Author: Gayle Forman
Date of Publication: January 8 2013
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.
I've heard nothing but good about Just One Day by Gayle Forman and I had very high hopes based on my love for If I Stay and Where She Went. Just One Day wasn't what I was expecting, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Allyson is considered a good girl. She has never gotten into trouble and she's known for being dependable and stable. One day, there comes the opportunity to be someone else. Someone daring and different, and go on one last adventure before university, and she takes it. And from here, the novel explores the incredible possibilities and significance of just one day.
I don't think there were many moments as I was reading that stopped me. You know when you read something and you're thinking, "Oh my god, this scene is incredible." What Just One Day succeeds at is creating a real story that spans a long time. Nothing is overly dramatic, but the collection of little scenes and actions are inspiring.
The relationships in Just One Day and their developments were fantastic. They were well fleshed out with awkward starts and stops. None were idyllic, but I could clearly picture them. I liked that Allyson had all these people around her that she honestly connected with in different ways that changed. It made her, and the story feel true.
My favourite part of this novel is the journey. Allyson changes throughout the story and the transformation felt natural. I could empathize with Allyson and I felt like I was learning with her.
Just One Day is also incredibly thoughtful. I think the theme is delivered so incredibly powerfully. I don't know about everyone, but I have wondered before if life, the way I see it, is it. Just One Day shows that even the tiniest thing can lead to something else and the whole is incredible.
The ending of the story was very tastefully done and satisfying. I liked that Gayle Forman wrote a realistic ending. The ending ended Allyson's story pretty well while also leaving the reader to salivate over Just One Year. It was with this ending that everything fits together and I marveled at how talented Gayle Forman is.
I've tried to keep this review incredibly vague because I want new readers to experience the journey themselves. This is probably one of those books that teaches the reader a little about life and love, and there's nothing to say except this was an incredible journey. 4 hearts.