Just One Day
Author: Gayle Forman
Series: Just One Day #1
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
When sheltered American good girl Allyson first encounters laid-back Dutch actor Willem at an underground performance of Twelfth Night, there’s an undeniable spark. So when fate brings them together a second time, Allyson takes an uncharacteristic leap, changes course, and follows Willem to Paris. After just one day together, the spark bursts into a flame…until Allyson wakes up after a whirlwind day shocked to discover that Willem is gone.
A life upended in one day turns into a year of self-discovery as Allyson embarks on a journey to break free from a lifetime of limits in order to find her true passions, and maybe even a true love.
First Sentence: What if Shakespeare had it wrong?
Before you start attacking me with how could yous and only a 3.5 rating?! This book deserves more!, let me explain: It’s not you, it’s me. I usually don’t like reading young adult contemporaries without any paranormal elements in it except for a select few exceptions like Anna and the French Kiss and Pushing the Limits. In fact, it’s a huge surprise to me when I actually do like young adult contemporaries that doesn’t have any paranormal elements to it, so when I started reading Just One Day, I hoped that it would be one of the books that manages to win me over. In the end, I did greatly enjoy Just One Day, but it just didn’t wow me.
From the very first page, I connected with Allyson. She is a lot like me – both of us had to suffer the craziness of our English teachers when they commanded us to memorize a soliloquy from Shakespeare for a grade. Both of us want to pop up from underneath our shells and our parent’s suppressing hold on our lives. Allyson’s story inspired me to live my own life – although I’m deadly afraid of going to the airport and traveling all by myself, nerveless talking to strangers in a foreign country. I have to give Allyson major kudos for doing that.
As for Willem, I sort of, kind of, don’t really like him. (Willem fan-girls, please don’t attack me!) I can explain. Yes, Willem says these very insightful, inspirational things, but to me, actions always speaks louder than words. Yes, he did do nice things for Allyson, but how about the many times he flirted with other girls? How about the things Allyson discovered about him? Willem just didn’t seem right to me. Maybe my opinion of him will change once I get my hands on Just One Year and see things from his point of view.
The most important part of Just One Day is Gayle Forman’s writing. Here’s the thing about her writing: Gayle Forman can take any human emotion and describe it in such a way that leaves you absolutely breathless. Right from the start, Gayle Forman threw amazing descriptions filled with emotions at me while all I could do was only sit there and read/gape with wonder. I would love to show you a sentence so you can see what I mean, but it’s almost impossible because you have to read an entire paragraph to really get what I’m talking about.
My one and only problem (okay, maybe I have two problems with Just One Day) is that at some parts of the book, Just One Day had my complete attention while other parts, I wasn’t that attached to the book. Allyson’s time at college sadly didn’t hold my attention for too long.
The second problem I have with Just One Day is all the quotation mistakes I found. I found at least three mistakes where there was an extra ” mark at the end of a sentence and it really began to annoy me since I wasn’t reading an ARC of Just One Day, but a finished copy.
The ending of Just One Day left a bittersweet, but renewed feeling in me. I don’t know a better way to describe it. It just left me a little bit sad, happy, and demanding the sequel at the exact same time. I so can not wait to get my hands on Just One Year and find out how all this will end.