One Day. I was so excited to read this book. First I saw the movie preview, then my sweet friend recommended the book to me. I had such high expectations for this book. Unfortunately, they were not met.
The book starts in 1988 on St Swithin’s Day. An obscure holiday celebrated on July 15th. Throughout the rest of the book, each chapter is July 15th of the following year. On that first St Swithin’s Day, they meet and begin a friendship that will last them the rest of their lives. Sometimes when July 15th rolls around they are together. Other times, they are not.
The writing was great. So many parts that I loved. I’m looking at my highlights on my Kindle, and I’m laughing. David Nicholls is quite funny. There were times that I felt like I was reading a particularly creative blog. “Sometimes, when it’s going badly, she wonders if what she believes to be a love of the written word is really just a fetish for stationery. The true writer, the born writer, will scribble words on scraps of litter, the back of a bus ticket, on the wall of a cell. Emma is lost on anything less than 120gsm.” It’s making you laugh, isn’t it? It’s making you want to read the book, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, the book is not all in the highlighting. The main story is one that made me sad. After a few years, Dexter’s life takes a turn for the depraved. I watched him begin a downward spiral that I was not sure he would pull out of. I had high hopes for Em and Dex to get together in the end, but the book had such an overall sad theme that I really didn’t trust the author to end it how I wanted.
Now to a recommendation. Do I recommend it to you? I suppose that would depend on you. If you don’t mind a sad story, if you don’t mind watching a man completely deconstruct and hit rock bottom, if you don’t mind the uncertainty of an unknown ending, then I definitely recommend this book to you. You’ll enjoy it. If, however, you’d like to have the certainty that in books, at least, there is a happily ever after, then I’d recommend that you give this book a pass.
Before I go, I’ll give you one more bit that I loved. If you’re thinking not to read the book, this will make it even harder for you. “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 simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at… something. Change lives through art maybe. 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.