Hey bloggers, I hope you’re all having lovely days. I want to apologise for my inactivity, I’ve had my exams and I couldn’t blog at all! Good news! I have a 9 day break now, so I can bless you all with more frequent posts from me! Enjoy my review 😉
Author: Gayle Forman
Publication Date: August 20th 2013
Genre: Young/New Adult, Romance, Contemporary,
Page Count: 369
My Rating: 8/10
From the New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay
Allyson Healey’s life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life.
A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know.
“Part of me knows one more day won’t do anything except postpone the heartbreak. But another part of me believes differently. 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.”
I always feel like reading something by Gayle Forman around New Year but instead of rereading If I Stay and Where She Went, I decided to read her other book Just One Day. I read the blurb and got discouraged because the story seemed too cheesy and romantic but I must say after reading it in JUST ONE DAY ;D, I realized that this book is my GUILTY PLEASURE! I loved every part of this book and will continue to praise Gayle for her astounding story-telling abilities and relatable characters!
Just One Day is filled with sweet adventures and a whimsical romance. You will be hearing soooo many love songs in your head while reading it. It’s the perfect book to read curled up in bed under a lot of covers on a wintery day. I compare it to a mug of hot chocolate with extra whip cream on the top! There was a mess of butterflies fluttering in my stomach the whole time. It’s perfect for people who doubt themselves and feel like they’re not adventurous enough. It shows you that you’re not the only one struggling.
More about the Story:
“But what if Shakespeare― and Hamlet― were asking the wrong question? What if the real question is not whether to be, but how to be?”
Allyson is a high school graduate who is on a trip to Europe that was meant to be ‘the trip of a lifetime’. It didn’t turn out to be like she imagined and on the last day of the trip she decides to ditch her touring group to watch a play for Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night preformed by teenage actors. One of the actors seems to be paying her a lot of attention and by coincidence she runs into the same actor on the train. Willem-the mysterious Dutch actor- names Allyson ‘Lulu’ and he convinces her to spend a day in Paris (the only place the trip missed) with him. Lulu agrees to go with him because she impulsively wants to become more adventurous. She spends the best day of her life as Lulu with Willem in Paris and they try to have as much fun and see as much as they can for that one day. Allyson becomes a completely different person in Paris as Lulu with Will and she loves the new her.
They spend the night together but they know that their one day is over, the next morning Allyson wakes up to find herself alone in a foreign country with no note left from Will and no money. She panics and cries as her heart breaks thinking of how Will left her.
The second part of the book is set a year later after the incident in Paris, where Allyson is a pre-med student in college and how she is in a terrible state of depression and self pity. She has never been the same ever since that spectacular day in Paris but she can’t seem to find the person she was there. She is drifting apart from her childhood best friend and from her strict family. She lost interest in all her subjects and is failing all her classes and she can’t make any friends. She then decides to change something in her life and joins a Shakespeare class.
Allyson becomes friends with Dee who helps her realize that she might’ve gotten all of it wrong and how she should try and find Willem and find out what really happened. The problem is, she doesn’t even know his last name, so he is as mysterious as any other stranger! She searches for a Dutch Willem all over the internet without any results. Allyson is doing a little better now that she has removed some of her pre-med subjects and made some friends from her Shakespeare class.
“The line between true self and feigned self is blurred on all sides.”
The third part of the book is set during Allyson’s summer vacation. Allyson decides to go to Paris and ask people about Will. She gets into a huge fight with her mom about her university classes. She starts working excessively in a restaurant to raise enough money to take French classes and buy tickets to Paris. She works super hard and learns the basics of French and is ready to travel alone to Paris! She can’t find Will anywhere no matter how many trails she follows. She finds out that he was badly injured on that day and that he left her a note. She becomes friends with some tourists who help her out. In the end after travelling to Holland she coincidentally ends up watching Will perform on a real stage but she sees him in love with another girl. Allyson isn’t as crushed as she would’ve thought because she learned that he hadn’t willingly abandoned her and that she finally became the person she wanted to be.
I enjoyed the first part of the book with Lulu and Will a lot! They had so much fun and got to do insane things. I loved the way they explored the real Paris which is not what you’d expect to see. The best way to discover a place is to see which direction the tourists go then go in the opposite direction. I found the love between Lulu and Will really adorable and warming. Who wouldn’t fall in love with a person who showed them the best in themselves? I loved the way the author portrayed the city and its culture and how I could easily smell the food they were having, or feel the emotions Lulu was experiencing.
The second part of the book was exceedingly depressing. I could relate to Allyson who couldn’t find joy in anything going on around her and how she was simply dead on the inside no matter what she tried. I felt every single doubt and thought that crossed her mind and found myself falling into a dark mood just like Allyson. It was freaky how her life showed everything I fear might happen to me in the near future. I hated her best friend Melanie for being selfish and not understanding Allyson so much! I also didn’t like how her mom was way too fixated on her daughter’s every decision!
The third part of the book is my favourite, it was extremely uplifting and inspirational. Seeing Allyson make her own decisions and join different classes was great. I loved her Shakespeare classes, it’s a really different way of analysing his plays-which to be frank, I learned all about from only this book. All the plays meant something different but correlated to Allyson’s own life!
I especially adored Dee! He was such an amazing guy, and he made me crack up about everything. He was mostly who helped encourage Allyson to be herself. I wish I got to read more about that loveable guy! Allyson’s roommates were pretty sweet too, helping her call clubs and giving her ideas!
“Travelling’s not something you’re good at. It’s something you do. Like breathing. You can’t work too much at it, or it feels like work. You have to surrender yourself to the chaos. To the accidents.”
I loved how everyone decided to help Allyson find Will even though they were complete strangers! I loved the determination Allyson showed when she wanted to learn French and get enough money. Allyson managed to travel all on her own, and she became independent, and I couldn’t have been more proud! She talked to people, hung out with them, gave them adventures. She faced all her fears and even went to Holland which had a gorgeous setting and beautiful descriptions. I loved how she helped Wren with her Bucket List and how she ended up watching Will perform As You Like It on a stage! Coincidences everywhere!
In the end, Allyson didn’t even get back to Will but she realized that she had found her real self and I loved every part of her journey of self discovery, and I literally aspire to be the Allyson that learned a language in 3 months and travelled and met new people! Although it was not as good as If I Stay and Where She Went, Just One Day inspired me and I can’t wait to read the sequel from Will’s POV!
Did you read this book? What did you think?