I bought this book over a year ago and never quite got down to reading it. It truly is a travesty of book justice that I’ve been sitting on a gold mine, never finding time to get lost in it. Well – better late than NEVER!
This is the first book I’ve read by David Nicholls and I wasn’t too sure what to expect. The cover is sensational as I have a penchant for eye-catching books and this one happens to be in my favourite colour (orange) and I understood why I chose it after all. I couldn’t escape the reviews on the blurb and the inside pages raving about it’s greatness – so without further hesitation, I plunged in.
The story follows two characters – Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew on the night of their graduation (15 July 1988) finding themselves in a single bed, deep in conversation after having too much to drink. Emma is super-intelligent and Dexter, worldly. From the onset, it crystalizes that Emma is infatuated with Dexter, however from this brief encounter it dawns on her that he seeks to sow his wild oats while revelling in as much fun as possible. They unanimously agree to remain friends, even though they have a genuine affection for the other.
Every year on the 15th of July, for the next twenty years, these characters’ lives are tracked. Emma, although majoring with Honours in English and History, doesn’t follow a successful career path – struggling to make ends meet, taking on demeaning jobs, living in cramped conditions until finally realising her calling as a writer. Dexter on the other hand travels the world, sleeps with as many women as he can while taking on the television world by storm. True to form, they stay in contact through their colourful youth, failed relationships and tumultuous years.
This book reeled me in from the very first chapter and I couldn’t put it down for fear of missing out! I grew to adore Emma and Dexter’s hilarious banter, distinctive personalities, failed career choices, even their flaws. A rollercoaster of emotions overwhelmed me as I chuckled over their wise cracks, covered my eyes and squirmed at the tight spots Dexter found himself in. Utter frustration set in when they couldn’t figure out how perfectly suited they were and the finale shocked me to the core.
David Nicholls’ writing is pure BRILLIANCE. He created a MASTERPIECE – a magnificent storyline with lovable characters snuggling their way into your heart, picturesque destinations you wish you could travel to, a time span of twenty years signifying the 15 July of every year, past and present, cleverly plotted and marvellously captured to the readers’ delight. This CLASSIC story of “Em” and “Dex” stayed with me long after the book finished – sealing my verdict that it certainly is one of the BEST books I’ve had the pleasure of reading:-).