actual review date: January 3, 2011
I must admit I find it a little weird that the younger sister was able to read this book before I did. I mean, I'm supposed to be the cool one, aren't I? I must admit thought, that I was clueless about this book until all the Anne Hathaway brouhaha.
The format of the novel is a novelty. Em and Dex first get together on their graduation day, July 15, 1988. They spend some time together but it doesn't really blossom into a full-fledged relationship. We then revisit these two people, Em and Dex every year, on the same date, to see where they are with their lives. Sometime they are together, sometimes apart, sometimes Em is up, sometimes Dex is. It just tells us about these peoples lives through their relationship with each other. With the added bonus of the will they won't they question.
The book lives and dies by the two main characters. When we first meet Em, she is idealistic, feminist and wants to change the world. Dex is old money, is happy with his priviledged existence. He is as shallow as shallow gets while she is desperately trying to find a deeper meaning. Somehow, they do make a special connection that spans their lifetime. As they grow older, they grow (or stagnate or regress). I didn't especially like the either of them but I loved their relationship and how despite all the bullshit, they were there. Although it can be said that Em was the better person and that she made Dex better, brought out the goodness in him.
The whole premise could be so chick-lit, and the twist positively Nick Sparks-ian (oops spoiler) but its not. There's a matter of factness, a grounded-ness to the story. There is an examination of class and status. This is life. Dark shit happens. People you love will disappoint you, you will be disappoint yourself. Sometimes you find yourself and your love. Sometimes you lose them. It was good,