Normally, books that are based upon a love story are not really my thing. I enjoy aspects of romance in books, but not normally as its own genre. However, I had heard pretty decent things about One Day and I found it for $1.50 at a used book sale, so I figured it was worth a shot.
by David Nicholls
Summary from Goodreads:
It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another. Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day—July 15th—of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.
This is a sweet, sometimes bittersweet at times, book. I like that this book is realistic about life and love at times. Dexter and Emma aren’t quite in love at first sight, though they both have a soft spot for the other. Over fifteen years, they have room to grow. They do different things, take wildly different career paths, and date other people. It’s not an instant love story, and I like that. Getting to see the two every day on different years is an unique way to experience an incredibly realistic love story.
My major disappointment with this book is the characterization. Both Em and Dex are three-dimensional characters, but they seem incredibly stereotypical to me. Emma is the sensible, practical, hardworking one who has to work for everything in her life. She takes whatever job she can while trying to reach her dream as a writer. Dexter is the rich boy who lives up the after college life for awhile before things force him to take a hard look at his life. At times, Emma and Dexter seem like every lead from a romantic comedy set in the past decade. This frustrated me because it’s obvious from the book that Nicholls is a great writer who was capable of more diverse characterization.
Other than that, I found this book quite enjoyable. It wasn’t quite a page-turner or a book I’ll fill the need to revisit often, but I think it’s a worthy read for a sunny Saturday afternoon.
Final Impression: Incredibly sweet at times, but fairly stereotypical romantic leads. Enjoyable, but not something I would want to pay full price for. 3/5 stars.