by SHARI REID
One Day is beautiful, tragic and most importantly, real. It’s not a once-upon-a-time or a happily-ever-after kind of book, but it captures the heartbreaking, frustrating realities of life and what it means to love.
One Day by David Nicholls follows the lives of Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew; two kids who hook up on the night of their graduation and forge a friendship which spans a tumultuous twenty years. Although their lives head in opposite directions, Em and Dex overcome their differences, (mainly Dexter’s arrogance) and always find a way back to each other. Nicholls’ ability to seamlessly link the intricacies of past and present creates a familiar sense of youthful ignorance and rebellion. He also builds a sense of normality, a feeling that you know the main characters; that they’re friends of yours. To me, One Day is a perfect portrayal of the mess of being young and the process of growing up – it’s not enough sleep, it’s bad food and messy houses, conversations about how to change the world and being bored, lonely, confused and frustrated, all at the same time. In his own way, Nicholls has made growing up something to be revered, adding honesty and beauty to the events of everyday life.
One Day is simply about two kids trying to find a way to be profound. At one stage in the novel, Emma decides it is best to ‘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’
In case you’re still pondering whether this novel will merely be read by hoards of naïve teenage girls, I advise you to read it and be ready to find part of yourself within the crazy, frustrating, sometimes pathetic, lives of Em and Dex.
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