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Book Review: One Day, By David Nicholls

Our crit enjoys the new one from a Brit lit fave


One Day, by David Nicholls

In the literary world, it’s something of a coup to be compared to popular writer Nick Hornby, and author David Nicholls wears the title well. The author of two previous books (one of which went on to become the likable independent film Starter for Ten), Nicholls fully inhabits the charming British sensibility that Hornby made his name on. One Day begins on July 15, immediately after Emma and Dexter’s college graduation. Emma is brainy and beautiful, but sabotages her looks so people will take her seriously. She also has a long-standing crush on the absurdly good-looking Dexter, who is a bit wild and intent on sowing as many oats as he can. The book comes back to the pair every July 15 to see where their lives are at that moment. Em spends her 20s in a waitressing job with the wrong kinds of boys until she finally comes to her senses. Dex breaks into TV and charms every lady he comes across, eventually burning one too many bridges. They are best friends, but with all the pitfalls (romantic and otherwise) that male and female best friends can encounter. Nicholls makes Em and Dex charismatic enough for the reader to forgive the many moments where the characters make stupid life choices and, in fact, makes them appealing enough that you want to keep going. From beginning to end, you can’t help but root for them.

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