Asho's Reviews > One Day

One Day by David Nicholls
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May 08, 13

bookshelves: read-but-do-not-own
Read from April 04 to May 08, 2013

** spoiler alert ** There was much I admired about this book. I thought the author executed his concept well. This book could have been a stereotypical "girl falls for bad boy and changes him for the better" story, but it wasn't. The characters were more nuanced than that (for both good and bad). I also thought the author did an excellent job with dialogue and gesture. I often find dialogue in novels with a modern-day setting awkward and clunky, but Dexter and Emma spoke to each other in a natural way, and I liked the opportunity to read between the lines of their gestures. Nicholls wrote both characters equally well, and although I think this was ultimately more Dexter's story than Emma's (he seemed to have more growth and change over the course of the book), I didn't feel that Emma's sections were lacking.
I read other reviews of this book in which people complained that they couldn't see why Emma and Dexter continued to be friends and why they continued to love each other through so many years when it seemed like they had little in common and didn't always appreciate each other's differences. On the contrary, I found their relationship very realistic. Perhaps it's because much of this book hit close to home for me. For many years in my early twenties I was the Em to a Dex-type guy. Ultimately my relationship with my real-life Dexter ended amicably and we went our separate ways. I ended up with someone else (very happily so, I might add), but I can absolutely see how a relationship like the one depicted in this book could continue for decades.
I was shocked by the way the book ended, but mostly pleased with the ending, too. As I got to the end of the book and it was clear that Dex and Em were going to end up together, I thought, "Blah, here comes the typical happy ending." So I was happy that the next chapter showed them bickering, but then when Emma DIED I did feel like the pendulum swung a bit too far in the opposite direction. Still, I prefer the ending Nicholls wrote than the sort of treacly happily-ever-after ending the book could have had.
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05/08/2013 marked as: read

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