david nicholls one day

One Day by David Nicholls 

Finished 05/02/2017

15th July. A typically unextraordinary day but the day around which this entire book centres. One Day relies on a simple premise; follow the story of two people on the 15th July 1988… and every 15th July for the next twenty years.

By following our characters for such a long period of time we get to experience not only their changes as individuals but also the developments in their relationship. It’s a classic friends to lovers story. It’s funny, eloquent, and hard hitting. Another benefit of telling such a long story is that everyone can relate to it. Whether you’re in university, struggling in a dead end job, or watching all your friends walk down the aisle, there will be a moment in this book reminiscent of your own life.

This book is presented as a romance novel but personally I view it more as a tale of friendship. If I’m honest, I much preferred the earlier half of the book- by the time any romance started to develop it no longer made sense to me. I was more interested in watching their friendship and it felt like the relationship developed out of comfort and familiarity more than love. But like I said, I found this book enjoyable for it’s portrayal of friendship, despite not being particularly interested in any romantic developments.

I feel I should mention the ending but don’t want to ruin it for anyone so this will be spoiler free. I’ll admit, I’d seen the movie a long time ago so I knew what was coming. However it was much less spectacular than I remember; It felt like an attempt to force emotion out of the reader. It made little sense in terms of the story, more like the characters had reached their destination and the author was unsure how to end the story in a way that would make the reader feel something. Had I been more involved in the romantic side of Dex and Em’s relationship I would probably have been more affected, but as it stands it just felt like a bit of a cop out.

Overall I enjoyed One Day, the first half more so than the second. If you enjoy contemporary romance then you’ve probably already read it but if not, I’d give it a chance. It’s a fun premise that’s easy to get into and on the whole an enjoyable read.

What are you going to do with your life?“ In one way or another it seemed that people had been asking her this forever; teachers, her parents, friends at three in the morning, but the question had never seemed this pressing and still she was no nearer an answer… "Live each day as if it’s your last’, that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn’t practical. Better by far to be good and courageous and bold and to make difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.