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Review: One Day

August 11, 2011

Emma and Dexter first meet on the day they graduate from college – July 15, 1988.  They both expect it to be an evening of fun that is quickly forgotten but discover that they have some sort of connection, so they remain in each other’s lives.

One Day, by David Nicholls, examines Emma and Dexter’s relationship for one day – July 15 – each year.   Going into the book, I wasn’t sure how this concept would work, but Nicholls manages to pull it off quite well, by making subtle references to the past year in each entry.  This made it easy to keep track of the paths the characters’ lives were taking and also kept me up to date on their encounters throughout the year.

Like most relationships, Dexter and Emma’s has its highs and lows but they always manage to keep track of each other.  It was interesting to watch both of them grow and mature as they struggled to find their place in the world.  Nicholls characterizations are great – I felt like I knew Emma and Dexter by the time I finished the book.   They both felt like old friends and I found myself talking to them a time or two during the course of the book.

I don’t want to say too much more about One Day, because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.  I liked the book a lot, but don’t think I loved it as much as other people have.  The story dragged in a few places for me and I was a little disappointed in the ending, because it ended too soon for me – I wanted to know more!   Overall though, I thought the book was clever and very enjoyable and I look forward to seeing its movie adaptation.

I had the opportunity to ask David Nicholls a few questions recently – watch for his answers plus a great giveaway soon.

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40 Comments leave one →
  1. August 11, 2011 5:34 am

    Is this being made into a movie? I have seen it around…must investigate

  2. August 11, 2011 6:39 am

    Sorry this one dragged a bit. Maybe I’ll just see the movie at some point.

  3. August 11, 2011 6:49 am

    I’ve read mixed reviews about this book so I’m not surprised by your reaction. I think I’ll probably see the movie at some point.

  4. August 11, 2011 8:17 am

    I feel like I’ve read a lot of reviews similar to yours – I think this may have been a bit overhyped. I do have it, so I’ll have to see what I think when I read it!

  5. August 11, 2011 8:26 am

    This does sound interesting, but I’ll probably watch the movie instead of reading the book. (I know, gasp!)

  6. August 11, 2011 8:43 am

    This sounds like the premise of the old Alan Alda movie “Same Time Next Year.” I have this in my TBR pile and need to get to it.

  7. August 11, 2011 8:55 am

    Does sound like a great concept, but I may stick to the movie also.

  8. August 11, 2011 8:56 am

    I have not read this, looking at my book PILES not sure if I will have time… but I am interested in the movie.

  9. August 11, 2011 9:05 am

    This does sound like “Same Time Next year” which I enjoyed mainly because of Alan Alda, not so much because of the story. With so many other books to read, I think I’ll pass on this one.

  10. August 11, 2011 9:21 am

    Unlike most, I will read the book before watching the movie. Unfortunately I have so much reading to do that neither will be happening any time in the near future. The movie will be on DVD before I get to it. 🙂

  11. August 11, 2011 9:24 am

    I haven’t read this one, and but I do want to at some point. I think the premise sounds interesting and I have heard that it’s pretty well executed as well. I am glad that you liked this one! Despite the fact that you wish it was longer, it sounds like you had an excellent time with it!

  12. August 11, 2011 9:49 am

    I sobbed and sobbed at the end! I was actually surprised I liked it so much, but I think I feel that way about any book that gets such a reaction out of me!

  13. August 11, 2011 10:09 am

    I never would have read this one, but a coworker forced it upon me, so I had no choice! In the end, I thought it was a fun read but I wasn’t wowed.

  14. August 11, 2011 11:07 am

    My disappointment in the ending definitely sullied this book for me, but I do applaud Nichols for creating such a unique story — even though it was one I wanted to chuck against the wall (and almost did!).

  15. August 11, 2011 11:38 am

    It seems clever for sure, but I’ve tried to get into this book a couple times and just didn’t get far at all. I am looking forward to the movie though!

  16. August 11, 2011 12:23 pm

    I’ve meant to read this since stumbling upon it in a bookstore.

  17. August 11, 2011 1:32 pm

    Sorry to hear the ending is somewhat disappointing, thanks! for sharing.

  18. August 11, 2011 2:03 pm

    Sounds enjoyable. And I’m sure I’d rather read the book than watch the movie.

  19. August 11, 2011 2:14 pm

    Yay when I saw the preview I was like “Oh it’s one of those.”
    I’m not sure I will read this but I did love your review.

  20. August 11, 2011 3:30 pm

    For me the ending and the play on the title of “one day” are what made the book for me. It lifted it above chick lit and had a profound (yet sad) message. The notion of passing by the same day on the calendar each year – a day that will have significance – is something you take with you after reading this book.

  21. August 11, 2011 3:54 pm

    I adored this one and I probably oversold it to you!

  22. August 11, 2011 4:17 pm

    This is one that I’ve been wanting to read just because of the mixed reviews and the previews for the movie looked interesting. Who knows, hopefully I’ll be able to decide which side of the fence I’d fall once I get a copy.

    So now the question is…will you be checking out the movie?

  23. August 11, 2011 5:29 pm

    Hi Kathy,

    Despite all the hype about David Nicholls books and the subsequent reviews, which I have to say are very mixed, I haven’t actually read any of his work.

    This one definitely intrigues me though, as the story is in diary form, albeit only one entry per year.

    This makes it instantly more personal and conversational and one that I really need to read

  24. August 11, 2011 5:50 pm

    I really loved this book. It was unique, but beyond that, there was something familiar and warm about it…my heart recognized it. I felt the same way when I watch When Harry Met Sally. Yeah, and I cried and made a fool of myself at the end. Such a wonderful love story.

  25. August 11, 2011 5:58 pm

    I’m glad you liked the book, Kathy. I’m one of the few who didn’t care for it at all. I thought Dexter was pretty reprehensible and Emma annoyed me for continung to want him no matter what a jerk he was.

    Like you, I was disappointed in the ending..

    I’m interested to see what they do with the movie. I think it’ll probably be lightened up.

  26. August 11, 2011 6:25 pm

    I have this one waiting for me and I really have to move this one up on the priority. I’ve also seen that One Day will be coming out in the theatres soon with Anne Hathaway. I have a sneaky suspicion that this movie will tie in nicely with the read. Fingers crossed.

    Thanks for the inside look at this book. Looking forward to reading your Q&A with Nicholls next. What a coup! Bravo and definitely will be back to read the interview next.

  27. August 11, 2011 6:35 pm

    I’m really interested in this one but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Love the premise and just hope I don’t find it too gimmicky. 🙂

  28. August 11, 2011 6:49 pm

    I’ve never read a book quite like this before, it does sound interesting though.

  29. August 11, 2011 6:52 pm

    I’m with you. I thought it was okay, but not nearly good enough for all of the hype that surrounded it. I think I will see the movie eventually, just to see how they handled it but I won’t be running out to the theater.

  30. August 11, 2011 8:34 pm

    I thought he pulled off the concept very well … it was so much better than I thought it was going to be. I’m so curious to see the movie.

  31. stacybuckeye permalink
    August 11, 2011 9:53 pm

    I want to read this and see the movie. I’ve read other reviews that liked it but didn’t love it so I don’t think you are alone in that.

  32. August 11, 2011 11:10 pm

    What a contrast in your commenters – Jill/Rhapsody sobbing at the end (in a good way, I think), and Meg being disappointed in it. It doesn’t sound like the ending specifically was what dragged for you …

    I’ll admit I’m curious about ONE DAY (and hope to read it before I see the movie).

  33. August 12, 2011 12:05 am

    I feel you, I liked it but didn’t love it. I think it will translate well into a movie though.

  34. August 12, 2011 1:17 am

    I was hoping to read this before the movie came out. The plot does sound familiar though… like Same Time Next Year… as a few others have mentioned. Or maybe after a certain age I’ve just seen a lot movies and read a lot of books and they start to blur.

  35. August 12, 2011 2:53 am

    I have this one in my stacks. I’ll read it one of these days. I’ve seen really mixed reviews – I wonder which side I’ll be on. Lol.

  36. August 12, 2011 10:21 am

    wouldn’t that be a good thing that you wanted to know more…that’s a sure sign of good characters for me. Glad you enjoyed the book.

  37. Veens permalink
    August 12, 2011 3:28 pm

    I will have to read it to decide if I will like it more than you did 🙂

  38. August 12, 2011 10:43 pm

    I’m torn about wanting to read this one or not. I want to see the movie too, but not until it comes out on DVD 😀

  39. August 12, 2011 11:36 pm

    I’ve seen the trailers and the movie looks good. I wasn’t even aware it was based on a book at first, but now I think I want to read it!
    2 Kids and Tired Books

  40. January 15, 2012 1:00 pm

    I actually liked the book quite a lot and only just this past week got round to watching the movie on dvd – Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. It was awful! They had no chemistry. What happens to Emma though is still just as explosive and upsetting.

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