Book Title: Just One Day
Book Series: Just One Day Book #1
Author: Gayle Forman
Date Published: January 2015
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Summary: 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.
Hmmmmm… How do I rate thee? Hmmm. Actually, I am quite conflicted.
Here is why:
Well, the book in itself is a great piece. Gayle Forman is undeniably a smart author. I kind of known this author’s way of plotting stories through this book and with her If I Stay book. Based on my observations, she doesn’t revolve the stories around romance so much. She doesn’t make the romantic aspect make the whole story but instead the other elements she’s added to it — which really make the story and the romance aspect stand out, unique, and exciting but at the same time heartbreaking.
I always say that I love reading books because it takes you to a time and far far away places in.. tic.. toc…tic..toc… .07 seconds. Yep! It does do wonders like that. This book will tour you around England, France, and many more. Well, I have never gone out of Luzon proper let alone outside the country because I never had the time (or partly lazy to try something new but I wish I would?) to so yeah, I did enjoy this aspect of this book because I get to see tidbit parts of different places around the world and experience their culture as well.
However, much to my disappointment, I have been expecting a full packed romantic story, but to my dismay, the story was full of…. depression and melancholy instead. However…….. this is just me. If I am not a sucker for happy endings or cheesy mushy lovey stories, I know I’ll definitely LOVE this; adventure, different cultures, college life, Shakespear, family, people you meet that you never expected to have such significant impact on your lives, and realizing that indeed — reality bites.
Note: Mega spoiler alert below. Do not read beyond this if you wish to save the dits 🙂
I can very much relate to Allyson’s innate personality. I mean, we all have that moment in our lives where we are very much confined and constricted — afraid to do something out of the ordinary or perhaps something crazy. Well, the story started as when her parents gave her a European Tour Package as her high school graduation present with her parents wanting her to learn other race’s culture in mind. While on tour in London, her life changed when she met Willem, a Dutch amateur actor, who helped her discover new things about herself. They embarked on a journey to Paris (her dream city) for a day, to which she knows she would have never ever thought of considering before; with a male stranger, a teenager in a foreign country, plus the prying eyes of her parents she has to get away from? In just one day, she learned new things about herself plus she learned that in just one day, she can really fall in love. She was willing to give herself to Willem only if he asks her, however, much to her disappointment, their trip went sour. She found herself abandoned by Willem the next morning when she woke up. She realized that her feelings were never reciprocated by Willem at all and he made that obvious all throughout their trip. However, she was blinded by her emotions. What Willem said also strike me, “You have to fall in love to be in love, but falling in love isn’t the same as being in love.”
She went back home and started college, however, life had been pretty much tough on her. She underwent depression because of Willem and went kind of anti-social. She is still in love with him and is having a hard time getting out of that limbo. Her school even got her attention and discussed her life as a college student. She used to be a straight-A student when she was in high school, and they are concerned because they are seeing signs that sooner or later she will drop out. That is how bad her experience in Paris got into her. Well, she tried to beat the odds and tried to get back into reality. Just when she thought she’s moved on, fast forward, she went back to Paris and found Willem with another girl. They seem in love, pretty much in love he didn’t even see Allyson. Cut the chase, the story ended when she went over to Willem’s place, knocked on his door, Willem answered it, then asked her to come in.