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!Audiobook, Unabridged Digital Download, 10 pages
Five Stars: A gorgeously written book about one magical day that changes everything.
Allyson is on the trip of a lifetime. For graduation, her parents surprise her with a tour of Europe. Allyson has always been a shining student who follows the rules, but on her last day of the tour, Allyson and her best friend, Mel, decide to bend the rules a little. Instead of going to the stage performance of Hamlet with the rest of tour, they sneak away and attend a non traditional performance of Twelfth Night. Allyson is enamored with the handsome, blonde, young man playing Sebastian. At the end of the show, he flashes her a smile and tosses her a coin. The next day on the train to London, fate brings Allyson face to face with the same young man, Willem. When Allyson tells Willem that the biggest let down of her trip was that she wasn't able to visit Paris he offers a daring proposal. Soon the straight laced Allyson is embarking on a thrilling journey. She will spend just one day in Paris with Willem, but it is so much more than a tour of Paris. During this one day, Allyson will lose her heart and open herself to self discovery. What will happen to Allyson in just one day?
What I Liked:
- It isn't often that I find a book that completely charms me. Just One Day was one of those reads. It is a gorgeously written book about life, love, loss and opening yourself to new experiences and self discovery. Allyson's one day in Paris changes the course of her life. I loved watching her journey and found myself thoroughly engaged in her story. If you are a fan of contemporary young adult books with tremendous growth and a terrific romance, read this one.
- The writing was breathtaking. I loved the rich in depth descriptions along with the gorgeous metaphors and the heartfelt emotion. The day in Paris was magical. I felt like Ms. Forman transported me straight to Paris with her detail. I absolutely loved the writing.
- Allyson is a character with whom I was able to relate. At eighteen, she has spent her whole life being the good girl, always pleasing her parents, teachers etc. When she is given the chance to do something daring, she seizes it and that changes everything. After her magical day ends in heartache, Allyson returns home to tackle college. She is depressed and struggling to adapt. Soon she is in a tailspin and in danger of failing. Thankfully once again, she takes a chance by enrolling in a Shakespeare class where she makes a new friend and continues to open herself to change. I loved watching her transform and go from the girl who does what her parents expect to someone who dares to follow her dreams, which eventually take her right back to Paris.
- The secondary characters were just as engaging and interesting as Allyson. I especially loved her new found friend Dee and her Shakespeare professor. Ms. Forman definitely knows how to write realistic and entertaining characters, especially since this is a completely character driven story.
- I liked the heavy focus on the different relationships. We see Allyson struggle as she and her life long best friend begin to grow apart and go their separate ways. Without Mel, Allyson realizes she doesn't know how to make friends, until she meets Dee. I loved seeing her form new friendships and come to a new understanding with her mother, even though it was painful at times. Ms. Forman does a top notch job of exposing the turmoil that young adults face as they head into adulthood.
- The romance is subtle, slow and heart wrenching. It is a long, painstaking journey. One filled with plenty of difficulty, doubt and setback. It was all worth it though in the end. Loved it!
- The audiobook was excellent. Kathleen McInerney does a remarkable job with the voices and the accents and the French pronunciations. I think listening to it just to hear the correct French pronunciations is well worth it. Highly recommend this one on audio.
And The Not So Much:
- The ending was a bit frustrating. After everything it ends rather abruptly right at the sweet moment, and I found that I wanted so much more. I was a bit disappointed that I was left with several unanswered questions as well. I am hoping that the second book: Just One Year will fill in the blanks.
- The second portion of the book is a bit depressing as it focuses on Allyson's spiral into depression. I was a bit disappointed with the tone of the second half compared to the breathless, giddiness of the first half, but it all balances out.
- I struggled a bit with Willem. I liked him, but I couldn't determine what his intentions were, nor could I get a strong read on his character. The second book: Just One Year is from his perspective, and I am looking forward to getting to know him better.
- I wasn't satisfied with the way things ended up with Allyson's mother and her best friend Mel. I was hoping for a bit more resolution or development with both of these relationships.
- My one hesitation with the audiobook was that I couldn't stand the way the narrator portrayed Callie, the roommate. She gives her an annoying California Valley Girl voice that was over the top. Luckily, Callie has a small role.
Just One Day is a exceptional book that explores how a single day can alter the course of a life. It is a story of highs and lows as you watch Allyson blossom with her own journey of self discovery. Breathtakingly beautiful and gorgeously written, Just One Day is not to be missed.