Book Review: One Day by David Nicholls


One Day by David Nicholls

General Age Recommendation: 16+

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Drama, New Adult

Hello Everyone!

A little while ago, my sister and I were talking about books and trading favorites for the other to read. My sister handed this book to me and told me, “This book was absolutely devastating” she didn’t necessarily mean destructive or damaging, but she meant that it was the kind of book that twisted up all her emotions and when she finished it, she didn’t know what to do with herself. I knew exactly what kind of book she meant and I knew it was a kind of book I would enjoy.

Summary: Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew met on the night of college graduation, despite a (sort of) night together and the initial attraction they don’t explore a romantic relationship after that one night. As they move on and begin life in the adult world, they maintain friendship, growing closer and closer each year that passes, regardless of whether they are in the same country, in other relationships or not. Emma works a myriad of low paying jobs and tries to find what she loves, Dexter stays in the moment and embraces the world, becoming a TV host and enjoying all the industry has to offer. Life takes them through different opportunities, relationships, mistakes and happiness. Each chapter is the same day July 15th- spanning a number of years, giving a snapshot of Em and Dex’s life

 “Call me or I’ll call you, but one of us will call, yes? What I mean is it’s not a competition. You don’t lose if you phone first.”
David Nicholls, One Day

What I Liked: I loved this book. The writing was excellent, it pulled me in instantly and definitely made me feel the full range of  human emotions. It was almost frustrating how realistic the book was, so many times Emma and Dexter’s miscommunication left me seething in frustration, I felt sick when Dexter comes back to his apartment early in the morning coming down from a night of partying and I empathized with both of them as they tried to figure out what they wanted to do in life. I loved how you got see their lives unfold, sometimes together and sometimes apart. The one thing I probably appreciated the most, was that Emma and Dexter were best friends, but they both knew there was potential for more. It wasn’t like they suddenly realized they loved each other and should be together, the thought was always there. It happened at different times for both of them, they definitely weren’t on the same page, or in the same life place, but they both knew there could be more. I really liked that about the book, it wasn’t just another “boy and girl are completely platonic best friends then one falls for the other and life is never the same” kind of book. This book was touching, heart wrenching and absolutely beautiful.

“A moment passed, perhaps half a second when their faces said what they felt, and then Emma was smiling, laughing, her arms around his neck.”
David Nicholls, One Day

What I Didn’t Like: Maybe because I read a lot of YA fiction and this is probably New Adult/Adult fiction, but I found the book to have this vague hopelessness about it. I think it was partly to do with the story and theme of the book, but the book had a sad air around it.

You probably will like this book if:

  • You want a good love story that you can’t put down.
  • You like realistic books that really tug at your emotions.
  • You want a good book to cry over.

You probably won’t like this book if:

  • You want a light, funny book
  • You don’t want something sad
  • You don’t want to read a contemporary love story.


Do you like ‘devastating’ books?






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