Book: Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Series: Just One Day #1
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Date Published: January 8th, 2013
Start Date: December 19th, 2013
End Date: December 21st, 2013
Other Books Reviewed: Just One Year, If I Stay, Where She Went, I Was Here
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 absolutely adored Just One Day. I had been reading fantasy/dystopian books nonstop lately, and it was kind of nice to read a book that could bring me back to reality a little bit. But I didn’t just love the book because it was a nice change from the usual. There was so much that I loved about the book as a standalone.
Just One Day is about a girl named Allyson who is on a graduation trip in Europe. On the last day, she meets a guy named Willem, and she randomly decides to run off with him and explore Paris for a day. In a single day, she falls in love and gets her heart broken.
This may seem like its a typical story about falling in love in Paris, one of the most romantic cities in the world. But its so much more, I promise you. When I first saw the title, I thought that this was going to be 300+ pages about 24 hours. However, the events in the book take course over a year. The story is much more than just about a whirlwind romance, its more about finding yourself. When you’re 18, fresh out of high school and going into your first year of college, a lot of things can happen and sometimes you just need to jump into the unknown to start that discovery of yourself.
At first, I was unsure if I was going to like Allyson. She seemed to be a bit of a control freak in that recluse sort of way. She had never done anything to call herself brave. However, the character development in this book was phenomenal. She was such an obedient girl when the book started, but by the end she was a strong woman who was brave. She was able to stand up to her parents, rush off to Europe, and face the one thing that has been haunting her. Her journey was more about herself than it was about some guy she fell in love with. I felt as though she was so brave for facing the things that she knew scared her and the things that were unfamiliar to her.
One thing I was happy to see was that Allyson was brave enough to admit that she was scared. She was able to gain courage, but still admit that she was vulnerable. I liked this aspect a lot because sometimes I see characters who start off as scared but later become courageous, but also maintain the idea that they are almost invincible. Its admirable to know that you can be that courageous, but sometimes its good to know that you can be both courageous and vulnerable at the same time.
So, I have to mention this. This book made me crave macaroons like crazy. They were always talking about them in the book. A couple of months ago, I was dying to try them out for the first time. It wasn’t until a month ago that the bakery that I like to go to actually had them in stock. They were made fresh, but they’d fly off the shelves before I would even show up. Once I had one, I fell in love. I haven’t had one since, and that’s a shame. So, now I want one. Also, this book made me want to go to Paris. I wanted to go to Paris and have a macaroon, just like Allyson. I’ve been to London, and its amazing. I should have taken the two hour trek to Paris, but it just never happened. After reading this book, I made the promise to myself to go do all those things.
So, with that being said, I love when a book makes me want to do things like that. I am a traveler at heart, and the book made me realize how much more of the world I want to see. When you can connect to a book like that, you know you’ve found a good one. I recommend this book to almost anyone. If you’re looking for a good romantic read, a book to help you find yourself, or just a good read, this one can relate to to so many aspects of a person’s life.
There is also a sequel to this book called Just One Year. I am going to start this book immediately because I can’t wait to find out what happens, so expect a review of it in a few days. Happy Reading!