Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)by Published 20 Aug 2013
|Just One Day (Just One Day, #1).pdf|
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 (Just One Day, #1)" Reviews
Leaving everything behind to follow a complete, but oh so handsome and charming, stranger?
As Claire Dunphy, from Modern Family, would say, ‘‘That’s how girls end up dead’’.
No, no, no, no, no. This is not okay.
The possible truth is that I should not have given this book a chance, but how was I supposed to know that Willem would not stir my heart?
I’m against anything resembling what Allyson is doing, because I don’t believe it’s alright for someone to trust a complete stranger so completely. At the same time, I agree that novels are fantasies on paper, so I wasn’t going to pass on this book, which was written by an author I am familiar with, only because of one detail, however important it may be.
I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had felt something otherworldly beautiful between Allyson and Willem. Willem is indeed charming and interesting, but so are a million other guys. Anyone can become interesting to you if you give them a chance to open up about themselves, find common interests with them or are in admiration with them.
Because the writing was good, I could have finished this story if I had wanted to, but you know one of my resolutions this year is not to bother with books I know I won’t enjoy in any way. Sure, I believe in finishing what you start, but not when there are so many other books out there that deserve a chance. DNF.
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I HAVE NO WORDS
"Ain't such a line between faking and being."
My heart is saying yes but my head is saying absolutely not. So I guess it's only fair that I appease the two of them and rate exactly down the middle. To be honest, I have come to expect more from Ms Forman's characters. I found it extremely difficult to care about either Allyson or Willem, especially the latter. While I came to appreciate Allyson's story more in the second half and had my heart singing along to the sad tunes of heartbreak, I never came to care much about Willem. Something which became even more obvious when I recently decided to try the sequel - Just One Year.
I've been putting this book off because of the mixed reviews I've seen online but I finally gave into my need to check out everything by my favourite authors. This story is about an American girl called Allyson who goes on a tour around various European cities in the summer before she is due to start college. Allyson has always been the straight-laced, err-on-the-side-of-caution kinda girl, but a meeting with a boy in London seems set to change all of that... if only for just one day.
In a completely spur of the moment decision, Allyson decides to do something crazy for once and runs away to Paris with Willem where they spend one day and night together. When she wakes in the morning, Allyson discovers that Willem has disappeared. Disappointed, she returns to her life in the US and tries to carry on with College and forget about Willem. But she sinks deeper and deeper into depression. With the help of new friends, Allyson decides that all might not be lost after all, and that what she is really seeking might go deeper than a boy she only knew for one day.
Surprisingly, the second half of this book worked for me more than the first. The first half (or third) is certainly more action-packed with spontaneous trips to Paris and a whirlwind romance. But I was so irritated by Allyson and her upper middle class white girl problems... she gets to travel around all these amazing cities in Europe and she feels sorry for herself because the cities "weren't like the movies". Boo freaking hoo. Am I supposed to pity her because she got to go on a trip of a lifetime and just sulked at every stop? Well, I didn't.
She is also a complete Mary Sue. Whine, whine, whine about all these other girls that are more beautiful than she is... but everyone still seems to think she's hot anyway. Is there any female character in this book that Allyson doesn't view with disdain? She's jealous of the overtly sexual Celine, she constantly compares herself to her also overtly sexual friend - Melanie, even her own mother is portrayed negatively. I might expect this from some authors, but not Gayle Forman. I also didn't expect Forman to be all tell and no show with Willem's characterization. Apparently he's charming, but I never saw any evidence of it.
The second half appealed to me more because I could understand and appreciate a story about a young woman suffering from depression more than I could understand and appreciate a story about a poor little rich girl who discovered the big wide world wasn't as sparkly as it looked from her mansion window. I thought this second part of the book was realistic and sad - really touching in parts. I especially loved the Shakespeare parallels and the whole theme of pretending to be someone you're not... and how maybe that pretense is as much a part of you as the person you are the rest of the time.
By the time the ending rolled around, I was stood there right in the middle of the story with Allyson. My heart was pounding with dread and anticipation at what she would find. I finished it knowing that no matter how much Willem didn't float my boat, I would still have to read the sequel just to find out what happens. Because I cared. And I suppose that made the earlier disappointment worth it.
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I really, really loved this, much more than I had anticipated. I didn't enjoy If I Stay as much as everyone else seems to and I read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and didn't really enjoy it and this book is pretty similar, but it wasn't just a love story, it had so much more depth to it.
I loved the pivotal role Shakespeare played in the story and how his plays all tied into the identity struggle Allyson was having. The love story was also insta love but not annoyingly so. It just kind of made sense as Allyson was trying to be this impulsive, wild child that was the exact opposite of she really is. Her identity struggle gave the story so much depth and it just made for one of those contemporaries that's packed with meaning yet also has a great romance. Just a great book overall, I'll probably do a review soon on my channel.
4.5 stars I don't know how this author consistently writes such beautifully crafted stories of personal growth, but the level of emotional maturity in this one just astounds me.
But sheesh, what a place to stop the story! Can't wait for the next book this fall.