Wednesday, November 30, 2011

'One Day' by David Nicholls

Hodder & Stoughton

ISBN: 978-0-340-89698-3

Length: 435 Pages

What the 'Blurb' says:

' You can live your whole life not realising that what you're looking for is right in front of you. 15th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year that follows?'

Opening Line:

Friday 15th July 1988 Rankeillor Street, Edinburgh

'I suppose the important thing is to make some sort of difference,' she said.'

What's good about this novel?

Fundamentally the thing that I liked about this novel, were the characters themselves. In my opinion, if you can't identify with a book's main characters then there is no point reading on, because why would you care what happened to characters, that you couldn't identify with them in some way?

The main characters Dexter and Emma were believable and likeable. Even though Dexter is perceived as a self absorbed idiot, I warmed to him. I also thought that David Nicholls' interpretation of love was also realistic. Too many times I have read 'chick-lit' type novels (although 'One Day' isn't strictly a chick-lit book), where the idea of love is all hearts and flowers, but not in this novel. In my opinion, this made a refreshing change.

'One Day' has a plot which keeps the reader on edge and the story has many twists and turns that I had not anticipated. I also liked the concept of delving into Emma and Dexter's lives, on the same day every year. The plot was still linear, but Nicholls' way of structuring the novel is, innovative and interesting.

I enjoyed Nicholls' style of writing. He is humourous and intelligent, in parts I laughed out loud at his turn of phrase and narrative. However, there is also great sensitivity in his writing.

What's wrong with this novel?

Although I feel that the ending of this novel was sufficient, for some reason I felt that it was all a bit too convenient. It was as if the book was wrapped up a bit too nicely. However, closing a novel such as this was always going to be difficult. This is because by the end of the novel, I felt like I knew Dexter and Emma and so leaving their story was difficult, because I wanted to read on.

Is this novel worth a read?

Before reading 'One Day', I thought I was going to hate it. I didn't, I loved it. This novel gives a realistic portrayal of love, has brilliant, believeable characters and a compelling plot. I really recommend this.

Have you read this novel? What did you think of it?


  1. New follower ^.^

    I really loved this book to. I didn't know whether I'd like it or not but ended up loving it. I'm curious to see how the movie turned out.

  2. I haven't read this, but your review definitely makes me want to.

  3. I've not read this book,but it sounds like one I'd like to read. It also is very much like a movie I saw, "Same Time Next Year" based on a short story. I saw the previews for a movie starring Anne Hathaway that is similar to this book, also. I do love the basic idea of this book.

  4. Thanks for the comments.

    The Little Blue Pig- Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm a new follower of your blog too!

    Kelly and T Opdycke- I would really like to hear what you both think about 'One Day'. I have been tempted to watch the film, but I think that it wouldn't live up to the images in my head, created by the book.

  5. Woo hoo, I see a share bar. :)

    Once I have commented I will share your post on twitter :)

    I loved this book. I will watch the film as curious to see how it is. I understand David Nicholls was involved so hopefully it stays quite true to the novel.

    I was hit by the twist in the story as I thought I knew where it was going, but as you say, it shows love is not all hearts and flowers.

    great review

  6. Romance novelist Nora Roberts has an interesting perspective on this book. She said in an interview that chick lit or romance novels by women writers are overlooked as light fluff, but if a bloke writes a romance novel, which One Day, essentially is, it is hailed as a bestseller and a film is made out of it.

    I thought this was interesting, because I have read romance novels and One Day isn't really that sort of novel - it's funny and witty and doesn't take itself too seriously. I think if more romance novels were written like this, it would be lapped up by readers like ourselves.

    Just a thought:)

  7. Thanks Dizzy and Unpublished for stopping by and commenting.

    Unpublished, you raise a very good point. This is something that I have been talking to people about. Is the reason why 'One Day' isn't classed as 'chick lit', is because it is written by a man? Does it have more credibility BECAUSE it is written by a male writer?

    I don't think this is strictly a chick lit novel, maybe because of the style of writing. Although I do not have a definite answers to these questions. I'd be interested to hear what you all think.

  8. I like the premise behind this book but I hadn't heard of it until I came here. It reminds me a little bit of the Before Sunrise and Before Sunset movies (which are two of my favorite films) And I love the discussion going on in the comments about a male writer writing romance and what that means for how the book is marketed and perceived.

  9. I sooo have to read this. The night before I left for Scotland I saw a preview at the theaters and basically peed my pants I was so excited. I haven't read it or seen the movie and I'm kind of hesitant now since I know it will make me want to up and move to Scotland for good.

  10. Thank you for the review. As always, it was wonderful, and very useful for me.

  11. Sounds intr'sting, though I already have plenty in my TBR queue. I think, to @Unpublished Lit's comment that this book sounds more like traditional chick lit (which term is now verboten) than genre romance.