JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Dutton Juvenile
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.
Upon learning that Gayle Forman was writing another novel I think I had momentary SQUEE! of joy, for anything she writes I immediately fall in love with. Then I read the concept for not only her next novel but her next two novels that were intertwined in concept I was even further intrigued. Little did I know how much it would consume me and make me look into myself and want change.
Initially Allyson Healey was not the protagonist that I would typically favor. She appeared to me as if she was a girl wrapped in a cocoon of mother induced dictates, too afraid to venture outside of her box. Yet, in a moment of bravery and in the company of a handsome suitor she takes a chance and in Just One Day her entire life changes. I was immediately swept into the romance of the moment and relished the romance, the locations and the freedom of their adventure. Then as the day comes to it's inevitable end the unthinkable occurs and Allyson is broken and spends the next year coming to terms with her life and how she is forever changed.
What occurs with the rest of the book and her story is what made me take notice and admire her. Allyson's journey from the timid, heart broken-pushover to an individual that was willing to take stock in her life, make changes and then pursue her goals was enlightening. I only wanted to cheer her on and could not wait until she was back to where her transformation began.
Just One Day is the kind of book that changes you. Weather it be a miniscule alteration or something more life affirming, this book will make you take a second look at your life. Gayle Forman has a way of putting together words that take hold of your mind, body and soul and you will be so much richer for the literary gifts that she bestows upon you. Just One Day demonstrates the power that certain people and our interactions with them can shape and change our life. Anything is possible in Just One Day.