Friday, January 28, 2011

"One Day" by David Nicholls

I've decided to begin writing reviews...might help me get an internship. Because what the world needs is more of my opinion.

Anyway, my review of One spoilers here!

Reading “One Day” by David Nicholls was like reading a novel about myself, and likely everyone else who has ever gone through college, fell in love, fell out of love, got a job they hated, succeeded only to immediately fail and vice versa. Whether you had an angsty, “the world is so screwed up so let’s listen to Rage Against the Machine and quote Ani Difranco” sort of phase, or an “Im going to drink 30 PBR’s every night and have sex with everything that moves” phase, or even if you didn’t have the guts but considered the idea for a will find yourself reflected in this book. Whether you’re just out of college or you haven’t been there for many years, you will connect to these characters on an intimate level. Where most love stories fail to recognize the characters as individuals and often focus on only what these characters are together, “One Day” follows the journey of Emma and Dexter through a lifetime of failures and success apart, while the reader gets small glimpses of what they could possibly be together.

For much of the book you’re wondering if these two characters will ever finally wake up and realize just how perfect they are for each other. You want to scream at Dexter “get your head out of your ass!”. But as Nicholls develops these two character in such an honest, true to life way, the reader starts to wish for them to discover who they are as individuals. We realize that maybe they aren’t perfect for each other, as much as we hoped they would be. Perhaps perpetual happiness together is an unlikely ending to this story. The happy ending that we wish for suddenly becomes not about Emma and Dexter seeing the light and falling into each other’s arms, but about them recognizing the light within themselves and sorting their heads out as separate people.

This is not a cheesy, weepy love story...I did shed a tear or two (who am I kidding, my rough outer shell was pierced to the heart and I cried like a baby). Though this is a story about two people who truly do love each other, it is more a coming of age story about how we continue to grow throughout our lives even as we become adults and think we’ve seen it all. It is a story that reminds you that life goes on, even when it seems impossible or you wish with all your soul that it wouldn’t.

“One Day” is a beautifully written, hilarious, smart story about two relatable, real people who just happen to have their paths cross. From lovers to best friends to enemies to possible lovers again, these two characters reflect a mirror for each other...they are what is real in a world where everyone has ulterior motives. It’s not the kind of love you yearn for out of fairy tales, and it’s not the kind of love that consumes’s the kind of love that really exists in the real world, the kind of love that makes long, strong marriages..if you’re brave enough to grab hold of it. It’s the most real thing we can hope for, and for Em and Dex it’s all we can wish for that they take advantage of it.

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