Your regularly scheduled bloggers are on vacation this week, so I was invited to guestblog in their place. I am neither a blogger nor a writer by profession or even hobby, so please excuse any disparity in quality from the usual posts you get here. I am, however, a scientist as the blog title suggests (my college diploma says I am, anyway), but more importantly, I’m Annie’s little sister. So don’t rag on my entries too hard…she’s been known to beat the crap out of me.
Aside from my scientific credentials, I’m also a lover of all things entertainment. But can I form a coherent, well-written opinion on any of it? We’re about to find out.
My first shot in the dark is a rather untimely/timely (depending on how you look at it) review of the book One Day by David Nicholls. I say untimely because this book came out in 2009, and I read it in 2010, but I say timely because it’s going to be a movie starring Anne Hathaway this August.
I make it a habit to avoid books with highlighter-colored text on the cover, as well as quoted reviews by People magazine (the authority on great literature). Add “love story” into the mix, and you have the perfect recipe for my hatred. Despite these things, this book is not what it would appear to be.
It is the story of Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley, two university students in the UK. The book begins on July 15, 1988, the night of their graduation and the beginning of their friendship. Each chapter is July 15th of the following year, spanning twenty years of the duo’s friendship. I may have a special hatred for love stories, but I enjoy them when everyone is mostly unhappy and there is some kind of temporal element to the story (hence my love for movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and (500) Days of Summer). To me, this book is in that league (whether the movie will be remains to be seen). Without spoiling anything, I will say that the story has definite surprises, and the chosen day of July 15th is far from random. Dexter and Emma experience their fair share of ups and downs in their lives and in their relationship; they show moments of abandon and moments of incredible restraint towards each other. Their story made me laugh, and literally sob so hard that I had to set the book down and take a moment. And I am not a person who cries.
One Day touched my cold, blackened heart. It caused me to look at my own young life and ponder all the surprises that may await me in my future. It was a book that made me stop and think about life, the universe, and everything. If you like happy stories, read this book. If you hate happy stories, read this book. If you’re having trouble seeing the forest for the trees in your life, read this book. Just read this book!
~X. (Like Professor!…sans the wheelchair, charm, knowledge of genetics, and control over his telepathic powers)