book review: one day by david nicholls

This book is a classic word of mouth best-seller. People read it, love it, convince their friends they should read it and the cycle continues. Lately I have asked people what book I should read next and most of them recommend “One Day”. For those wondering, there was a movie released in 2011 (I went to say this year, then realised we’re now in 2012) starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess.

I generally prefer to read the book before I see the movie, because you always learn more and the movie tends to make much more sense. So without much arm twisting I decided to read “One Day” and was pleasantly surprised.

When a book has so much hype surrounded it, your view of it goes one of two ways. You either agree or are disappointed. I fell into the former category. I loved this book and I know it will become a regular read and here’s why.

It’s original. Yes, it is technically a romance, with Dex and Em and Em and Dex, but it isn’t soppy or unrealistic. In fact, I find this book more realistic than most romance novels I read.

The tagline “twenty years, two people” sums up the plot of the book nicely. It follows the friendship of Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley over a period of twenty years and what they are doing on the 15th July ever year. The book starts on 15th July 1988, the night Dex and Em graduate from university. They share one wonderful night together which starts a friendship that lasts over two decades.

I absolutely adore how Nicholls has done this. By only focusing on the one day per year and filling in the important details in between, the audience gets the full story of the relationship without having fluff space it out. The timeline of the book is spread over twenty years but it doesn’t feel like you’ve been reading that long.

It’s an interesting insight into male/female friendships and whether they can actually work. There’s a timely, “When Harry Met Sally” reference thrown into the mix, as the book, for me, tends the question, can you be best friends with a member of the opposite sex?

This is an absolutely brilliant read. If you haven’t read it already, read it now! You won’t regret it.



  1. Kate Gillard · January 4, 2012

    just saying, this is why i love you

  2. Emma · January 5, 2012

    I love this book and I reccomend it to everyone…I even gave a copy as a Christmas gift. Such a perfect book, a modern classic. I watched the film the other day and was left dissatisfied. Some of my favourite bits were left out…inevitable with book to film adaptations but still.

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