Series: Just One Day

Just One Day by Gayle Forman: Review

Posted January 11, 2013 by Emily in book review / 8 Comments

Just One Day by Gayle Forman: ReviewJust One Day by Gayle Forman
Series: Just One Day #1
Published by Dutton Books on January 1, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Love & Romance, People & Places, Europe, Performing Arts, Theater
Pages: 369
Format: Advanced Review Copy
Source: Penguin Group USA

I received this book for free from Penguin Group USA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Buy on AmazonBarnes and NobleThe King's English

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.   The first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!

I’ve heard much raving about Forman’s previous series (If I Stay, Where She Went) and decided to give this new one a shot. I’ve become rather fond of a good contemporary novel, and in many ways, this one fit the bill. Forman’s writing is smooth and comforting. And as a pretty “good girl” myself, I could definitely see a bit of myself in Allyson.

I think where things went a little awry was with Willem. I just didn’t really like him. Though I get the whole British charm, I wasn’t sold on his bad boy character or why he was worth so much pining.

But, I did appreciate what the Willem experience meant for Allyson. Spending a lifetime following the carefully laid plain that Allyson had laid out for herself, and the Paris trip was just the beginning, a crack in the armor. And when she got back, that crack started to expand and take over. College is a time of great personal introspection and change. Much more so than high school because you are forced to be removed from your routine. So, when Allyson begins to struggle in school, I get that. And I think it’s a lot less to do with the experience with Willem and more about realizing that what you planned sometimes isn’t the right path for you, and that’s okay.

Which is why the ending of the novel didn’t really work for me.  I know. I’m such a fuddy duddy and I’ll have people screaming at me, “BUT TRUE WUV!” I get all that. But, Willem is such a bore. Sorry guys.

In regards to the upcoming sequel Just One Year, I might read it. Just to see if Willem is the jerk I think he is. Who knows? He seems like the kind of guy that just might surprise you.