Title: Just One Day
Author: Gayle Forman
Date Released: January 8th, 2013
Rating: 4 out of 5
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!
Just One Day is a sort of romance novel, but it goes a bit deeper than that which sets it apart from other young adult romance/contemporary novels. It also isn't fully about a romantic relationship, but also covers the life of Allyson as she tries to recover after the aftermath of something rather traumatic. Essentially, the story doesn't cover one day, but a whole year. However, it's the one "whirlwind" day that Allyson spends with Willem in Paris that is the focal point of the story.
The relationship between Allyson and Willem sort of seemed like a "love at first sight" type of deal; Allyson catches the eye of Willem and then the next day when they formally meet on a train, he whisks her off to Paris so that she can explore the city. They both form this bond where they like each other. It's obvious, but Allyson tries to suppress it because she did just meet this stranger who seems to have a lot of random lady friends in Paris. However, their feelings for each other all come out by the end of the day.
I really liked Just One Day; it was more than just romance, going into the depression that Allyson seems to face after that one day. But of course, the romance was what really got me into reading the book and finding out what exactly happened to Willem and why he didn't come back really kept me going because, while Allyson's situation was really sad, it was a bit much after a while until she has that reawakening and decides to find him.
The ending ended on a total cliffhanger and left me WANTING the next book. The edition I had nicely left a little snippet of the next book, which is from Willem's point of view, but of course, it just simply isn't the same as reading a whole book.
Overall, Just One Day was the perfect romance combined with a more contemporary approach. It wasn't the light and bubbly Anna and the French Kiss, but was a bit darker and depressing once you realized Allyson's transformation after the day with Willem. I definitely can't wait for Just One Year which comes out this October to see what happens between Willem and Allyson!
I'm not a HUGE fan of this cover, but I do like it and it does reflect the book pretty well. You can see the European architecture reflected in the window and the busy cafe behind Allyson. So it does fit the book, however I find it just a bit plain. However, I do like the sort of pastel colors of the cover. Overall, it's a nice cover, but it just doesn't really stand out that much.
*Description and cover from goodreads.com
**Review copy purchased.