Just One Day

( 61 )


From the New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay

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 ...

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From the New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay

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.
A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know.
  The first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Sheltered and perhaps a tad less than worldly wise, Allyson Healey was a just another young, star-struck American in Paris when she met Willem De Ruiter at an offbeat performance of Twelfth Night. Willem was an actor, relaxed and self-confident; just the type of man who could win the heart of a girl on her first European vacation. For one glorious day, he leads her on a whirlwind tour of the City of the Light; but the next morning, he is gone. Stranded, confused Allyson will not let the matter rest. In the months ahead, she grapples with who he was, where he is, and who she is becoming. A fascinating love story and quest. Now in trade paperback and NOOK Book.

Publishers Weekly
The love story in Forman’s If I Stay and Where She Went was wrapped in the finality of death. This story—about the romance between Allyson, a recent high school grad, and Willem, a handsome Dutch actor she meets during a whirlwind tour of Europe—is built around uncertainty and a kind of loss that’s more akin to an open wound. Upon meeting, the two take an impulsive trip to Paris, but Willem disappears and Allyson is left stranded. Back in the U.S., Allyson is unable to wipe Willem from her mind, and her carefully planned future takes unexpected turns. In a romance that never quite answers the question “Whatever happened to Willem?” Forman explores how travel can lead to surprises and a redefinition of self. In college, Allyson breaks away from her mother’s expectations, realizes her passion for theater and language, and tries to gather clues about Willem’s whereabouts. Offering mystery, drama, and an evocative portrait of unrequited love, this open-ended novel will leave fans eagerly anticipating the companion story—written from Willem’s perspective—due in fall 2013. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sarah Burnes, the Gernert Company. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
Allyson and her lifelong best friend Melanie are finishing up a whirlwind cultural tour of Europe with the well-regarded "Teens Tour" group, a high school graduation gift from their respective parents. Waiting in line to see the Royal Shakespeare Company's performance of Hamlet, they are solicited by a street troupe of performers known as "Guerilla Will," who are performing As You Like It for free. Melanie decides to fake heatstroke so they can slip away and watch the street troupe's show. A handsome young actor in the troupe takes an interest in Allyson, coincidentally meets them on the train to the London the next day, and invites her to visit Paris for just one day before returning home. Allyson escapes the eighteen-year-long "good girl prison" she never realized she had been in. Her rescuer, who she knows only as Willem, is gone when she awakens the next morning; in a panic, she returns home and dutifully enters college in the fall, but she fails to find her feet. Previously an academic star, Allyson nearly fails her heavy science course load, and her mother's reaction is swift and harsh. To make matters worse, Melanie seems to have grown distant, and Allyson feels she can no longer confide in her. Fortunately, a guidance counselor pulls Allyson aside and helps her enroll in a somewhat unorthodox Shakespeare class. There, she makes an equally unorthodox friend who eventually convinces her to seek some answers to questions she has about the disappearing Willem. What she really finds out is more about herself. The use of Shakespeare's storylines to illustrate the ongoing work to define oneself might entice young adults to read the classic stories with new appreciation. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—"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." Allyson's life has been carefully planned out by her well-intentioned, but overbearing parents, even her graduation present of an educational tour of Europe. Everything that makes Allyson "Allyson"-from choosing her hobby of vintage-clock collecting to selecting what her college major will be-has been orchestrated by her mother. So when, after a chance encounter with a young man named Willem, the 18-year-old rebels and ditches a performance of the Royal Shakespeare Company to see "Guerilla Will," live Shakespeare performed in a London park, even her friend Melanie is surprised. Shedding her good-girl cloak and adopting the nickname "Lulu," Allyson decides to spend a day in Paris with Willem, an actor from the theater troupe. She surprises herself with her bold and adventuresome behavior during their time together, not the least of which includes having sex in an artist's squat. When Allyson wakes up the next day to find Willem gone, she returns home but can't shake him or the whole day from her memory. After a tumultuous freshman year, she saves up enough money to return to Europe and track down Willem to get closure. In the process of finding him, Allyson discovers herself, which may have been the point of the trip all along. Reading like a teen version of Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love (Viking, 2006), this tale of romance and mystery engages readers and will cause them to examine their definitions of love and self-identity.—Nicole Knott, Watertown High School, CT
Kirkus Reviews
At the end of a European tour for teens the summer before college, a rules-following, 18-year-old girl impulsively travels to Paris with a handsome Shakespearean actor, a one-day adventure that becomes the catalyst for big changes in the way she sees herself and her place in the world. Nicely integrating the work of Shakespeare as a thematic jumping-off place, author Forman explores "the line between true self and feigned self," the multiple personae, roles and identities that coexist in a single soul. After Allyson, the dutiful, emotionally muted daughter of a pulmonologist father and helicopter mother, finally breaks out and has a romantic adventure with aforesaid handsome actor, she wakes up alone. She feels betrayed and played, precipitating a hard-to-buy psychological crisis. Once in college, Allyson finds herself unengaged by the pre-med curriculum her parents designed. Although she feels trapped by their expectations, with the support of classmate Dee (who tiptoes through various identities and roles himself) Allyson begins the business of figuring out who she is and what she wants. As she blossoms and emerges from her tedious depression, the novel becomes absorbing, and readers will find themselves rooting for Allyson's more autonomous and interesting self. An overlong coming-of-age novel that takes forever to get going but soars at the finish. (Fiction. 14 & up)
New York Times Book Review
“[Forman’s] very good on travel’s expansive effects, the fluidity of teenage identity and the yearning for reinvention, how fleeting encounters can transform us.”
starred review SLJ
"Reading like a teen version of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, this tale of romance and mystery engages readers and will cause them to examine their definitions of love and self-identity."
"Romantics will get swept up in the story, which has it all: true love, Paris, Shakespeare, and yes, hte notion that 'anything can happen in just one day.'"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525425915
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 1/8/2013
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 105,574
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL750L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman is an award-winning, internationally bestselling author and journalist. She is the author of Just One Day and Just One Year, and the companion e-novella Just One Night, as well as the New York Times bestsellers If I Stay and Where She Went. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughters.

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Read an Excerpt

     He doesn't show up until act two. He's playing Sebastian, Viola's twin brother, thought dead. Which makes a certain sense, because by the time he does arrive, I am beginning to think he never really existed, that I've merely conjured him.
     As he races through the green, chased after by the ever-loyal Antonio, we chase after him. After a while, I work up my nerve. "Let's get closer," I say to Melanie. She grabs my hand, and we get to the front of the crowd right at the part where Olivia's clown comes for Sebastian and they argue before Sebastian sends him away. Right before he does, he seems to catch my eye for half a second.
     As the hot day softens into twilight and I'm sucked deeper into the illusory world of Illyria, I ffeel like I've entered some weird otherworldly space, where anything can happen, where identities can be swapped like shoes.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 61 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 61 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 28, 2013

    Do NOT READ this BOOK! At least not until the sequel comes out.

    Do NOT READ this BOOK! At least not until the sequel comes out. This was by far the BEST of Ms. Forman's work I have had the privilege of reading thus far - I also read the if I Stay series. It is beautifully written and had me pining to continue through the journey with Allyson right up until the ending, which actually made me scream in frustration. Fans of the If I Stay series will probably recall the abrupt ending in the first book there, but without an idea that there will be a sequel that book at least gave me the feeling that I could decide how the characters ended up. THIS book, however, reaches the climax and just STOPS... it's like some form of agonizing emotional torture I've submitted myself to.

    The book starts off somewhat bland with Allyson being the "good girl" who gets frustrated by that label but does nothing to change it, that is until she meets Willem and makes the most impulsive decision of her life to run off to spend the day with him in Paris. Then things get good as the first 1/2 of the book details the ins and outs of that one day - with both highs and lows. It's not a perfect day, but it's the kind of day that makes you feel like something magical is happening. I found myself half in love with Willem by the end. When the day ends Allyson is left in a depression, she struggles for months afterwards until finally she realizes that she can't let that day go. So the second half of the book is Allyson struggle through the down of trying to be the same Allyson when she's outgrown who that was. She finally decides to find Willem again.

    The things that make this book so incredibly excellent are not only the growth in Allyson, which is will touch anyone who's ever realized that there might be more beyond that small box they've been living in. But more so this book is amazing because of the side characters both the friends that Allyson makes, the people who help her in small ways and even those who seem like enemies. This is the kind of book that makes you feel like people really are inherently good. Also that you should never jump to conclusions because you almost always miss something important if you do.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2013

    Such an amazing book! I liked her other books but wasn't complet

    Such an amazing book! I liked her other books but wasn't completly in love with them so I hesitated before reading this one, but wow I'm so glad I decided to read it.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 4, 2013

    ** spoiler alert ** This book... I don't think I've ever read a

    ** spoiler alert ** This book... I don't think I've ever read a book with such a good cliffhanger. Of course, I hated that cliffhanger, but nevertheless, it was a good cliffhanger.

    Allyson reminded me of myself, with her goody two-shoes-ness. She was a really good character.

    I loved this book, but at the same time I hated it. I started hating it at the end, just because I was unhappy with how the plot was unfolding. It seemed like Allyson would never, EVER see Willem again. And that would be just too... sad for me. 

    I'm glad that this wasn't like Twilight, in which Bella went into depression about Edward leaving her; Allyson went into depression because she lost who she really was. And the person who brought out who she really was was Willem.

    I was disappointed with Melanie and Allyson's outcome. If I were Allyson, I would be a bit more sad about their relationship ending, but of course, it wasn't part of the main plot.

    I got a bit angry with Ms. Foley (I think that's what her name was) when she said that Willem just wanted her for the sex and watch, but I saw that she was right in a way. Willem was a player, and there was no denying that once we discovered more information on Willem when Allyson visited Amsterdam. But, despite what I just said before, I think Willem really... maybe... I don't know... loved Allyson.

    There. I said it. 

    Maybe he just 'fell in love' and he wasn't 'in love, but I think he did love her. Or at least, he cared about her.

    I was a bit surprised on how quickly they 'did it' together, as they only knew each other for a day, but it wasn't like they were... nevermind. 

    I felt so... bad when I saw Willem with the ginger girl. It was like, how could you Willem? I trusted you! I LOVED YOU! 

    But then again, a year had passed. Willem, being the player that he is, probably forgot all about Allyson. But he could have also just wanted to get his mind off things. He DID remember Allyson.

    Ha! I loved the last few paragraphs of the book.

    He gasped when he saw her. HE GASPED!!!!!!!!!! When I read those words, my heart was filled with hope. I'm a sucker for sweet, fluffy romance stories, and that moment was so... I congratulate Forman for putting that in there. It's perfect. He gasped. When he saw her he GASPED. 


    Being the sucker that I am for fluffy romance stories, I was unpleasantly disappointed when the book ended so quickly.

    Of course, I see that Forman would continue it in the next book, but that means I'll have to wait!!!! 

    "'Hi Willem," I said. "My name is Allyson.'

    He says nothing in response. He just stays there for a minute, looking at me. And then he steps to the side, opens the door wider, wide enough for me to walk through.

    And so I do."

    It's so... unfinished. :( 

    I definitely CANNOT wait until the next book comes out.

    Basically this book is split into three parts. One third is about love. One third is about Allyson being in depression. One third is about her trying to find him.

    But it was great. And I loved the Shakespeare references, especially the one that Willem told the cop that pulled them over for riding on the bicycle illegally. It was perfect.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2013

    A Complete Rip Off Of Before Sunrise. Let me preface this review

    A Complete Rip Off Of Before Sunrise. Let me preface this review by saying that I have read both If I Stay and Where She Went. I thought If I Stay was great, a modern classic truly. I also enjoyed Where She Went. However, this book is terrible. I wish my Nook had a return button so I could get my money back.The second I read the overview, I immediately thought of the movie Before Sunrise from 1995. The plot sounded identical. I decided to give this the benefit of the doubt. I am sorry I did. Honestly, Richard Linklater should sue for plagiarism. You would think that if Gayle Forman stole the entire plot that she could at least have made it a decent read. This book was horrible. Aside from the plot, the characters themselves are bland unoriginal archetypes you have seen a million times before. Allyson the main character is a type A personality who decides to rebel a bit on her high school trip abroad by going to Paris with a guy she met. Yeah, like I said real original. And Willem is a hot guy wandering wherever life takes him. The characters have no depth. As a reader, you are not connected to them. I read the entire book with little interest. I felt nothing for these characters. Before Sunrise is one of my favorite movies. Jesse and Celine are incredible characters. They are brilliant together. Their honest conversations and emotional exchange throughout their day together in Vienna is genius. The movie is a ten out of ten. Willem and Allyson are ridiculous in comparison. Their conversations are laughable. Jesse and Celine are well-rounded characters; the way they interact feels natural. The movie draws you into these two characters from the start and only gets better. This book fails in all aspects when it comes to emotional connection. The interactions between Willem and Allyson feel staged and awkward. The few attempts at conveying sincere emotion even ring false. I could not get over how the author took such a beautiful poignant plot from the terrific film (Before Sunrise) and turned it into this drivel. Oh, and then there are the Shakespeare references. The endless references to the greatest playwright in Western Literature are supposed to redeem this mediocre drivel? Sorry, but not even Shakespeare can help this book.I implore you to Rent, Buy,Netflix, etc. The movie Before Sunrise starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. But whatever you do, don’t bother to read this book.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2013

    I received this book from Penguin a few months back, and honestl

    I received this book from Penguin a few months back, and honestly forgot about it. But then I saw last week that there was going to be a readathon, so I finished up what I was reading and picked this up. I'm a big fan of Gayle's and was really excited to read it. Her If I Stay & Where She Went are probably two of the best contemporary young adult romance books out there. If you haven't read them, well get to it.

    One thing that intrigued me about this book was the idea of falling in love with someone in a day. Love at first sight. Does it happen? Is it ridiculous to say you love someone when you really don't know them? Well Allyson finds out when she meets a Dutch actor in London who is performing with an underground Shakespeare group. He's a mystery and Allyson is smitten. What surprises Allyson and her friend, is that she's willing to travel to Paris with Willem on a whim. 

    As they make their way around Paris, Allyson (who Willem calls Lulu), she finds out that Willem is more complex than originally thought. He knows people, mostly women, that he's been intimate with, but is off on his own. He's an enigma. As each person break through the tough skin of walls, they both become entranced with each other. Until it culminates in making love in an abandoned warehouse. When Lulu wakes up the next morning, Willem is gone and her world crashes around her.

    Once back stateside, and a freshman in college, Allyson struggles. She struggles to understand why Willem would leave her with no note. Struggles to appease her parents who try to rule her life with an iron fist. And most importantly she struggles in college. But depression hits, she loses her best friend to NYC and that life. Her friend at college may or may not be a fantastic actor who can be anyone he wants to be. A real-life chameleon. 

    However, Allyson can't let Willem out of her head. She gets a job to earn enough money to find out where Willem is and what happened that one day. As she gets closer to the truth, she realizes that everything may not be as it seems and perhaps, his leaving wasn't something that he wanted. 

    A beautiful story of want and longing and first love and hopes and dreams. Doing what is right for you and following your own path.

    I literally inhaled this book because I really had no clue where it was going. But once I got there, it was marvelous.

    There will be a companion piece to this one, Just One Year, which will tell us Willem's side of the story. And the way that Just One Day ended, I cannot wait! I've read that it's June sometime. Highly recommend for fans of Forman, Dessen, Eckeles and Echols.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Gayle Forman consistently writes the most amazing books that I h

    Gayle Forman consistently writes the most amazing books that I have ever had the pleasure of putting my hands on. Just one day was only proof of that and I'm seriously counting down the days to Just one Year. 

    Allyson "Lulu" is a girl who just graduated high school and goes overseas on a tour trip her parents gave her for a graduation present. She goes with her best friend and as a girl who does what her parents want of her, lives to their every expectation, and follows the rules. Until One day she meets Willem, a guy guy in a play. I love that Shakespeare's plays were such a huge part of this book. Anyways on the train to London where after the weekend her and the best friend will be returning home, she runs into Willem and in London they decide to go to London where they have the best day and night of her life.

    Allyson returns home not as she was and realizes she wasn't living life. I think everyone experiences at least one day in their life that is so amazing it changes our lives and the way Gayle Forman wrote this story it was AMAZING. You couldn't help but feel her being stained, feel the betrayal and loss, and the going through the days just making it through and not really living again. Until she decides to move on, however her decision to move on not only helps her feel happier in life, but also leads her back to WIllem or at least on the search to know what happened after their day. 

    FIVE COMPLETE STARS for this book. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013


    Loved it!!!!!!!!!! I recomend reading it

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2013

    Totally agree with fellow Anonymous reviewer--total rip off of B

    Totally agree with fellow Anonymous reviewer--total rip off of Before Sunrise. I hated the characters. Was also very cheesy how Allyson and Willem knocked up eachother so quickly. This book really ruins the setting of Paris and the Shakespeare references sprinkled throughout.. 

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2013

    At it¿s core, Just One Day is a story about growing. Learning. B

    At it’s core, Just One Day is a story about growing. Learning. Becoming a person who can ebb and flow with life and all that it throws at you. But it takes a long while for the main character, Allyson, to get to that point, which is the beauty of the book.

    In a lot of ways, I feel like this is a mod-podge of other books that I’ve enjoyed: The angst and depression of Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty; the diner culture from Speechless by Hannah Harrington; the determined, yet languorous European wanderlust of The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson. With that said, at no time does this book feel derivative of those others—it has best possible essences of those books, combining them in a way that creates a wholly new flavor and experience.

    Travel plays a huge role in this book, and the ways Forman presents travel is smart. By pairing up an American and a Dutchman (Are they called Dutchmen? That just makes me think of The Flying Dutchmen which I assure you is not the same at all.) she’s able to showcase the inherently different views of not just travel, but how to live life. American Allyson wants things to be regimented, scheduled, planned, while Dutch Willem is laid-back, laissez-faire, I’ll-follow-the-wind-wherever-it-blows-me. And though they only spend a measly day together that ends in tears and devastation, Allyson knows that Willem has changed her for the better.

    But then the book does something I really like—sends Allyson into a tail spin of depression during her first year of college. She’s dealing with her helicopter mother—whom I wanted to punch in the brain—the feeling of emotional distance from her childhood best friend, and realizing that her intended major in college is making her miserable. After meeting with the greatest college adviser ever, Allyson realizes that she needs to do things for herself. So she does. And once she starts making her own decisions is when she begins to grow out of her depression and into herself. It’s not an easy road, as she yearns for genuine experience but doesn’t want to let go of the control and order she’s used to. But once she realizes what it is that she wants, she goes for it full speed ahead.

    This takes us on a wild ride of meeting some really great characters—her Shakespeare professor, her Shakespeare partner, Babs the diner owner, her French professor. All of that culminates in her traveling back to Europe, alone, to find Willem. But as they say, it’s about the journey, not the destination, which is the essence of Just One Day.

    Overall, this book is a sophisticated portrayal of growing up, taking hold of who you are, and confronting your fears head-on. If you’re looking for a richly plotted book full of realistic growing pains and armchair travel, this book is just the ticket.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Well she's done it again! Gayle Forman has a gift for contempo

    Well she's done it again! Gayle Forman has a gift for contemporary teen fiction. She has the uncanny ability to write stories that people across generations can identify with.

    I was immediately drawn to Allyson. She's the good girl who never gets in trouble, gets good grades, and generally seems to have life planned out. But, she's the product of obsessive parenting and feels like she's never gotten a say in anything she has ever done. A spur of the moment trip to Paris and the events that happen in one day leave her questioning her own desires. And I understood so much of what she was going through. I loved watching her see the joy in doing something so impromptu. I lived through those beginning moments of falling in love, even when you don't believe in love at first sight. I was heartbroken right along with her when she realized he was gone. And I seriously understood every moment of her depression and soul searching over the next year.

    I was completely unsure of Willem. We see him through Allyson's eyes, and as much as she's falling for him, she's also expecting the worst. But, he kept doing these little gestures that seemed so real and heartfelt. The connection was there, I was sure of it. When he was gone the next morning, I thought I knew what had happened. I can't wait to get Willem's story to see it for myself!

    The added touch of Shakespeare was really just a bonus for me. I'm a Shakespeare fan and thought it was perfect backdrop for this story. The author did a fantastic job of weaving it in.

    I can't say enough good things about it. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, and didn't carry the same punch for me as If I Stay. But, it was beautifully told. And as I said before....I can't wait for Just One Year!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2014


    Because you were too busy with "mmmmm."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2014


    "See, with Kato, to get what you want, you have to sed<_>uct him. Obviously, l didn't get all his weapons..."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2014

    Just one day

    I tried hard to get through this book, but its so unrealistic, and slow. Unfortunately, Gayle forman didnt do as great on this book as she did on her two others If I Stay, and Where She Went. I didnt enjoy this book. -bookworm14

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    Good for cpe

    Read this for college prep english okay read, major depressing though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2014

    Loved it!

    I loved this book! When I first looked a it I thought it might be like all the other romance books. Girl is sad and confused, meets boy, hangs out with boy, parents don't like boy, girl doesn't care and still hangs out with boy, etc. But I was surprisingly happy with this book. It focuses on the romance of the two characters but also the emotional journey the girl has to got through to get over the guy. If there is one thing I have to dislike about this book is that it takes a little while to actually get interesting. But hang in there because it does get better!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2014

    Travel,romace and finding yourself

    If into any of thoses things this is the book for you buy it well be worth the money

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2014

    Just one day

    This book is amazing

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  • Posted February 19, 2014

    Love this book!

    Absolutely love this book, probably more than the sequel. Great story that kept me reading. Gayle Forman has a way with words. Perfect love story without the mushy gushy stuff.

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  • Posted February 4, 2014

    I don't know whether I want to recommend this book to everybody

    I don't know whether I want to recommend this book to everybody I come across or to protect them all from the feels. Okay, who am I kidding . . . everybody needs to read this book! These 400 pages feel like anything but. Gayle is able to engross you completely in Allyson's story that you have no idea what is going on in the world around you.

    Allyson is your quintessential good girl. She is in AP classes, has only had one boyfriend, doesn't drink - not even when she's in England, where it's legal, and all the other kids in Teen Tours! go out to the pubs. It's not until standing in line to see The Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Hamlet that Allyson, slowly but surely, breaks out into her own. After her best friend feigns heatstroke, the girls sneak off to watch a production of Twelfth Night, put on my Guerilla Will. On the train to London the next day, Allyson encounters Willem, an actor from Guerilla Will, and the two embark on a day trip to Paris that will effect Allyson greater than she could have ever imagined.

    I am a huge fan of Allyson, but I grew to love her throughout the novel. You can absolutely see her character's development from page one to page 369. Allyson really comes into her own throughout this year of her life; she stands on her own two feet, went after what she wanted, and found a bravery within herself that she never thought she had. While I have a hard time accepting her depression over this one day, it was definitely worth it in the end. To see how deeply this one day took over her entire next year is absolutely mind blowing. She curls into herself and becomes really introvert. It isn't until she finally confides in her friend Dee (whom I love), which has a hugely positive effect on her attitude and relationships, that she comes out of her shell and beings to piece things together to find answers.

    There's not much I can say about Willem, seeing as we don't spend a whole heck of a lot of time with him. I like him, but I'm not really drawn to him the way I normally would be with a YA love interest. However, after reading the sneak peek of Just One Year, I'm beyond positive that I'm going to fall head over heels for him.

    Just One Day is not your typical YA contemporary romance. There are more questions than answers and we're only seeing one side of the story - the other side has only a first name and is somewhere in Europe. It's when we start getting answers that you get the giddy feelings of excitement. Where you need more, but it's never enough. There are soul crushing moments, feelings of ecstasy moments, what the hell moments, and a-ha! moments.

    I'm very much looking forward to diving into Just One Year to understand Willem's perspective and get to know him better. If you haven't picked up Just One Day yet, I suggest you do so right away. I also recommend ensuring you have Just One Year with you so you can start it right away.

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  • Posted January 22, 2014

    Everyone that I know that read this book absolutely raved about

    Everyone that I know that read this book absolutely raved about it. They loved how cute and sweet it was and the relationship between Willem and Allyson and how great they were together. I will admit that I thought this book was super cute as well and that it was a great story, but I just don’t think that I was as taken with it as everyone else seemed to be. When this story was told so fluidly, I just don’t know that I connected as well to Allyson during the book.

    At first, I felt a real kinship with Allyson, she was a character that I could relate to. I didn’t like to take risks and I liked to do what was expected of me, so when she broke away from her tour group to go see a different Shakespeare performance, I was really happy for her for doing something out of character. When she was in London and made her decision to go to Paris I was rooting for her to do something so daring, something I only wish I had the balls to do. Allyson was finding herself without needing her friend Mel or Melanie or Laine or whatever her name was to push her into being someone that she wasn’t.

    The people in Allyson’s life all seemed to be people that had little interest in who Allyson was and more interest in who they wanted her to be. I don’t think that these people didn’t love her, but I feel like Melanie’s attempts to bring Allyson out of her shell and out to parties and whatnot seemed to be more about what Melanie wanted and who Melanie wanted her to be instead of who Allyson was. The same thing goes for her mother who tried to get her to do everything that she herself wanted like to be a doctor and to see the world and to do all these other things that her mother didn’t get the chance to do. Allyson herself if partially to blame because rather than say she wanted to do something else she just held on to who everyone wanted her to be.

    I really loved that she took a chance and went out with Willem to see Paris when she would have otherwise never seen the city. For that one day, being Lulu really helped Allyson find out who she really was and who she wanted to be instead of who everyone else wanted her to be and do. They were sweet and cute to each other they way that they each intervened in each other’s lives and changed the way Allyson saw the world. Even though she didn’t get to see all the sights of Paris, she still had this amazing experience, that had it ended better, I feel as though maybe we would have had more of a Lulu than an Allyson, she would have become who she really was.

    This leads me to why I was not partial to the book. For months after Paris, she pines for this man who she believes left her and stole her watch, and I just felt that although they had this intense day together, spending months letting yourself slip and reject everyone else in your life was pure silliness. Rather than trying to get to know her new roommates or trying to get into what she was doing, she sat back and let life pass her by and her friendship with Mel slip away. I myself have pined for a guy, but not one that I had known for a day even if we spent the whole day together. I was glad when during her second semester, she had found this way back to life with Dee and her roommates even if it did come to be because of Willem.

    I was really glad that she even started to make friends even if she didn’t realize it. This supporting cast of characters seemed to do more for her than Melanie ever did in the book. Dee had to be my favorite one, because he was so different from everyone else, I loved how he covered Allyson’s ass with her parents and he was this great friend to her even if she was all over the place.

    I admired her dedication to finding him once she resolved to do so even getting a job as a dishwasher in a restaurant which was lower than her pedigree. Even though she had to work herself to the bone and spend every dime to find Willem, she did it including learning French. (which I will admit is something that I’ve always wanted to do and have considered taking community college classes to learn. I am really anxious to read Willem’s side of the story because there is so much unknown about what happened in that one day.

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