Thursday, February 14, 2013

[Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman]

"Just One Day"
Author: Gayle Forman
Series: Just One Day #1
Pages: 368
Genre: Mature YA, Contemporary, Romance
Date Published: January 8th, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Format Read: ARC/galley that I won


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!

My Thoughts:

Guys, I freaking love Gayle Forman.  I've been a fan of all of her books so far and so far she hasn't let me down and hopefully she never disappoints.  As in all of her other works "Just One Day" takes ordinary circumstances and makes them into something magical.  I've said it before (on twitter) that Gayle Forman is the Cameron Crowe of YA books.  They both have this knack for taking stories that you can relate to and telling them in a way that isn't boring.  Plus, they both must know some pretty awesome people.

The novel poses the question, "can your life change in just one day" and for Allyson, is does.  She's a girl who is on a track that suddenly became her parents idea and not her own, she's lost in life and she's in Europe with her best friend Melanie.  She's the good one, the sweet one and the one that surprises you by being the brave one.  Because when she randomly meets Dutch actor Willem on a train after seeing him preform the day before, she does something uncharacteristic.  She ditched party girl Melanie and jumps on the speed train to Paris with a complete stranger, an attractive one at that.

I'll tell you something.  I read "Just One Day" while on a flight to Paris and while also being there.  It was amazing to see the sights through my own eyes and Allyson's as well and it gave me one of those moments with a book that I will never forget.

But the book doesn't just end in some far off dreamlike Paris, nope, it smashes Allyson back into reality.  Where no one refers to her as "Lulu" anymore like Willem did and she feels the pressure to be just like everyone wants her to be, while nursing, what she thinks is a uncalled for broken heart.  The fact that Forman gives Allyson the alias of Lulu, while she is with Willem, adds some creative confusion later in the book, where no one really knows anything about each other, other than the one day they spent together.  Which was so well plotted that I just want to give Gayle a big ole high five!

I just have to say that I want to go to college just so that I can take a Shakespeare class like the one that Allyson joins in on when she breaks away from her pre med school schedule.  It sounded like so much fun and created some awesome parts to the novel and added my dear fellow Dee!  He was amazing and brilliant!  Oh and the people Allyson meets when she gets back to Europe!  All wonderful, wonderful characters!  

Even though I haven't talked much about Willem and Allyson as a couple, I feel as though I can't quite yet.  I don't have all the puzzle pieces.  But I will tell you that I think I adore them and that I can't wait to see what Willem's side of the story holds.  Can "Just One Year" come out tomorrow?  Please!       



Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

Putting this on my to-read list! :)

Jasprit said...

Yay for the 5 stars Christianna! I have so much love for this book too, Gayle Forman just reeled me in and I never wanted to leave! That's awesome that you were actually on your way to Paris whilst you were reading this, so you got to experience everything first hand! Great review! :)

Eva S said...

Just read this book and loved it, too! For awhile, I did think Allyson got so whiny but her character development and growth was amazing! Such a great book!

Eva @ All Books Considered