Book Review: One Day

One Day by David Nicholls (Image borrowed from

It’s not often that I find a book I really, really want to read. So much so that I rush home after work, grab take out on the way, sit on the couch with my dinner in one hand and the book in the other. So eager to finish the book that I completely tune out from the screens (I’m a geek, some screen – laptop/iPad/iPhone – is always on) and read. Just read.

I dream of such days as I know reading is great exercise for the mind, especially when you’re not reading software design specifications 😉

But I digress.

“One Day” is written by David Nicholls. I have to say that until I saw this book on Amazon, about a year ago, I had no idea who he was. I was keen to read the book as it had gotten some good reviews and you know when there’s a hyped book, it’s always nice to find out what it is about. I randomly mentioned it to Matthew, my friend, who was asking what book I wanted as a birthday gift. So I said “ah, this book would be fine too” and true enough, he sent it to me a month later as a belated birthday gift. Matthew and I have that deal, where we ask for what we want as a gift and we will receive it. I have tried asking for a Marc Jacobs Hillier Q Hobo, and he went to the store looking for it and walked out when he saw the price. Hehe, in my defense, I didn’t think he would even consider buying it as I did tell him the price. I don’t really believe in best friends, but I think Matthew is as close to a best friend as I will ever have.

Now, I’ll let you in on a secret – okay, maybe not so secret – reading hyped books/watching hyped movies is a great way to make lunch conversation. I’m always itching to talk to more people at work but a lot of people I know are very sporty, into hiking, biking, racing, glacier walking, snowboarding, etc. Me? I’m more of your indoor person who is lucky to have been born tanned so I don’t have to fake a tan to look as if I did not stay indoors the whole weekend. So even though I look like I have been doing some extreme sport, I have not. So I need some nice topics to talk to people about, over lunch, hence reading hyped books/watching hyped movies…even if there is a high chance I might not like them.

Going out of your comfort zone is always a good thing, right? (Now don’t use that reason against me to convince me to try out skiing or snowboarding :))

Anyway, back to the book. Gosh, since when was I such a long-winded, digresser (I’m sure it is a word)?

“One Day” is about two people who are complete opposites – Dexter and Emma. Dexter is born in a rich family, has no care for the world, does not like discussing politics and has not much ambition. He does like how he looks, though. Emma, on the other hand, is always angry about something, usually politics. She is always boycotting something, wears big, NHS issued, glasses and wants to change the world.

Emma knows of Dexter’s existence but until the last day of university, they never spoke. And then they do. They become friends and the rest of the book shows us what happens every year on 15th of July. The book starts at 1988 and ends 20 years later. The characters are so real that at times I wish I could have called up Dexter and Emma and tell them to stop wasting their time and get together already. You know? Those two friends you know, who are always picking on each other, and definitely have a soft spot for each other – but they insist they are just friends? And all you want to do is knock their heads together so they will realize that they have been wrong all along.

This is one of those books. But it’s not like the characters are pining after each other. They are not. They are living their lives and dating other people and making things happen (or not happen). The story gives you a glimpse of their lives each year, on 15th July. So you don’t actually know the whole story. You have to guess things from time to time and read between the lines a little bit. This is something new for me because mostly when you read a book, you know the whole story of all the characters. Most stories don’t leave little gaps for you to fill in yourself, based on something the characters say a year or two later. Another thing is that the story does not skim over the uncomfortable parts – you get to read about it too – and experience what the character is experiencing.

If you’re looking for something interesting to read, please get this book. Of course it has it’s own set of cliches and annoying bits, but which book doesn’t? 🙂


5 responses

  1. I’m so glad you got to experience this kind of excitement! I love it when that happens 😀 the book sounds a real treat – I love the idea of once a year! I’ll have to see if I find this at the library 🙂

    • Indeed, a good book is one of the “simple pleasures of life”. I was so into the book and its characters. I’m sure the library will have it as it’s not a very new book.

  2. this sounds great! ive gotten into the reading bug myself, from reading cleopratra’s daughter, and now some girls. this looks good, i’ll have to check it out i guess 😉

    i gotta say, we learn something new each day, i dont believe in best friends either! that is so cool! 🙂

    • Yeah I heard about the movie before I started reading the book. I might watch it but it’s only coming out in October here. The story is pretty good though 🙂

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