By David Nicholls
Published: 11th June 2009
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year that follows?
Twenty years, two people, ONE DAY.
I picked up this book knowing I’d love it. I had already seen the film, and made a mental note to get a copy of the book. I’d ended up forgetting to get hold of it, until I saw a recommendation of the book on Youtube. I decided I needed to get the book, without fail this time. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t read this book sooner, as I think this book is one of my favourite all-time reads.
When I began the book, I will be honest, it didn’t grab me immediately. It wasn’t an instant page turner for me. It was very well written, the characters shone through – it just took me a little while to settle into it. I’d say about a quarter of the way through I found I couldn’t put the book down, and then I steamed through the rest.
As I mentioned, from the beginning of the book I found the characters were strong. I instantly fell in love with Emma, as she’s feisty and has a quick wit. I empathised with her the most. On the other hand, I had a rollercoaster relationship with Dex. There were times in this book that I couldn’t stand Dex, at all. Strangely, I quite liked that at times I’d roll my eyes at him, or be disgusted by the things he says or thinks. In the end though, I loved them both and felt like they were personal friends of mine. It was nice to see the characters grow over the twenty years.
This book is really well written, I can tell the author has experience writing scripts as his dialogue is superb. It’s realistic and funny, at times my boyfriend would look at me strangely as I’d randomly burst out laughing. I especially liked the banter between Dex and Emma.
I enjoyed the format of the book, and that it was snapshots from the character’s lives over the twenty years. Every chapter felt like I was catching up with old friends and finding out what they’d been doing over the past year. I felt every emotion along with them, relishing in their triumphs, and at times hoping Dex would get a grip. I felt their friendship was realistic, I think at times (especially over many years) there will be moments when you’re not as close. I think that was portrayed well. There was plenty of drama, and moments where I wanted to knock their heads together.
The book does have a dramatic twist, it’s jarring and stomach turning. I turned the final page and found myself back on my couch. I was shell shocked, even though I’d seen the film, and therefore, knew how the book ends. I’d become so attached to the characters, I’d almost forgotten they weren’t real. This book is truly wonderful. It’s not just a love story between two on/off again friends, it’s about seizing the day and taking chances as they present themselves. That is what I’ll take from this book the most. I’m interested to re-watch the film now, mainly to get another fix of these characters, and to see the film with a new perspective.
If you love a good, realistic, funny love story – you need this in your life.
If you’d like to get yourself a copy: Amazon link