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!
Like so many others, I’m a huge Gayle Forman fan. I just adore the stories she comes up with so I was really excited about reading this one. I think I had pretty much forgot what the book was about when I opened it up so I didn’t know where the story would go and that worked really well for me. I wasn’t sure if the book takes place in one day, or what. And it doesn’t, it takes place over a year but it’s based on one special day and something that happened that day.
The book was full of things I love, international travel (London, Paris and more), romance, finding oneself and their way and family and friends. I love to travel but haven’t traveled internationally yet, so I just live vicariously through books. While initially I felt a bit disappointed in how it was going it quickly changed and in the end of I fell head over heels for the travel aspect in the book. I know many weren’t a fan of the romance, but personally I loved it. It just killed me a little when the book ended because it was sort of cliffhanger, but yet was kind of perfect too. Through the book we see Allyson and how she’s kind of a perfectionist, doing everything possible to keep her parents happy but not acknowledging her own dreams. Once she starts finding her way and opening up she becomes a different person and I totally loved her. Her mother was infuriating in her control freak ways and I wanted to scream at her to let Allyson live her life and to stop controlling every single thing she did. Once Allyson broke free of that she was an amazing person.
The friendships in this book are actually pretty epic and something I really want to talk about more in depth. While she has a bit of a tumultuous friendship with her best friend who is off at a different college finding her own way, once she learns how to make friends with others things start getting amazing. Allyson never really had a lot of friends, so once she makes some and learns how to be a good friend she finds she can do anything. In this book all these side characters, even ones who make brief appearances are important. And the author did an amazing job fleshing them out and making it so we really know them in such a short time. They all had these amazing personalities and were people I wanted to know. These are people from her classroom, from the street who she randomly talks to, people in restaurants who come to her aid, just random people everywhere and anywhere. And with all the horrible things that have been happening in this world this was a good book to read because it sort of renewed my hope in humanity. There are far more good people out there than bad. Far more.
This book made me laugh and cry. I cried tears of sadness, tears of frustration and tears of happiness. I wasn’t bawling or anything, but more like the feeling in your throat, when you have the urge to shed a tear or two. But it was good, it was just evidence that this book was really impacting me and hitting the right spot.
The next next book, Just One Year, is scheduled to come out this year and I cannot wait!
I definitely recommend this book. I have seen some bad reviews on goodreads and I have to say that this is one that I don’t get it. I loved the book and many others have as well, so you need to give it a shot at least!
While this is categorized as YA, it is more NA as the MC is over 18 and is starting college. While there’s implied sex, it’s off the page and there’s very little cursing.