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Just One Day by Gayle Forman
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Just One Day (original 2013; edition 2013)

by Gayle Forman

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6026816,247 (4.14)10
Member:EBurggraf
Title:Just One Day
Authors:Gayle Forman
Info:Dutton Juvenile (2013), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:YA Books
Rating:****
Tags:Love, Starred Review, Romance

Work details

Just One Day by Gayle Forman (2013)

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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.

I loved If I Stay and Where She Went. They made me super over emotional, so much so I have never reread them, but I loved them and the different types of feelings that both books evoked. So it was with high expectations that I turned to Gayle Forman’s next duology, beginning with Just One Day. It wasn’t quite what I was hoping for but at the same time, considering my lack of knowledge and the fact I was going into it blind, I’m not really sure what I was hoping for.

I have never read a book where I disliked the main character, Allyson, so much but still really enjoyed the writing and the story (mostly). This is strange I suppose because the story is made up of Allyson’s actions and I generally thought most of these were pretty stupid. But I really appreciated the character and plot development, even though it was pretty crazy on her part. By the end, she was pretty tolerable but [ I do wish she had decided in the end not to seek Willem out. She had come so far and had made so many other important discoveries about herself it seemed he was not even that important anymore, instead being only a catalyst for change. I think the end of this novel could have been written without her going back for him (hide spoiler)].

There was a lot of eye rolling for me while reading but I was glad that there wasn’t any point where I wanted to throw this book across the room. It was all influenced by Allyson – I have no problem pointing fingers. She is melodramatic, ungrateful and at times, extremely stupid, no matter her GPA. Her tour in Europe may not be what she wanted but her parents paid and organised it for her (when I took off overseas after high school I organised and financed the whole thing myself) and yet she shows no inkling of gratitude, only worrying that she hasn’t had the Europe experience she wanted. That would have a lot to do with her attitude! And when she does decide to actually enjoy herself and take off for a day to Paris with a stranger, she takes no notice of where she is or where she’s going, she does nothing in terms of looking after herself and when her one night stand takes off, she’s left lost and in tears in a strange country with no idea where she is or how to speak the language. She has absolutely nobody to blame for herself, honestly what did she think was going to happen? And then instead of accepting the fact that yes, shit happens, and chalking it down to experience and an awesome exotic story to tell (because in the end she was fine!) about your trip to Paris, she lets it ruin her life for a whole year. On top of that, she doesn’t want to do pre-med like her parents thought and so secretly takes other classes. Well done for acting like an adult! (More eye rolling.)

The fact that she is just so dependent on everyone around her really grated on my nerves but then when she finally decided to stand up and do something for herself I was pretty pleased with the character development that came out of having to get a job and manage money and be a person in the real world. The privilege in this novel really pissed me off and she could easily be perceived as spoilt, but the worst thing was there was no indication that this was the intention of the author, who instead focused on Allyson ‘finding herself’ and ‘a quest for lost love’ yadda yadda yadda. Every girl is described as pretty and when she’s with her stranger boy, immediately identified as a threat. I personally felt she had no reason to hate Celine or any of the other girls, even if Celine was a bit of a bitch at times. Willem did not belong to her and yet she immediately assumed he did. Her revelations by the end of the novel were heartening to read, though, and I was glad it seemed like she grew up and moved on.

My rating is conflicting me! But I did enjoy it and Paris and Holland were painted so exquisitely in this novel (I have the wanderlust), the writing was fantastic (as always) I think this one can get 4 stars. BECAUSE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT (even though it didn’t end how I thought it should).
( )
  crashmyparty | Dec 10, 2014 |
I had a few issues with this book. I didn't really connect with the characters, and I felt like Allyson was a bit of an idiot. Still, this book was enjoyable to an extent. ( )
  Tarklovishki | Oct 31, 2014 |
I discovered Gayle Forman last year when I read [b:If I Stay|4374400|If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)|Gayle Forman|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1393750891s/4374400.jpg|4422413] so I was pretty excited to discover the Just One Day/Year series which follow Allyson and Willem.

I found this book to be a lovely read. It made me want to go back to my backpacking days in Paris, although I never met a charismatic Dutch guy and have a whirlwind romance like Allyson.

Allyson is a complex character for YA which is testament to Forman's ability to create really relatable characters. She has a lot of expectations from her parents, she always plans everything, she doesn't know how to relate to people...she's kind of boring really (but we like her anyway). When she meets Willem, after watching him perform Twelfth Night in London, she is convinced to throw caution to the wind and follow him to Paris for "just one day".

She does it and what ensues is a slow building (albeit all in one day really - but over the course of half the book) romance. And then something happens. The rest of the book is Allyson dealing with that something. I wont tell.

I loved the incorporation of Shakespeare as a theme. Allyson takes up a Shakespeare class at college, after secretly giving up all of her pre-med subjects. The plays represent her own self-discovery, leading her to take a path not set out by her parents, but her own heart. Willem, and that one day she spent with him in Paris, is that person that sees beyond the well planned out life to the person she could become if she took a chance.

It is also about friendship, a big theme in most young adult's lives and what happens to friends who have been close all through school and then go their separate ways. I had a similar experience in my own friendship group after school and Forman did a good job with this sub-plot. ( )
  Erin.Patel | Aug 22, 2014 |
I discovered Gayle Forman last year when I read [b:If I Stay|4374400|If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)|Gayle Forman|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1393750891s/4374400.jpg|4422413] so I was pretty excited to discover the Just One Day/Year series which follow Allyson and Willem.

I found this book to be a lovely read. It made me want to go back to my backpacking days in Paris, although I never met a charismatic Dutch guy and have a whirlwind romance like Allyson.

Allyson is a complex character for YA which is testament to Forman's ability to create really relatable characters. She has a lot of expectations from her parents, she always plans everything, she doesn't know how to relate to people...she's kind of boring really (but we like her anyway). When she meets Willem, after watching him perform Twelfth Night in London, she is convinced to throw caution to the wind and follow him to Paris for "just one day".

She does it and what ensues is a slow building (albeit all in one day really - but over the course of half the book) romance. And then something happens. The rest of the book is Allyson dealing with that something. I wont tell.

I loved the incorporation of Shakespeare as a theme. Allyson takes up a Shakespeare class at college, after secretly giving up all of her pre-med subjects. The plays represent her own self-discovery, leading her to take a path not set out by her parents, but her own heart. Willem, and that one day she spent with him in Paris, is that person that sees beyond the well planned out life to the person she could become if she took a chance.

It is also about friendship, a big theme in most young adult's lives and what happens to friends who have been close all through school and then go their separate ways. I had a similar experience in my own friendship group after school and Forman did a good job with this sub-plot. ( )
  Erin.Patel | Aug 22, 2014 |
The main character has her life planned out by her family, but then she makes some (in real life) very bad decisions. This book is in no way indicative of real life, but it is fun to think about all the decisions you, as the reader, could have made differently and the various out comes. That is why I liked this book so much. Not because it's real life, but it's a bit of an young adult fantasy world. ( )
  breakingbooks | Aug 13, 2014 |
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"Sparks fly when American good girl Allyson encounters laid-back Dutch actor Willem, so she follows him on a whirlwind trip to Paris, upending her life in just one day and prompting a year of self-discovery and the search for true love."--

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