Christina's Reviews > Just One Day

Just One Day by Gayle Forman
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's review
Mar 05, 13

bookshelves: ya
Read on March 01, 2013

I'm a new Gayle Forman fan - I read her other books just this year - but I'm now a fan for life. Her books are very emotional, realistic and timely and Just One Day is no exception.

This is the story of Allyson, an "everygirl" from the US on the last leg of "once in a lifetime" graduation trip to Europe with her best friend. She meets Willem while watching a Shakespeare play in Stratford-Upon-Avon and her world changes forever. She takes a huge leap and lets him take her to Paris, where they spend a magical day together. Her perfect day is shattered, however, and she returns home with a broken heart. As Allyson navigates her first year in college, nursing her wounds, she begins to trust people again and manages to pick up the pieces enough to open her heart once more.

I found Allyson's journey to be fascinating. I love that she wasn't a risk taker, yet she chose to throw all caution to the wind and go off to another country with a total stranger. I honestly was fearful for her for a minute! But, in making the decision, she basically changed the entire course of her life. She fell in love with Willem, who by the way is totally dreamy, and even if their relationship were to go no further than just that one day, Allyson had an experience she would always be able to take with her in the future. He taught her how to let go and to just be. I think, despite the fact that she had a rough year in college, her time with Willem allowed her to open herself to people she might otherwise have written off, like her roommate Kali or her classmate, D'Angelo.

The romance is definitely solid. Willem and Allyson's chemistry is palpable and even though they develop their feelings in a very short period of time, it didn't feel like insta-love or unrealistic. He's a fun character and I love that we're going to get to know more about him in the forthcoming sequel, Just One Year. Allyson's transformation, her self-education, was the more important bit here, in my opinion though. I think that the changes she makes throughout her year will definitely affect the outcome - she's not the same girl she was and will not, nor should not, react in a similar fashion.

And this is why I like, and appreciate, Forman's stories. Sure, she has great romance and swoonworthy boys, but a lot of the focus of her books has been self-discovery, self-awareness, evolution - all things that are part of being alive. So, thank you, Gayle Forman, for giving us another lovely story that anyone can relate to.


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