Thursday, February 14, 2013

Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Just One Day (Just One Day #1)
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Pages: 368
Source: Hardcover/Library

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay
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!

Review: I totally don't think I'm gonna do this book justice with this review, but I'll try. Lol. This is my favorite read of the year so far, and definitely my favorite contemporary so far (it's gonna take another mind-blowingly awesome book to kick this out of #1 contemp of 2013). So first of all, I'd like to point out that this book starts out in Europe and ends in Europe. I love Europe. I also loved that the main place in this book (besides Allyson's home in the US) was Paris. Everyone in their right mind knows I love Paris. But I also love Europe in general so it was awesome seeing Allyson in places like London and Amsterdam. It was awesome seeing someone around my age just going places in Europe, without being stuck in just one place. That made this book so much fun to read! I also got to learn a bunch of french in this book so that was pretty cool too! (If any of you know, I really like French and really hope to learn the language and speak it fluently.)

Now, onto Allyson and Willem's fun day in Paris. First of all, I totally don't condone getting on a train with a stranger and going to a different city than the one your supposed to be in... But hey. If thats your type of thing I'm totally not gonna stop you! I really thought this trip to Paris was cool. In so many ways. First of all, hot guy. Who wouldn't want to be wandering around Paris with a hot guy??? Second of all, they didn't plan their day. They just let things happen at will. I thought that was really cool. I mean if I went to a foreign country I would probably have a list of places I wanted to see, but I think I'd rather let things happen and have more of an experience than just a list I have to complete. I also thought it was really cool that Willem paid for a bunch of stuff for Allyson (LuLu) even though he didn't have to. They also just kinda got to know each other in their own way. They would open up about certain things, and just really talk even though they had only met each other hours before. I definitely don't think I could do that with a stranger. I don't know though, I could sense there was something between them. I mean Allyson was pretty open with her feelings but Willem... I really couldn't get a read on his feelings. So I really didn't know what to think of him when he just left her all alone. I wanted to hate him, but I felt like I shouldn't because we didn't know why he left her or if he tried to get back to her. But anyways. I thought this whole sudden trip to Paris with Willem was really cool though. Allyson really jumped out of her comfort zone to do this and it really ended up changing her life. I wish I could jump out of my comfort zone like that. I mean, I have jumped out of it recently, but nothing drastic like that. I kinda look up to her a little bit in that respect in having faith to just do it instead of chickening out or worrying about all that could go wrong. 

I really felt for Allyson when she went home, because I have totally been in the shoes she was in. She had no idea why Willem left her and she was pretty in love with the guy. I've been there. So I really understood her depression in the first few months of college, because I've been there (minus the college). Not to mention, she was studying something she didn't even want to study. Being a doctor was always her moms dream and her mom pretty much forced it on her. So I can see why she was also bombing her classes first semester. Its hard to be enthusiastic about classes you don't wanna be in. I was so glad when she changed her schedule second semester to something she liked more. I was also happy that Allyson made new friends once she let herself come out of the whole she had dug herself into. I didn't like however though that her parents blew up on her for it just because she wasn't studying what they wanted her to study. I was proud of Allyson for standing up to them though. Her mom seriously tried controlling every aspect of her life and if I was suffocated like she was I would probably end up doing the same thing. Its her life, not her parents, she should be able to study what she wants and do what she wants with her life. Shes an adult and can make adult decisions. I definitely though the Shakespeare class and the French class she took during the summer were really good for her. Those things really helped her find herself. Especially when she decided to look for him and went back to Paris to try and find him. I really feel like that was a big part of her finding herself. She needed to find him, to know what happened, but she also learned a lot about herself, changed herself to be like the girl she wanted to be, not her parents wanted her to be, and really just opened herself up to new experiences she never would have experienced before if she didn't find herself through this whole thing. I am definitely looking forward to Just One Year (Willem's story), especially with the ending of Allyson finding him. I need to know what happens after that. We better find out!

This was such a good book about love, stepping out of your comfort zone and finding yourself!

5 Stars!

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