Monday, February 3, 2014

Just One Day by Gayle Forman (Review)

Young Adult, Romance, Contemproary
Publication.Date:August 30, 2013
Pages:369 (paperback)
Published By:  Speak
Website:Gayle Forman 

Just One Day on Goodreads
My review copy:

Where to get:

From the New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay

Allyson Healey's life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life.

A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the "accidents" of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know.

Again, I hear myself and can hardly believe it. When I was little, I used to go to the local ice-skating rink. In my mind, I always felt like I could twirl and jump, but when I got out onto the ice, I could barely keep my blades straight. When I got older, that's how it was with people: In my mind, I am bold and forthright, but what comes out always seems so meek and polite. Even with Evan, my boyfriend for junior and most of senior year, I never quite managed to be that skating, twirling, leaping person I suspected I could be. But today, apparently, I can skate.
She narrows her green eyes at Willem. "If you rape or murder my friend, I will kill you."

William tsk-tsks. "You Americans are so violent. I'm Dutch. The worst I will do is run her over with a bicycle."
When he finally kisses my mouth, everything goes oddly quiet, like a moment of silence between lightning and thunder. One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. Three Mississippi. Four Mississippi. Five Mississippi.


We kiss again. This next kiss is the kind that breaks open the sky. It steals my breath and gives it back. It shows me that  every other kiss i've had in my life has been wrong.
"Versailles is a relic," Kelly insists. "It's not going anywhere. But this is real life. Real romance. What could be more French than that?"

I don't know whether I want to recommend this book to everybody I come across or to protect them all from the feels. Okay, who am I kidding . . . everybody needs to read this book! These 400 pages feel like anything but. Gayle is able to engross you completely in Allyson's story that you have no idea what is going on in the world around you and before you know it your fiancee is bugging you for dinner at 7:00pm - yea for Chinese delivery!

Allyson is your quintessential good girl. She is in AP classes, has only had one boyfriend, doesn't drink - not even when she's in England, where it's legal, and all the other kids in Teen Tours! go out to the pubs. It's not until standing in line to see The Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Hamlet that Allyson, slowly but surely, breaks out into her own. After her best friend feigns heatstroke, the girls sneak off to watch a production of Twelfth Night, put on my Guerilla Will. On the train to London the next day, Allyson encounters Willem, an actor from Guerilla Will, and the two embark on a day trip to Paris that will effect Allyson greater than she could have ever imagined.

I am a huge fan of Allyson, but I grew to love her throughout the novel. You can absolutely see her character's development from page one to page 369. Allyson really comes into her own throughout this year of her life; she stands on her own two feet, went after what she wanted, and found a bravery within herself that she never thought she had. While I have a hard time accepting her depression over this one day, it was definitely worth it in the end. To see how deeply this one day took over her entire next year is absolutely mind blowing. She curls into herself and becomes really introvert. It isn't until she finally confides in her friend Dee (whom I love), which has a hugely positive effect on her attitude and relationships, that she comes out of her shell and beings to piece things together to find answers.

There's not much I can say about Willem, seeing as we don't spend a whole heck of a lot of time with him. I like him, but I'm not really drawn to him the way I normally would be with a YA love interest. However, after reading the sneak peek of Just One Year, I'm beyond positive that I'm going to fall head over heels for him.

Just One Day is not your typical YA contemporary romance. There are more questions than answers and we're only seeing one side of the story - the other side has only a first name and is somewhere in Europe. It's when we start getting answers that you get the giddy feelings of excitement. Where you need more, but it's never enough. There are soul crushing moments, feelings of ecstasy moments, what the hell moments, and a-ha! moments.

I'm very much looking forward to diving into Just One Year to understand Willem's perspective and get to know him better. If you haven't picked up Just One Day yet, I suggest you do so right away. I also recommend ensuring you have Just One Year with you  so you can start it right away.

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