Publisher: Random House
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 haven't always loved contemporary YA books (I admit this) but the two books that made me fall back in love with the contemporary genre years ago was Gayle Forman's breathtaking and emotional-wreck books, If I Stay, and its companion sequel, Where She Went. Not only was those two book titles amazing and had brought me close to tears unlike any other book I've read, but Gayle Forman is such a beautiful and a very talented writer that I know of and I will love pretty much anything she writes next and I did with her new book!
JUST ONE DAY had it all in one single book. Intriguing romance, Shakespeare plays, international travelling, great character development, journeys of self-discovery . . . honestly what more could you possibly want from a book by Gayle Forman? But the one thing I will always admire about Gayle Forman's writing, apart from what I've already mentioned above, is the fact that she will always make her readers absorb everything about her storyline - to get involved with it - and somehow become the main character, and feel what they're feeling at that moment in time. And that takes quite a lot of talent if I do say so myself and I totally fell for it!
Allyson and her alter-ego, Lulu, may not be perfect but there was something really special about her character. Something both compelling and unique. She had so many dreams, so many expectations to uphold with her parents and it was really nice reading about her own self-discovery of her own person, especially as she travels around to the likes of Europe and especially when she falls in love with this stranger named Willem. Now as for Willem's character, he is someone I absolutely do not understand as a person - and possibly want to hate him for doing what he did to Allyson - but I can't help but be interested by him like Allyson was throughout this entire book. I could see what she saw in him but I can't necessarily say I would ever fall for the likes of this Willem - someone whom Allyson really does not know at all - but it'll be interesting how his story works out in book two, as it is in his perspective after all. I hope he can redeem himself for the sake of our main character and hopefully we can understand him more, and why he did what he did to Allyson.
Then, of course, there's that ending. My gosh, what an ending it was! I totally saw this ending coming too but really? How could you leave it like that, Ms. Forman?!?! You're killing me here! Really . . . you're killing me and now I'll have to wait longer for the sequel.
Overall, JUST ONE DAY is a fantastic read and such a page-turner too! Richly detailed in characterization and in different cities of different countries, and containing a great mentions of some of my favourite Shakespearean plays including As You Like It, I think many will enjoy this book because it's well . . . written by Gayle Forman! Enough said.
4 1/2 / 5 stars