13 Nov 2013

Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman
January 10th, 2013 · Random House
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 369
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!
With contemporary being my favourite genre and all the hype surrounding Forman’s If I Stay, I took the plunge last year and read it. While I wasn’t a fan, sometimes books aren’t for everyone and so I marked Just One Day onto my to-read hoping for better success and I couldn’t have been more pleased.

Allyson is very much a good girl, never one to break the rules and is consistently being controlled by her overbearing parents, which is how she finds herself traveling to some of Europe's most popular cities with her best friend on a teen tour. With the tour coming to an end, a promising-Shakespearean experience presented in front of her and a boy that catches her eyes, on a whim, Allyson takes a leap – and so the story beings. Over the course of the book, Allyson does so much growing. At the start, she’s letting opportunity and adventure pass her by but by the end, she’s living life and instead of sitting around and never knowing, she’s off in search of answers and putting her life back on track.

I liked Willem and found him to be quite a mysterious character so I’m excited to hear from him again in Just One Year, especially since we’ll be getting to read from his perspective. We did only get a day with him and though it was an amazing one, I just feel like there’s still a lot we still don’t know about him but I look forward to finding out more.

You know you’re reading a truly good book when all you want to do is sticky note pages to revisit and reread and that’s what l wanted to do multiples times in Just One Day. The whole book is amazing but there were some pages that are were just so perfect and true, I don’t think I could ever tire of reading them.

The author has such dreamy, beautiful way of writing and I'm so glad I was able to appreciate it this time round. I loved how Forman described to us the setting of all the places Allyson (or should I say Lulu?) visited and for someone who hasn’t done much travelling, it brought to life places I’ve only heard about and made me want to go off on my very own adventure!

Romantic, adventurous and one of the best self-discovery stories I’ve ever read, Just One Day will make your heart skip a beat, get you so involved you’ll flail around in your seat (or at least I did anyway) but most of all, it will have you longing for more and oh my, will you want to travel! A lot can happen in a day and Just One Day is proof of that.



  1. Lovely review, Rebecca! I'm so glad you loved Just One Day! That one was a beautiful read for me and I'm truly speechless when it comes to describing how much I love Gayle Forman's books. I still haven't read Just One Year but I hear it really explores Willem's character so I think we're both in for a treat, yes? :)

  2. Great review! So glad you loved this book--I absolutely adored If I Stay and Where She Went and have been meaning to read this series for a while now, so I'm glad to see that you loved it. Thanks for the review! :)