15 of 17
One Day
437 pages; Vintage
The Premise: This star-crossed love story captures the same day, July 15, through a series of years spanning  1988 to 2007. We see Emma and Dexter move out of their student days and on to false starts of adulthood, a hot-and-then-not career (Dexter), a crummy job followed by success (Emma) and, of course, romances with the wrong people. You think you know where this is headed, but you don't...

Why the Ending Is a Stunner: There's a sucker punch that seems like it must surely mark the finish. But in this novel, time, like memory, has a way of circling back.   
— Dawn Raffel