February 13, 2013

Book Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Title: Just One Day
Author: Gayle Forman
Copy Obtained:  Librarything Early Reviews

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.

I'm surprised at how much I liked this book! It's the first YA realistic fiction book I've read in a long time, and I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it.  But I found myself completely drawn into Allyson's life and wanting to know how she would be.  Many people refer to this as a love story or "travel" book.  I guess you could say that, but honestly I see it as so much more.  Yes it was a day spent with a boy that pushed Allyson, but I don't honestly see the "love story" part as the main focus.  I see the main focus on a girl finally knowing who she is.  You see Allyson has always been the good girl - doing what her parents laid out in front of her.  But then one day (just one day) is the catalyst to change all of that.  For one day she becomes someone else.  It fails she thinks but then is in a tailspin because she doesn't know what to do now. That is really what this book is about  - what do you do when everything you thought was true about yourself isn't really true.  And that story I loved.

I really liked Allyson.  Ok I'll admit when she gets back to college in the fall I didn't really like her. I understood why she was acting that way, but I didn't like her then!  But I also knew that deep down she'd find her path and follow it.  It was amazing to watch her grow and change and strengthen.  I found myself cheering her on! And every success she had made me proud of her (Ok ok so I had to remind myself she wasn't a real person!).  It was so nice to see a realistic girl character learn to navigate her world on her own two feet and be confident in herself.  I think it's something many girls can struggle with.  

Ok about Willem the love interest......I don't have a lot to say about him because for me it was so minor a character.  Yes he's all over the book and in her thoughts all the time.  But I wasn't focused on whether they'd end up together etc.  Did I like him?  I guess.  Did I dislike him? I didn't think enough dislike him.  He was what he was.  I am curious though about the book Just One Year that tells his story because I'm thinking it'll show his growth as well.  

As far as the ending.  I liked it.  It seemed way more realistic that other endings that could've happened.  I was definately satisfied with where Allyson was as a person.  Her journey was incredible, and I'm glad I went along.  

Final Thought: Well done! 
Best stick-with-you image: So many! But many when Allyson started taking control.
Best for readers who: Are in high school
Best for ages: 16+ This one is definitely for older teens

For the Guys? Nope not at all :)


  1. Isn't it wonderful when you identify with a character so much you feel like you know them. Good review:)

  2. Nice review. I didn't know about this book. Thanks. I'll be putting it on my TBR list.