Sheri Radford's Reviews > One Day

One Day by David Nicholls
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's review
Aug 07, 2011

it was ok
Read in May, 2012

** spoiler alert ** I struggled with this book the first time I read it, and I only read it a second time because my book club chose it. It annoyed me even more the second time around. The format is especially irksome. How can so many important things happen to two people on the same day every year? And the format means that we never get to see some extremely important scenes, such as the time, a few months after Em and Dex meet, when she goes to visit him and his family and ends up calling his father a fascist. Or the time that they finally--finally! after years of build-up--have sex. These scenes are only alluded to, never fully shown, because they don't fall on the "one day" (July 15), which seems like a rip-off to the reader. It also really bothered me that Em is killed off very soon after she and Dex find a modicum of happiness together. Why? What purpose does her death serve, in the grand scheme of the plot? Why did I spend hundreds of pages reading about this couple trying to get together, only to have Em killed off as soon as she finally experiences some happiness in her life? If the author wants to convey the message "Life sucks and then you die," he could do so in one sentence. Spare us the so-called love story about a nice, pretty, intelligent girl and a selfish, spoiled, jerk of a boy.
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