I received this book free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Series: Just One Day #1
Published by Dutton Juvenile on January 8th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Also by this author: Just One Year, Just One Night
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!
‘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.’
Admittedly, I do believe I started this when I was in the completely wrong sort of mood. I totally killed this story for myself in the beginning and could not get into it. I was mentally flashing to scenes from ‘Taken’ and kept waiting for her to start using her brain and NOT get on the train with the complete stranger BY HERSELF to PARIS where she’s never been before, barely has any money, and can’t speak the language. I can understand getting caught up in the moment and feeling a connection to someone so much that you just lose yourself in the moment… but this was just downright reckless and so potentially dangerous that it sucked all enjoyment out of it for me.
Allyson was such a strange and unrealistic narrator. Always the smart girl, the girl who played it safe, and then she meets Willem and he unlocks a side of her that she herself didn’t know existed. Allyson had been on a tour of Europe for several weeks but had never got to see Paris, so he asks for her to go with him there. And this is where I get even MORE disturbed. They have one single day in Paris and it ended up being the most random, jumbled and seemingly unenjoyable day. So it wasn’t the type of day spent in Paris like you see in the movies but they didn’t even DO anything! So much beauty surrounded them and for part of it they ended up taking a nap in the park? Are you kidding me? If I had a single day in Paris and I needed to nap I’d be pounding the red bulls and trying to get the most I could out of that day.
‘We kiss again. This next kiss is the kind that breaks open the sky. It steals my breath and gives it back. It shows me that every other kiss I’ve had in my life has been wrong.’
I’m not saying that it’s impossible to meet someone and only after a single day they have somehow managed to change a piece of you forever. I believe that can happen; I’ve felt it. But I didn’t feel it while reading this and I was left dumbfounded and confused to what Willem did exactly to evoke such a long-lasting reaction. I just didn’t’ believe it strongly enough. My other issue was with the fact that she attributed this other her, “Lulu”, as a result of being with Willem. It was disheartening to see her give up that new her just because he disappeared. I would have liked to see her take the situation for what it was: a life lesson that opened her eyes to how different she could live her life and actually enjoy it in the process. But instead she crawled deeper into her shell than she had before.
The Ending. Spoilers! For real. Don’t click.
View Spoiler »I found the ending to be a bit of an eye roll, to be honest. After all that and it was just one big misunderstanding and he had likely just gone out to get them breakfast?? And then he gets detoured because he winds up in the hospital requiring stitches? (My theory is that those guys ended up catching him after all.) Meanwhile, Allyson is flailing around Paris because she was sure he had abandoned her. And then she spends the next year dwelling on it and why he left her? I don’t know, I just didn’t buy it. « Hide Spoiler
Of course I have to read the follow-up because it’s obvious that Allyson was lacking in answers and I can only hope we receive some resolution (that is logical too) from Willem’s side of things. And hello cliffhanger, thanks for that. Not terribly pleased with the story itself but there’s really no denying it, Gayle Forman can write one entrancing story.
*All quotes taken are from an uncorrected proof*
This is for my personal (ARC) copy of Just One Day and since I am covering the shipping charges this is open to U.S. addresses only. Sorry international followers!
Giveaway ends December 31st, 2012
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