Book Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)

Goodreads Synopsis

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!


Allyson’s mom bought her a European tour as a part of her graduation gift. Her friend keeps trying to get her to leave her comfort zone just long enough to have fun. On the last day of the tour, she meets Willem and decides to skip the original plan and go see Shakespeare in the park, of which he is a part of.

Before getting on a plane that should lead her to her last of her vacation abroad before going home, she runs into Willem (he prefers calling her Lulu) who convinces her to go to Paris with him for just a day.

All her life, she’s followed a set plan and has always been the ‘good girl’. She’s done what her parents expected of her and didn’t see any problem with it. That is until she realised that that wasn’t what she wanted. She wanted to explore and have adventures.

Characters: I liked Lulu a lot more than I did Allyson. Even though they are the same person, I felt that when Allyson was Lulu, she was more free. She wasn’t held back by anyone and I think this is who she really was. Even with her pretending that everything was normal, it was obvious that something wasn’t right. She changed in Paris and it’s understandable that she couldn’t come back from that. Allyson was a lot more reserved and confused about life. She did what everyone told her to do. Seeing the two personalities join into one was extremely pleasing.

Willem was this whirlwind and a half. I didn’t know what to make of him at first but I ended up liking him a lot. I don’t think that it was him as a sole person that changed Allyson. I think it was what he had to offer. He showed her that there was more to life and others didn’t have to dictate your life for you. There was no harm in getting lost once in a while. I think with him opening up her mind to these possibilities was part of what made him such a likeable character.

Likes: The plot was surprisingly interesting because come on! It’s screams ‘cliche’. Gayle Forman’s writing always made me so happy.

Dislikes: The first part of the book worried me because it seemed uninteresting and dragged and so much similar to other books like this. This was my main reason for knocking off a star. I usually go through Gayle’s book so fast but this one took quite a while.

Overall Thoughts: It was the point where Allyson found herself and grew to be someone else- the person she really wanted to be- when this got interesting for me. It went pretty quick after that moment. I can’t wait to read Just One Year!

Read: 6 July 2016
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 20 August 2013
Publisher: Speak
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Gayle Forman

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

  1. Pingback: Wrap Up: July 2016 (and August TBR) | Diminishing Thoughts

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