Review by Katie
January 2013 by Dutton Juvenile
Amazon + Good Reads
"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!"
I was hesitant to read Just One Day since I read If I Stay by Gayle Forman and I didn't enjoy that one at all. To try and save myself I ended up getting this book from the library thinking that if it was just as bad I wouldn't have wasted my money. Although my book-intuition was telling me that I was going to love this book and regret not buying it, I still got it from the library. And boy was my book-intuition was right. I loved this book, it is one of my favorites of all time! I had to go out and buy my own copy after I read this book because I just needed a copy on my shelf that I can re-read.
The characters in this book were real and I could relate to Allyson. She has a kind heart and always follows the rules except when she decides to take a chance. While traveling abroad, she runs off to Paris with a boy she just met for just one day, this is just one choice that starts her on a path of rebelling against her "safe" life - a life without risk taking. Her rebellion isn't the typical rebellion, she is rebeling against her meager ways and she starts to stand up for herself, taking risks, and doing what she wants to do for once. Willem was her perfect match, he was free-spritited and adventurous along with some mystery.
When Allyson wakes up and Willem is gone she goes through a period of heartbreak which is a part I enjoyed - not because I wanted to see her hurting, but because it was real. Books I've read before have told heartbreak as extreme or not-at-all, but this was a real heartbreak and one I related to, her emotions and thoughts were very real to me. I loved the moment when she decides she needs to do something about it - to take a risk. I loved reading about her travels in the book and how with each step she found another piece of herself.
This book is beautifully written and has a beautiful story. It will keep you hanging on until the very last sentence of the book and even then you'll be left with wanting more. I cannot wait for the next book- which is from Willem's point of view- I just HAVE to know what happens next!
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