Publisher: Simon & Schuster Dutton Juvenile
Age Group: Young Adult
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.
Rating: AMAZING! ONE OF THE BEST READS THIS YEAR!
OHMYHOLYFREAKINGGOODNESS! Amazing! Fantabulous! Marvelous! Favorite! There just aren’t enough words to describe my love for this book. Just One Day is hands down my favorite book of 2013 so far and possibly one of my favorite books EVER.
Going into Just One Day, I already knew how beautifully Gayle Forman could express emotion through her writing, but I was blown away with feelings by the end of the book. After finishing Just One Day, I had this rare moment where I just sat there in shock reviewing the entire book through my head. It was INCREDIBLE!
Allyson was such a relatable character to me. Her entire life has always been about pleasing her parents. She’s never really had a moment’s second to actually think about what she wants. A lot of kids can relate to the pressures of living up to parents’ high expectations, and I’m pretty sure that there will a ton of us who will have no idea of our future careers come around college time. Allyson’s chance meeting with Willem left her with a high of having the freedom to be herself. And, she struggles with this realization that her dreams don’t exactly match up with her parents. It was not an easy thing for Allyson, but it is amazing reading about how she grows as a person to overcome all her obstacles & struggles. By the end, Allyson is truly becoming the person she wants to be and that was just beautiful.
Also, throughout most of Just One Day, Allyson cannot get over Willem’s mystery disappearance which leads to a lot of confusion, self-pitying, & distress. There were moments where I just wanted to shake Allyson and tell her that she would probably never see him again, but my hopeless romantic side was completely rooting for this fateful couple!
Oh, and I cannot forget about the secondary characters! Let’s start off with, Melanie who has been Allyson’s best friend for the longest time. After graduation, she decides to reform herself into Mel 2.0, a more outgoing, confident, eccentric Melanie. As both girls begin to grow and grab hold of themselves, their friendship becomes a bit strained, since they don’t really know what to do now that they’re both so different. It’s like they barely even know each other. And, I thought this made Just One Day more realistic because we all grow apart from old friends which we hope to reconnect with later in life. My absolute favorite secondary character has got to be Dee! He was Allyson’s first friend in college and I just couldn’t help loving his quirky, fun, outspoken character. Dee just had so much life & personality in him that I always enjoyed reading about his character.
At first glance, Just One Day seems to be a book centered on romance, but it’s so much more. In fact, Willem only appears in the beginning of the book, although his presence is felt throughout the entire read. Just One Day is actually Allyson’s story. It’s her story of self-discovery. And, it spoke volumes to me as a person.
I might just be over-analyzing Just One Day, but I totally recommend it to teenagers in high school or to someone just trying to figure out who they are. Also, Just One Day is definitely a book for the hopeless romantic. To be honest, I would just about recommend Just One Day to everyone! It is a definite must-read! Now go grab yourself a copy and read it!
I know there’s a lot, but I couldn’t just pick one! Sorry I’m not sorry. 😉 (Awkward, anyone else watch it?)
“We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day.”
” I don’t know who I am. Or maybe I do know who I am and I just don’t want to be her anymore.”
“You’re just trying on different identities, like everyone in those Shakespeare plays. And the people we pretend at, they’re already in us. That’s why we pretend them in the first place.”
“This is myself, baby. All of my selves. I own each and every one of them. I know who I’m pretending to be and who I am.” The look he gives me is withering. “Do you?”
“C’est courageux d’aller dans l’inconnu’: It is courageous to go into territory unknown.”
“But what if Shakespeare― and Hamlet― were asking the wrong question? What if the real question is not whether to be, but how to be?”
“Maybe accident isn’t the right word after all. Maybe miracle is. 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 life. When you say yes.”
“He showed me how to get lost, and then I showed myself how to get found.”