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One Day by David Nicholls

December 5, 2011

When some members of your book club are all reading the same book, it’s likely that you’ll be swept up in the excitement, forget that you hate sappy love stories, and end up reading something you would never in your right mind read. You may end up happy that you took this detour and read something out of your comfort zone. Or you may forever kick yourself for the days you wasted reading this pile of cheese.

I am in the regretting-cheese portion of this scenario. But, I really really don’t like sappy love stories, and I have a very low tolerance for cheesiness and lovey-dovey-ness. You may very well read One Day by David Nicholls and love it. You and my book club would have a terrific conversation and talk about what a dud I am. But that would be your blog post and this is my blog post, so onward!

Creative, interesting premise Mr. Nicholls came up with: We see Emma and Dexter living their lives but only through the activities that happen on one specific day each year. So each chapter is July 15, and we follow them from college graduation for 20 years. So you’d have to be a major idiot not to assume that they’ll eventually end up together. And it played out in a pretty typical way: there was some flirting, a little conflict, an overdue reconciliation, and then, well I don’t want to spoil it, but if you’re paying attention, I just gave it away in the “major idiot” sentence.

Now these events have taken place in tons of books. And sometimes it’s cheesy and sometimes it’s not. In Emma and Dexter’s case, it was like a big cheese fondue party with all the sappy fixings. But you want to know the worst part? I called the “twist” or “surprise” or whatever you want to call it, 100 pages before it happened. Now that’s when you know things are stereotypical and unimaginative. What a disappointment. Sorry, book clubbers. I just really really didn’t like this one.

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