Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Review: "One Day" by David Nicholls
After getting my new Sony Reader for Christmas (thanks again to my wonderful hubby!) I was dying to try it out and read a whole book on it. After all, I can play around with the Reader and love it, but who knows if I like reading a book on it until I try, right? I was thrilled to find out that my public library is one of the ones that is now carrying eBooks and since I had heard such a wide range of opinions about One Day, I checked it out online.
One Day tells the story of Emma and Dexter, who meet for the first time on the day of their college graduation, July 15, 1988. The two have a romantic liaison that night but end up becoming good friends instead of lovers. The two are so different from one another, Emma is reserved and a little down on herself and Dexter is stuck-up and self-assured, but the chemistry between the two is palpable. We check in on them once a year for 20 years, each time on July 15th, and we find out what happens to them as they live their lives.
I'm cowering behind a bookshelf as I write this, but I liked this book (okay, Meg, you're not allowed to throw things at me!). I don't think that it will change my life, and yes, the ending was abrupt and came out of nowhere, but I did enjoy it. I loved the chemistry that existed between Emma and Dexter. I swear that it fizzled at times. It reminded me a little of the chemistry between Jim and Pam from The Office before they got together (of course, now that they are together, the show is boring!). And the relationship near misses? Ahh! They drove me crazy, but in a good way. That chemistry, along with the fact that Nicholls can write, kept me interested and reading frantically the whole time.
What I took from the book as a whole, what I took as its message, was that life is short. Don't squander your talents and intelligence like Emma, don't hide inside of a bottle like Dex, don't ignore a person that is so clearly perfect for you just because life gets in the way. Live life to the fullest, live every moment as if it is your last. Sure, it sounds cheesy, especially when you put it together like that, but it's a fact that we could all use an occasional reminder of. I sometimes get so caught up, or dragged down, by the moment, by the little stuff, that I forget that we only have one life it live, and we need to make the most of it.
Sure I can see why some people didn't like One Day; I went in with lower expectations than some because of reviews that I had read. I found the ending exasperating, and the characters grated on me at times (especially Dex and his smugness), but overall I loved this clever, surprising, and well-written novel.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Challenges: 2011 100+ Reading Challenge, 2011 Support Your Local Library Challenge, 2011 E-Book Challenge