Monday, 18 March 2013

#187 Book Review: Just One Day

Just One Day
Release Date: January 10th 2013
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Random House Australia
Source: Publisher for Review
Format: Paperback
Where to Buy:  Fishpond | Booktopia
More Info: Goodreads

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.
I like the soft feeling of the cover, with a girl staring outside the windows and how we can't properly see the reflection or what the girl sees from the window. And the watch! Love how she's wearing it because it's actually stated in the book too!


One day of excitement, adventure and heartbreak...

Gayle Forman's If I Stay and Where She Went are the two of my most favourite contemporaries of all time. Forman's writing has that soft, touching, beautiful and heart-breaking touch that never fails to render my heart completely into the story. In Just One Day, Forman beautifully delivers a story of a girl's self-discovery through a journey of love, heart-break and friendship.

First and foremost, I might have loved this book even before I read it because of the setting! It's EUROPE! The place where I would love to travel! Allyson, who is travelling with her best friend Melanie in Europe, meets Willem when he performed Twelfth Night with a group of actors in England. Willem invites her to a one day trip in Paris with him, calling her 'Lulu', and that, is the beginning to Ally's journey of self-discovery. While I don't usually enjoy Shakespeare since I have only read his texts for school, I have come to appreciate him more in this book. Shakespeare is often quoted and can be seen as a pivotal factor of Ally's life after her one day trip with Willem. I am thankful that I've read Twelfth Night as well because it becomes an additional factor for me to connect with the book. Forman's writing resonates profoundly throughout the whole story. She captures the setting and the tone of the story so beautifully. But dear goodness, the ending made me desperate for the sequel. I need to know what truly happens to Willem the day she left Lulu!

I have to admit, connecting with Allyson or 'Lulu' in the beginning of the book wasn't easy. She begins as a character who has many insecurities and is unsure of what she wants. She's rather quite uninteresting, until she starts to 'colour' the book with her encounter with Willem. After he left, Allyson slowly starts to grasp her life, breaking free of the confines and pursuing what she truly wants. There are times when Allyson annoyed me a little but I love how much she has grown throughout the book. Willem, on the other hand, is a sweet, charming but mysterious guy! He's the type of guy who takes your watch away from you so time doesn't exist for you and that time is fluid. He takes Allyson on a whirlwind trip to Paris but left her the next day. Why? Why? Why? I could have asked that question a billion times but will never know the answer until I read Just One Year. But the scenes in the book with Willem are so beautiful. I truly do adore his character although I need NEED to know about his past and everything about him! While there are other characters in this book who played quite important roles in Allyson's life, the characters that stands out the most are definitely Allyson and well, I can't help it, Willem!

Through a journey of love, adventure, heart-break and embracing one's self, Allyson's growth as a character is beautifully captured by Gayle Forman's writing in Just One Day. With the gorgeous setting of Europe and a cute but mysterious laid-back actor Willem, Just One Day is a story that will touch and break your heart at the same time and a must read for fans of Forman's books!
4 Forget-Me-Not flowers for Just One Day!
Thank you Random House Australia for the review copy!


  1. I loved this book so hard too Celine, the setting was just gorgeous and it made me want to get on a flight straight away and go to all the spots that were mentioned. I was a bit nervous about giving Just One Day a go as, If I Stay and Just One Day were two of my all time favourite contemporaries as well, but like you mentioned Forman once again produced a beautiful read! Lovely review Celine! :)

  2. I haven't read a book from Forman before, but everybody is raving about her books and writing-style. I will try this one out when I feel in the mood for a contemporary (not that often, but who knows :p)


  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Celine! I didn't like it nearly as much as If I Stay or Where She Went, but it was incredible! Forman made me love both Allyson and Shakespeare and I am DYING for the sequel now! ;) Lovely review, dear!

  4. Oh gosh, I'm starting to think maybe I should start this book until I have the sequel safely in my hands because I don't know if I'll be able to stand the wait and the questions! I loved Gayle Forman's previous two books so I can't wait to see her work her magic again.

  5. your book review was really fun I can't wait to have this book

  6. I completely agree about Forman's writing! I loved If I Stay and Where She Went, too, and couldn't wait to get stuck into this one. Although I had some trouble with Allyson at first too, but I really enjoyed this book overall. Great review, Celine!

  7. I really liked Gayle Forman's previous books. If I Stay made me sob like a baby. Just One Day sounds heartbreaking and amazing :)

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