Saturday, August 27, 2011

One Day by David Nicholls

I'm not a big fan of romances, so I probably had no business reading this book.  However, I thought the previews for this movie seemed somewhat interesting, and my cousin mentioned wanting to see the movie, so I decided to read the book first.  Really wish I hadn't, and more than that, I'm angry that I spent ten dollars to put this on my Kindle.  At least if I'd waited for the library, it would have been free.  But there was a long waiting list, and I wanted to read it before the movie came out.

I didn't like this book at all. 

The first half of the book, I could sort of relate to Emma.  She seemed like someone struggling to figure out what she wanted to do with her life, she wanted to be a writer, and decided to be a teacher.  She felt like she was doing well as a teacher.  But then, almost exactly halfway through the book, at the beginning of chapter 10, I lost all interest in this character.  She's described as being on the floor, putting her clothes back on after having sex with the married headmaster of her school.  I'm so tired of reading about all these pathetic single women who are so desperate that they must have sex with married men, and in this case, he was her boss.  Had I not paid for this book, I would have stopped reading at this point.

The format of book is that one day in each year in Emma & Dexter's lives is described. The reader is supposed to see how their friendship evolves over the years. But I didn't see anything special happening between them. I saw two people stumbling through life, messing up more often than getting it right, who eventually ended up together because they'd burned all their bridges and no one else would have them.

Dexter was an arrogant jerk and Emma was a bit of loser. After a failed marriage and career, and a battle with drug and alcohol addiction, Dexter turns to Emma because no one else wants anything to do with him.

Stop reading this now if you plan to read the book yourself because I'm about to give away the end, which I found to be something of a shocker. (Haven't seen the movie, but I suspect it ends in a similar way.)

After Emma and Dexter finally end up together, and have been together for a few years, their relationship is described as something I felt was very bland and stagnant. I think it's supposed to sound comfortable and cozy. But I read it thinking, that's horrible, I'd rather be single than have that. If I'm going to spend my life with someone, I want to be crazy about that person. And that might mean I'll be single forever, but that's a chance I'm willing to take. But a few paragraphs later, Emma gets hit while riding her bicycle and dies. I think I was supposed to cry or at least be upset, but instead I thought, she's much better off than being stuck in that dull relationship with Dexter.

I didn't like this book at all, I didn't find it romantic or at all passionate. It's what happens when two people decide to give up on life and settle for whatever is available.

Read: August 27, 2011

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