Friday, February 8, 2013

Just One Day: a review

By Gayle Forman
Dutton Juvenile: Copyright 2012
302 pgs – Teen (keywords): realistic fiction, romance, boy meets girl, traveling, college

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!

~Amazon Description~

In the season of red hearts and roses…Gayle Forman, I totally heart you.

The Breakdown

At first glance, Allyson has the coolest parents ever.  As a graduation present, they send her to Europe with her best friend Melanie…yes, Europe…the Europe, with ancient cities, beautiful landscapes, and cute boys.  And as all good romantic stories go, there’s one particular cute boy who she just happens to meet while waiting in line to see the Twelfth Night in Stratford-Upon-Avon.  In a move so unlike her, Allyson and her alter-ego LuLu, head to Paris for “Just One Day” with the mysterious Willem.  After a heartbreaking end to her first wild adventure, Allyson finds herself in college, unable to cope, and desperately seeking answers to Willem's unexpected departure.

The Awesome

In If I Stay we got to hear Mia's story.  In Where She Went we heard from Adam.  With the same formula we're introduced to Allyson and Willem.  Forman takes her time telling a story.  There's no bouncing back and forth, no flashbacks.  Instead we get a full story filled with genuine emotion.

I love Europe.  I love stories about Europe.  I love love stories where young people find themselves on a self-journey through Europe.  My way to live vicariously through fictional characters.

The Not So Awesome

I am not, however, a fan of pity parties, and Allyson through herself quite the party.  I still liked her, and I was still rooting for her, but it was touch a go for a bit.

So, I'll take any Forman book sight unseen.  The boys are cute and heartfelt, the girls a re strong and resilient, and no matter what obstacle the lovestruck find themselves, their is always hope.

Favorite Quote: “Or maybe it's not a miracle. Maybe this is just life. When you open yourself up to it. When you put yourself in the path of it. When you say yes.”

Related Titles: Roger & Amy's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

If you've got time, stop by The Librarian Way!  On today's Friday Favorites I posted on tweeting your book love!



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