(Just so y’all know, this review contains spoilers. I’ll warn you before they turn up.)
I just finished One Day by David Nicholls. This is, as you will notice, the time when I usually write a review because if I don’t want to write about the book while I’m reading it and/or immediately upon finishing it, I won’t be writing about it. See: all the books I keep thinking about reviewing and then don’t.
Anyways, One Day is about Emma and Dexter, two college students who meet on graduation and become best friends. The story is told in one day snapshots on the anniversary of their meeting, and over the course of twenty years, the reader watches their relationship evolve as they navigate adulthood.
I’m still processing how I actually feel about this book because there are SO MANY *FEELINGS* involved, but I think I can safely say that it’s great. Really well written. I first heard of it during Epic Vacation when Feller’s BFF’s girlfriend was reading it (and plowed through it in about 24 hours). I picked it up and read the first few pages but didn’t have a chance to get farther along. I sort of forgot about it until I saw it on Overdrive as an audiobook, and y’all know how much I enjoy audiobooks.
I will admit that it took me a bit to really get into the story, I think, partly because I started listening to it right before I went back to Arizona last week, and I just didn’t have the time every day to listen to audiobooks, and partly because it took me … four or five anniversary snapshots to realize it was the same day every year (I’m sort of a visual person, okay?!). Once I got back in town and listening to it everyday though, I couldn’t get enough. I kept thinking about what was going on in the story after I had turned it off, and I kept hoping for Em and Dex to get over their shit enough to be together.
HERE THERE BE SPOILERS
And then they did, and it was wonderful, but I worried. I didn’t think they would be able to make it last, and I knew I couldn’t stand to watch their relationship fall apart, and so I thought that the solution was simply that one of them had to die. Well, I was JOKING, OKAY, David?! It was A JOKE. I didn’t ACTUALLY mean for you to kill one of them off! And OF COURSE it was Emma because she would have been able to survive without Dexter, but losing her very nearly broke him completely. I think it did totally break my heart.
And in the end, this was a story about life and friendship and loss. It was angsty and funny and gut wrenchingly heartbreaking but ultimately optimistic, and in the end, though listening to this was one of those book/movie experiences that is kind of horrible at the time, I think I liked it. I wouldn’t recommend reading it while sitting at home alone when your boyfriend is across the country and not available for post traumatic book snuggles, however. And I’m definitely deleting the movie version from my DVD queue. Probably.