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a lot more than a love story

  • Jan 20, 2013
Rating:
+3
After a whirlwind tour through Europe, Allyson is looking forward to returning home and starting college in the fall. Even if it means missing Paris and even if the tour wasn't everything Allyson thought it would be.

Two days before she is set to return home, Allyson sees an underground of Twelfth Night that unexpectedly changes everything.

Accompanied by a laid-back Dutch actor named Willem as her guide, Allyson spends a whirlwind day in Paris where, finally, Allyson understands what her European tour was meant to feel like. As she and Willem grow closer, Allyson starts to understand what a lot of things are supposed to feel like.

At least, she thought she did.

When Allyson wakes up the next day to find Willem already gone, Allyson's previous certainty shatters.

Starting college in the wake of Willem's abrupt departure, Allyson starts to fall apart. She knows what is expected of her. She even knows most of what's wrong. But she has no idea what she wants. No idea how to fix anything.

One day gave Allyson the chance to change everything even if it meant losing Willem. With one year, Allyson might be able to finally find herself in Just One Day (2013) by Gayle Forman.

Just One Day is the first novel in a duet. Willem's story, Just One Year is set to publish in fall 2013.

Forman expertly chronicles Allyson's self-destruction during her first semester of college as well as her efforts to start fresh (with a tabula rasa, if you will) in the following term. Allyson's changing relationships with her family and friends are also handled well in the story.

Filled with travel and a variety of settings, Just One Day is a vivid trip through Europe filled with descriptions of all of the sights Allyson takes in over the course of her story. I also loved the inclusion of so many Shakespeare references as counterpoints to Allyson's experiences. The underlying buoyancy and serendipity of the story is also refreshing as (after the obligatory wallowing) Allyson works on moving forward.

Told over the course of one whirlwind day and the subsequently turbulent year, Just One Day is ostensibly a love story--or at least a story of lost love. Except it's also a more than that. Knowing that the book is part of a duet, there will of course be answers about Willem's disappearance and his own feelings about Allyson. However, by the end of the story, that's very secondary to the story of Allyson finding herself and figuring out what she wants.

Possible Pairings: The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando, Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley, Stranger in the Forest by Eric Harsen, Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes and The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, As You Like It by William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, The Statistical Probability of True Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith, How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

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June 11, 2013
Thanks for sharing.
 
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More Just One Day reviews
review by . January 20, 2013
After a whirlwind tour through Europe, Allyson is looking forward to returning home and starting college in the fall. Even if it means missing Paris and even if the tour wasn't everything Allyson thought it would be.      Two days before she is set to return home, Allyson sees an underground of Twelfth Night that unexpectedly changes everything.      Accompanied by a laid-back Dutch actor named Willem as her guide, Allyson spends a whirlwind day in Paris …
About the reviewer

Ranked #210
Reader, writer, blogger.      I have a master's in library science and information systems and am currently searching for a librarian position.      You can … more
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Gayle Forman is an award-winning, New York Times--bestselling author and journalist whose articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, The Nation, and The New York Times Magazine. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers If I Stay and Where She Went, as well as Sisters in Sanity (HarperTeen).
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