Review: Just One Day (Just One Day #1) - Gayle Forman

Release Date: January 8th 2013
Published By: Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 368
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 5 out of 5


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!

Review: I just finished reading Just One Day. And I am shattered that the book ended where it did. Why would you do that? I am physically in pain because I have been left on the biggest of big cliffhangers. *tries to breathe* Gayle Forman, that is just plain old mean!

In short, Just One Day is about Allyson, an American girl who after finishing high school goes on a trip to Europe with her friend Melanie, and it’s on this trip and through a series of events that she meets a Dutch guy named Willem. Allyson is very disappointed that she missed out on seeing Paris, and Willem offers to take her there, for just one day. After spending a magical day and night in Paris with Willem, and then waking up alone, Allyson returns to America feeling shattered. She cannot stop thinking about Willem and so eventually, with hardly any information to go off about Willem, Allyson decides to return to Paris - to find him.

This book seriously made me feel all of the things. Gayle Forman is one of those writers who has the ability to make the reader feel everything the protagonist feels. I don’t know how she does it, but every.single.time I read one of her books I am either crying or on the verge of it. And I have a pretty icy heart. Good job Ms Forman, good job. But seriously, I felt the elation when Allyson was in Paris with Willem and the disappointment when she thought he was going to send her back. I felt the confusion and sadness she went through when he wasn’t there when she woke up. I felt the longing that she went through. Every page I turned, I was hoping he’d show up, and every time he didn’t, I’d go looking for him on the next one. I really cared for these characters!

I loved everything about their story. About how they met, how they interacted, the cute little things they discussed - nutella, bread, the stain and their discussions on love. I adored how overprotective he was of her. You guys know me… I am not a “gushy” sort of person. But this book has me going there.. I am gushing.

Also, the way that Paris was described in such detail, it was as though Paris was a character in itself. The culture, the language, the macarons, bread, crepes and nutella. I haven’t wanted much to go to France before, but Just One Day has nudged me over the line. The scenery and streets were so beautifully described that you could really imagine what it would be like. Incredible.

It has all the adorable factors that Anna & The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins had but all the realness of Where She Went (Also by Gayle Forman).. both were two of my favourite reads in 2011.

The ONLY thing I am angry about is how on earth the ending could end… just like that. It’s not even fair to make us wait another year! I feel like Allyson felt for that year before she went back. I will be pining for book #2 until then.

Read this book… it was amazing.


“Part of me knows one more day won’t do anything except postpone the heartbreak. But another part of me believes differently. 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.”

“It’s funny the things you think you’re scared of until they’re upon you, and then you’re not.”

“Sometimes the best way to find out what you’re supposed to do is by doing the thing you’re not supposed to do.”

What do you think?

  • Lynn K. says:

    Cliffhanger?! I originally intended to wait for Just One Year before starting this but the recent glowing reviews have been wearing me down…I may have to reconsider again. >.<

    Besides the emotional rollercoaster I've come to expect with Gayle's books I'm really looking forward to be transported to Paris! (when I finally read this..)

    Thanks for the review. :)

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