A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay
When sheltered American good girl Allyson “LuLu” Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.
Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!
Coming into this book I was excited and a bit nervous. I had read If I Stay and Where She Went, both by Gayle Forman, at the end of last year. They quickly were added to my favorites of the year list. I enjoyed them a lot. When an author you enjoy a lot comes out with a new book, there is always a chance that it will dissapoint. The fact is you can’t help but set your expectations high. I am happy to report Just One Day did not dissapoint me.
The book begins with Allyson on a senior tour in Europe. She is “enjoying” the sights and only doing it by living by her good girl standards. She meets Willem and decides to go to Paris for just one day. Her tour group had skipped Paris and she really wanted to see it. The day has highs and lows. It abruptly ends when Willem dissapears and Allyson is left to make her way back home.
This book is a coming age of story. The first part is easily enjoyable and the last part could have been made to really cheesy, annoying, or even a downer . I mean a young girl who is coming to grips with the fact that she had that just one day and lost Willem. I mean just one day in PARIS with a cute guy, oh how terrible. However, the second half is just as good as the first. The characters that Allyson meets, encounters, and makes friends with are very compelling. Gayle Forman makes it so that you believe you could meet people like them. At least I wish I could.
Then there is Allyson’s relationship with her parents and best friend. Again, Gayle Forman really makes it complex and interesting. She avoids the thing that really bugs me about some young adult books. That is when the girl is so dumb, conflicted, and thick headed about everything. I never felt like Allyson was like that at all, even though she isn’t perfect.
I can’t wait for the next book and see where Gayle Forman takes these wonderful characters. Pick up the book, I don’t think you will be dissappointed.
I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.