Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman
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.
I really wanted to love this book. I did. But I couldn’t. Allyson is a good girl. She gets good grades and always follows the rules. She’s in Europe on a post-high school guided tour along with her best friend. On the last night, they decide to ditch the group and go see an unconventional production of Shakespeare. There she sees Willem. When he shows up on her train the next day, she does something impulsive and goes with him to Paris for the day.
I enjoyed this part of the story a lot. But what I couldn’t stomach was how much of a wreck Allyson was for the entire next year because her perfect day ends in Willem leaving without an explanation. There is a more to the story than that, but I’ve said before that I do not like weak female characters, and Allyson was just not a character I could get behind.
This book reminded me a lot of Anna and the French Kiss, another book that everyone loves that just didn’t work for me. The premise intrigued me because it is similar to Wanderlove, which I loved. But ultimately I found myself rushing through this book just so it would be over. While I enjoyed some parts (the beginning and the end), the middle was too painful. I won’t be reading the companion book.
My Rating: 3 stars
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