One Day – David Nicholls

I seem to be hearing quite a bit about this book and when it was described as ‘chick lit’ for boys I thought I had to read it.

Here’s the blurb …

You can live your whole life not realising that what you’re looking for is right in front of you.

15th July 1988 Emma and Dexter meet 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?

As I graduated in 91, the era that this story was very familiar to me – mixed tape anyone? On the surface the story was very simple; girl meets boy, girl likes boy, boy doesn’t seem as enthralled with the girl.  It opens in 1988 (St Swithins day) Dexter and Emma have hooked up and spent the night in Emma’s bed. It seems this could turn into something special, but university is over and Emma is going to change the world and Dexter is going travelling.

Every year we get an update on their lives and their relationship. Emma is lost, she has a string of dead end jobs (working as a waitress in a Mexican restaurant). Dexter, on the other hand, lands on his feet and becomes a famous television personality. We read about their relationships with co-workers (usually doomed) and their on going friendship. This novel is about how a person life changes over time and how relationships evolve.

Nicholls is a witty writer and I enjoyed reading this novel immensely. I think calling it ‘chic lit’ for boys is misleading because it is at times very sad (unexpectedly so).

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