Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Format: eBook
Page Count: 368
SynopsisWhen 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.
Review: The biggest lesson learned from this book: Never doubt Gayle Forman. Ever. If you think something won't work, just leave it to Gayle Forman. She'll leave you breathless and shocked.

   If I'm being honest, I probably wouldn't have picked this one up if it wasn't written by Gayle Forman. But I loved If I Stay and Where She Went so much, I had to get this one. And at first, I wasn't really feeling it. I was reading it for the sake of reading. Allyson was kind of dull, her best friend Melanie was just a pain, and everything blurred together. Even when Willem was introduced, I wasn't feeling him either. He seemed too much of a playboy, and not much of a sweetheart.

   When Allyson returns from her adventure as Lulu after Willem leaves her, she kind of falls into a depression that lasts months. She neglects her schoolwork, distances herself from her family, doesn't socialize--I like to say that she pulls a Bella from New Moon. (But at least Bella did her schoolwork.) It's extremely easy to get frustrated with her during this period. You want to shake her and maybe scream, "Quit with all this teenage angst and get on with your life!" You just have to bear through this section, because it gets better. Way, way better.

   Allyson starts taking new classes and meets a new friend. Things start looking up. She grows into a stronger, better version of herself, though she still struggles to understand who she wants to be. At this point, I fell in love with Allyson's character. She was more focused, more logical, and she began to nurture an admirable determination. And when she decided to go back to Paris to get answers, I was all for it.

   The plot takes a huge turn here because it turns exciting. It's almost like a game that Gayle Forman plays--she builds up so much hope that Allyson will find Willem again, and then she crushes it... several times over. By this section, I was reading it because I enjoyed it. In fact, I couldn't put it down. It was exciting, suspenseful, emotional, and beautiful. And oh my goodness, the ending had me screaming. I cannot believe Forman ended the book there. And then, she has the gall to add ONE page of the next book, which does nothing but increase my anxiety and arouse more questions!

   There's not much of Willem in this book, and I don't really know how I feel about him. On one hand, we don't know much about him, so it's difficult to judge. But on the other hand, we hear so many despicable things that he's done (granted: from word of mouth), and you can't help but judge him! I'll have to decide when I read the sequel. He has a long way to go if he wants to win me over, though!

   All in all, Just One Day is an emotional roller coaster of a ride that combines a flawed, but thoughtful protagonist with a beautiful journey. Gayle Forman weaves together a gorgeous story that will leave readers aching for the next book, like I am.

   4.5 keys.

P.S. i have a video review for this book up on my youtube channel here.


  1. Well the next book is going to be all from Willem's POV, and if he's anything like Adam, I'm sure I'm going to fall madly in love with him. BUT you're right. We don't see a lot of him, except for ONE DAY and then he's gone. It's also clear that he's been hiding a lot. But I think this book is much more than a girl pining over a guy. It's Allyson growing up and stepping away from her parent's expectations. A lot of feelings I had when I transitioned from HS to college are captured amazingly well here. But I agree, that one should NEVER underestimate Gayle Forman. Great review!

  2. I hope you weren't exaggerating when you said the end had you screaming, because I screamed when I read it, haha. I didn't even read the one page from Just One Year, only because I knew it would make me crazy. :P

    This was a great review, Sophia!

  3. Ahhh this sounds just incredible!! I'm dying for a book like this...but I think I'll wait because I want to do a read-a-thon in October for these books. I'm sure it'll be an easy one to get through since it's so intense!

    GREAT review, totally sold me on it, even though I'd already bought a copy/had it signed. ;)

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read

  4. I'm so excited for the next book -- what happened to Willem, anyway? He better have a good explanation…..

    Jen @ YA Romantics

  5. Wonderful review, I have not tried Forman yet but your review like others has me convinced I must read this..beautiful!

  6. Lovely review, Sophia! I agree with what you said, the fact that it's written by THE Gayle Forman holds so much ground, and because her books are so spectacular, I think I'm automatically assuming this one will be as good. But, judging by your review, I have reason to get my hopes up! :D Oh no, I don't think I'm prepared for Forman to build up my hopes and crush them- yet again. This looks like a growing trend! O.O Wonderful review, Sophia! Thanks for reminding me to pick this one up. <3 x

  7. Sophia, I actually feel quite the same with you on this one! I actually finished this book not 3 days ago, and it was just okay for me. I agree with you completely about the first half of the novel: I couldn't connect with any of the characters, the plot was slow, and especially when Allyson returned to America (LOL I love your Bella reference! So true!), things didn't get better. Things definitely picked up though! Like you, I'm extremely curious about Willem, AND DAT CLIFFHANGER. Anyway, lovely review, Sophia! I'm excited to see what you'll think of Just One Year!

  8. guh i am SO EXCITED for just one year. :( i really don't know how i feel about willem either (he was just one line in my review) but I AM V CURIOUS. so glad you liked it!

  9. I actually watched the video version of your review.. And I read just One day until the part where she got to uni or college and then I stopped reading because it was boring. Your review is urging me to pick it back up again though! Such a moving review, Sophia :)

  10. I had issues connecting with Allyson at times, but at the same time, I understood it. I just didn't like it. I wanted her to just get up and DO something with her life, and not let one boy rule her entire year. But honestly, I loved her character development, and seeing her really grow up was fantastic. I'm still a bit on the edge about Willem, but hopefully, he has some really great excuses... And then I will adore him! ;)

    Fabulous review, Sophia! <3

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

  11. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews on this one and I think you really hit the nail on the head by mentioning the whole "Bella Swan era" of the protagonist. I recently read a book (I won't name any names....) and it was basically Bella Swan THE WHOLE ENTIRE TIME. It was probably the worst book I've read in ages and I honestly don't know why I finished reading it. I'm sure that this one will be a walk in the park compared to that! I'll definitely have to pick it up, especially since I love Gayle Foreman. Thanks for the awesome and super informative review!

    Julia @ That Hapa Chick

  12. Gosh, I felt exactly the same way about Allyson at first. I think a lot of us did, actually! I wouldn't have picked this book up either if it hadn't been written by Gayle Forman, but I loved her earlier books too and just had to give it a try. I'm glad I did as it pretty much blew me away. Wonderful review, Sophia. :)

  13. Great review :D I'm glad you enjoyed this book. I've been wanting to read it, but I'm still a bit unsure ;p Wish there had been more romance :) Hope you'll love book two :D
    Thank you for commenting on my mailbox last week. <3
    Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

  14. Oh my god this sounds so amaziiing!!!!!! I was at the edge of my seat just READING your review!!!!! I have so many questions about Wilhelm and must just must get to reading the book. <333

  15. Yay I'm so glad that you loved this too Sophia. I agree with everything you had to say about Forman's writing, she really knows how to go out and crush your heart! I really liked Willem in this book, so I am really excited to get his side of things and find out why he did everything he supposedly did. Gorgeous review Sophia!

  16. I LOVED this too, like SO much. I had heard some not so positive things but like you said: do not doubt Gayle because she can really write!

    I can't watch your vlog right now, but I am definitely going to watch it :)

  17. Review after review, this one just sounds so fantastic. It's maybe even more meaningful coming from you because you weren't feeling the beginning and then you were totally won over. And you have to be impressed by an author that can manage that! Moment of truth: I haven't read any of Gayle Forman's books before (for shame!). I do own If I Stay, but have never found the time for it. I must see what all the fuss is about! This was a really fantastic review, by the way!

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