Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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.My Thoughts
“We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day.” This is a quote from an uncorrected proof.
Just One Day by Gayle Forman is what I would consider a worthy start to what I truly believe will have an epic continuation. This book delivered in all the ways Forman knows how, which is a great premise, a likable cast and a primer for a promising part two. I think the early readers of If I Stay will agree with me when I say we never considered the possibility that Forman would deliver a second installment to her beloved novel. I, for one, was ecstatic to hear she would continue Mia’s story, and when I stumbled upon the final pages of Where She Went, I was left with a feeling of pure bliss and cemented fandom for this author’s stories.
To hear she was coming out with a new novel, Just One Day, had me pulling out my dancing shoes and running in circles in pure excitement. When an author earns your attention and continues to deliver greatness, there seems to be an assumed allegiance that earns them a guaranteed audience. I can comfortably declare that with a handful of authors such as Marchetta, Dessen, Green to name a few, Forman has me at “Hello.”
Just One Day tells us the story of Allyson Healey who is suppose to be enjoying a life changing experience as she travels Europe with her best friend Melanie the summer before they both start college. As the trip progresses, Allyson struggles to find enjoyment in the trip until she comes across a Shakespearian Dutch actor, Willem, who sweeps her off her feet and delivers one of the most memorable days she could wish for. That changing event comes to a devastating halt when she wakes up the following morning to find he’s gone and left no means of contacting him. She returns home and goes on to start college, but she can’t seem to move past the shock of having come so close to happiness to only see it slip through her fingers.
I have to admit I struggled to like Allyson and Willem for a portion of the novel. However, I think that was a bit purposeful on Forman’s part because if she shows all of her cards early on, the possibilities of where the story can go is cut short. I remember feeling the same way about Mia in the second installment of Where She Went, but I have to commend Forman for challenging her readers to keep an open mind, don’t jump to conclusions and consider the possibilities. I recommend that to those who read this novel. Despite what you deduce of these two characters, don’t sell them short because as you peel away the layers of this intricate story, you’ll find a whole new element to the story ready to reveal itself.
In addition, the story somewhat left me craving for more secondary character time. There were a couple of hidden gems I wanted to learn more about including Dee and Wren. I felt like I was just getting to know Dee and his story when he was suddenly placed on the sidelines. The same felt true for Wren, so I’m looking forward to revisiting these two sometime soon.
I appreciated the themes Forman weaved into her novel around self awareness, growth and the pain of losing the possibility of what could have been. Those are topics that seem to always resonate with me, and Forman is great at delivering valuable considerations that shouldn’t be ignored.
Overall, as much as I liked this book to a certain degree, I’m more excited to see where it will lead with the next installment when Willam takes the stage in Just One Year. Good book that her fans are sure to enjoy!
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