couldn't root for them And as to the ending can I just say that I didn't like it the first time it happened in City of Angles and I still didn't like it when Nicholls ripped it off

  6. says:

    “I think reality is overrated” This is a novel that takes you on a roller coaster of emotions It begins light humorous warm and aloof just like most of us are once we graduate all our efforts and studies paying off looking into the future full of ideals hopes and dreams Then we face adult life and responsibilities disappointment and all the disillusionment that eventually knocks our doorsAt the heart of the story are Emma and Dexter two young people who start out long time friends and one night lovers and go on becoming so much over the course of 20 years David Nicholls chooses to have each chapter dedicated to a single specific date the 15th of July a chapter for every year On this day Emma and Dexter sometimes come together sometimes they don'tEmma is an extremely interesting character Idealist compassionate cautious caring She is no saint of course but she is the only presence in the book who knows what she wants and succeeds in overcoming the hurdles Dexter is not a likeable character and this is precisely as it should be He is not meant to be well liked in my opinion His cockiness is actually a facade most of the times and Emma is the only person who helps him bring out his better self It is not an easy task and certainly not always successful What is very interesting and telling is the fact that these two often do whatever is possible to keep the other at a distance but they are always brought together The secondary characters are really really annoying view spoilerThe incident that makes the book a true success is one of the most heart wrenching moments described in a single sentence at the very end of one of the last chapters It throws your heart to the beasts Call me melodramatic but this is how it made me feel I felt a deep sadness witnessing Death having the final word It was unfair depressing cruel Still I don't really enjoy happy endings they are far from realistic and one must applaud David Nicholls' boldness hide spoiler

  7. says:

    Why do these two like each other exactly?

  8. says:

    Let's talk about death Not death which is inevitably part of life but death in fiction where it is not inevitable at all Death in fiction is a deliberate well thought out decision the writer is God and he or she is choosing for whatever reason to Strike This Character DownThere are good fictional deaths and ones which feel cheap This book lost me for good because it contains a death that felt exactly like the hand of God reaching down Oh thought the writer god I don't really know how to end this but I know that an element of tragedy will make this novel seem super deep Die character die This did not seem like a senseless death of that type that in real life is imbued with honest tragedy It felt like an author scrambling for a final act and not being brave enough to let his characters simply face the rest of their lives together To die might be a very great adventure as Peter Pan says but Peter Pan is an eternal child Isn't this book supposed to be about growing up? Isn't the greatest adventure simply living?But let's stay with youthful mistakes for a minute You see the thing is I wrote this novel I don't say this out of jealousy—“It should be me with this bestseller me with a movie deal and Nick Hornby praising me on his blog” No Not that I wouldn't like all of those things one day—I totally would—but the novel I wrote which shares a freakish number of similar elements with this one sucked I mean it really stank This novel it must also be noted is much much better than mine was the prose is an improvement over mine at the time I was 20 or 21 and I'm pretty damn sure that this book is realistic and consistently funny and emotionally engaging than my juvenile effort However there are definite and bizarre similarities both books are about a friendship between a man and a woman over a long stretch of time beginning in the ’80s; both are about struggling to strike a balance between financial solvency and artistic integrity; both star a character named Em really it's eerie; and both feature a tragic bicycle accident It's the tragic bicycle accident that really gets me I saw the one in One Day coming from miles away and approached it with increasing incredulity Because I had done the tragic bicycle accident in the shitty novel I wrote when I was 20 and it was dumb then and it is dumb now It's the hand of the author coming down and going “Look Look I AM GOING TO MAKE YOU CRY GODDAMMIT”Since none of you has read my novel thank god this comparison lacks something So allow me to make another one This involves yet another embarrassing confession I really really like the movie City of Angels Yes the one with Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan completely honestly I do I also love the movie it was based on Wings of Desire I remember at some point discussing our mutual appreciation for these two films with my mother Which did we prefer? I know I hesitated because as much as I love Wings of Desire I also think it drags at certain points—that long lengthy speech in the bar at the end What's that about? City of Angels thoughHere my mom stepped in definitive She liked Wings of Desire better because of the crucial difference in the movies' endings See in Wings of Desire the angel falls finds the woman he loves there is a pretentious speech in a bar and then they justgo on living That's the ending they must face the conseuences of living In City of Angels on the other hand the angel falls finds the woman he loves and then the very next morningshe dies IN A FREAKIN' TRAGIC BICYCLE ACCIDENT Seriously what gives? Are we all just a bunch of scarred Nico fans inside? Is this a public safety announcement of some kind? “Kids Wear a helmet—or your death may facilitate the important if sadly belated epiphanies of your loved ones”No but uite honestly I think my mom was right that the bolder braver ending can sometimes be the one that's not about GRAND TRAGEDY but that's simply about the everyday struggle and joy of living How is that not an eually valid story to tell? The fact that David Nicholls seemed to do everything in his power to ultimately avoid telling it really frustrated me This novel definitely has its charm it's snarky and English; its central device is clever; its depiction of feeling lost and aimless in your twenties seemed spot on But—in part because of its clever format—too many of this story's important moments happened off stage and the—one is led to believe—central event of its two protagonists finally finally falling in love is downplayed horribly so that—dun dun dun—the tragic bicycle accident can occur several chapters later I felt cheated and manipulated frankly having slogged through 300 pages of the male lead behaving like an utter ass while not a lot of other stuff happened—all that for this? And sure one could argue that that sense of disappointment is realistic to life But I would counter that it doesn't make for very good fictionNeither does the fact that this book has endings padding out its already hefty page count than The Return of the King You'd already lost me with the tragic bicycle accident dude can we just wrap this up already? Your internet profile was enthralling but on a one to one level it just isn't working Let's split the check and go our separate ways Maybe in ten years' time I'll look back on this and laugh; in twenty I'll have forgotten your name

  9. says:

    Opening Line I suppose the important thing is to make some sort of differenceSo I’m going to try to write a somewhat sensible review here that doesn’t come across as all gushy fan girl I will say hopefully only once that I adored this book but you should know that I'm a bit of a sucker for a tragedy too ONE DAY was brilliant in every way; making me laugh and cry while filling me with nostalgia and longing And because I’m the same age as Dexter and Emma the time frame here was also totally relatable see nostalgia with little details I had forgotten about from the past two decadesEual parts heartbreaking and hilarious yet also suspenseful as each chapter takes place a year to the day after the last one so you have to figure out what’s happened in that time between And of course you want the Hh to get together so you’re waiting with bated breathe for them to finally “see” each other too In the end this also made me want to seize the day like it’s my last phone up all my long lost friends and lovers and look at old photographs Hmmm and I haven’t even gotten into the genius of the writing yet how do you put that into words? I knew that writing a review here was going to be difficult when you love a book this much there doesn’t seem to be enough correct words to do it justice and I promised myself to just keep this short and to the point so here goes This is one of the most hilarious perceptive witty moving and heartbreaking books I have ever read Told in 5 parts in alternating POV’s and over a span of twenty years Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley meet in 1988 Em has just graduated from university and hooked up with that boy she’s seen around for ages He is Dexter beautiful pretentious and in his mind destined for greatness As the sun rises they drink wine and talk about their futures They have their whole lives stretching out ahead of them in an endless number of days and isn’t it going to be wonderful they can achieve anything they want to Starting as lovers Dexter and Emma continue as friends and the book joins them on July 15th of each year St Swithin’s day through their 20’s and 30’s and into their 40’s As anyone in their 40’s knows life happens and it doesn’t always go as planned missed opportunities and the like “When I was younger everything seemed possible Now nothing does” Through phone calls and letters in different countries and towns through assorted relationships jobs and life’s little surprises and ruts we join Em and Dex each year in a uniue snapshot of their life They don’t always get along but they do think about each other everyday in some way and in case you haven’t figured it out this is ultimately a love story I can’t say much about this without giving it all away But when I read the last word I wanted to start it again and nothing I’ve tried to read since compares Cheers “Live each day as if it’s your last that was the conventional advice but really who had the energy for that?”

  10. says:

    Well well well 375 stars for meIf I get to tell you my feelings about this book in one single word it would be FINALLYTo be honest having watched the movie this book did not surprise me at all and all I can say about this one is how true to life and down to earth it is The characters are alright however I personally slightly hate the leading male character Dexter who is needlessly to say arrogant cocky and ahem a pain in da ARSE There I said itSeriously this takes me WAY too long to finish as you can probably see and there are several times when I have to fight against my will not to leave this one in the DNF section how cruel and guilty I shall feel for having done such a thing to a book Overall I would recommend this to people who would love to spare uite some of their times for such a novel and WARNING Do not watch the movie before you read it totally ruins the hype You've been warned mate P