Book Reviews: One Day and The Help


Since setting my goal to read more, I’ve completed two books this summer:  One Day by David Nicholls and The Help by Katherine Stockett.  Both were enjoyable reads, and coincidentally, both are coming out as movies this summer!

My best friend Emma recommended One Day to me after she read it last summer!  I’ve been carrying it around since fall (pathetic, right?) and I finally got into it in May.  The book follows two characters, an arrogant and spoiled boy named Dexter and a plain, opinionated girl named Emma through 20 years of their friendship, enmity, and romance.  The interesting and at times frustrating aspect of the novel was that the book only recounts one day of each year of their relationship; each chapter is the same day, one year later.  It’s a cool way to see how the characters grow from adolescents straight out of university into middle-aged adults, and to see all the sides of their sometimes complicated relationship.   On the other hand, you often miss out on first hand retelling of critical events in Dex and Em’s lives, and these events are only briefly alluded to as things that have happened in the past year (sorry for the vagueness, but I don’t want to spoil anything!).

The character development in this book was wonderful.  Dexter and Emma, and their relationship, are very believable.  You love them at times, and at other times you want to throw the book across the room because the ways that they act is so infuriating!  I found myself relating to both of the characters at times, and I also know a lot of people who remind me of them.  Again, it was cool to see the characters grow and develop as people over the course of twenty years.

For some reason though, I felt that this book moved a bit more slowly than I wanted it too.  Perhaps it was a little TOO real; in the middle of the book I really didn’t feel drawn back to reading it.  There wasn’t enough suspense or excitement for me to really fall in love with it.

All I’ll say about the ending was that I thought it was a cop out.  I felt like he didn’t really know how to end the book so he just ended it that way.  I was definitely disappointed.

I’m excited about the movie casting, I love Anne Hathaway and James Mcavoy and I think they will do a great job portraying Dex and Em.  I think it will lag a lot less than the book.

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My mom and aunt read The Help last summer at the beach, and really pushed me to read it so I got it from the library, started it Saturday, and finished it last night.  I was addicted!  The Help is based in Jackson, Mississippi during the Civil Rights movement.  It follows two maids, Aibileen and Minny as they navigate there daily duties working for rich white women.  It also follows Miss Skeeter, who wants to change the way black and white women interact in the South by writing a book that documents the lives of “the help” who live in Jackson.

There isn’t one thing I didn’t love about this book!  The style, the characters, the setting, and the actual stories are creative, well-developed, and extremely entertaining.  I laughed out loud and cried out loud.  I love books that take place during a different time period or location than the current one because I feel like I’m learning as I’m reading.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone, while mentioning that it is definitely a more “feminine” book.

The Help movie is also coming out soon, with Emma Stone (who I adore) cast as Miss Skeeter!  I’m really excited and I will definitely go see it.  I hope it lives up to the book but I don’t think it will, so I’m trying to keep my expectations low.

-Dominique

Let’s Chat

  1. Have you/will you read any of this books, or are you planning on seeing any of these movies?
  2. What is your favorite book?  Do you have any book recommendations?
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2 responses to “Book Reviews: One Day and The Help

  1. I also have read “one day” and loved it so much and much.

  2. I also have read the Help and loved it very much and cannot wait to see the movie. I believe I am the one that recommended it to your mum.
    Right now I am starting a new book by Lisa See called “Dreams of Joy”, she also wrote Shanghai Girls which I loved.

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