Summary (via Goodreads): 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.
Review: THIS BOOK! Was so good. Like incredibly good. I’m not really sure how to describe it – a feel good book? Not really. There was nothing incredibly mushy or heartwarming about it, but it still had an overall feeling of hope. It wasn’t incredibly sad or happy. It was just like life. And that was beautiful.
Allyson can relate to many people. She’s the classic girl – not one created by movies – a real girl with an extroverted best friend, conflicting dreams, parental troubles, and her own internal problems as she tries to fit into the world. Her double persona of Lulu lets her become the person she has been wanted to be, a person that most people respect for their crazy daringness, like the personification of YOLO. However, Allyson doesn’t always fit into this life. When she comes back to the States for college, she is faced with the dual personalities fighting for the way that she lives her life. As much as she wants this crazy part of her back, it will not come. She’s haunted by the day in Paris. This day changed her life. First, I never thought one day could change your life before I read this book. One day seemed only a span of twenty four hours. After reading, I could probably make a list of over-looked days that did change my life. And while none of them are as crazy as Allyson’s day in Paris, they still are important to the people we have all become. And then I figured – why can’t every day be that one day that changes your life? That may seem impossible, but everyday we should do something new and exciting. That was what I took the most from this story.
It’s been a while since I could really pull some type of deeper meaning from a book. Most of them, as according to the popular dystopian trend in young adult right now, focus on the same meanings of girl power and strength and heroism and self sacrifice. But after that message being pounded into my head for the past two years since The Hunger Games hit it’s peak and the onslaught of dystopian worlds being changed by one girl, I get the message. And I know what it means – it just seems hard to truly understand that when these people are in some terribly messed up government situations fighting for their life. That’s not how I live though (and hopefully it never is). But in Just One Day, the girl and her relationships and her situations are real. They are relatable, even through the stretches of life in fiction.
Overall, Gayle Forman nailed it with the writing. It was beautiful and flowing, with metaphors filling up every page, but not ever being thrown at the reader to understand them. The book took its reader in the direction it wanted, while letting them openly interpret, which is really how a book becomes meaningful.
All of the locations were so well written. I could clearly see the various European locations, although I have never stepped foot on that continent. It was such a good idea of every place that they went. The characters were the same way – I felt like I knew all of them. It showed how there are good and willing people to help you wherever you go, just as they all help Allyson on her adventure to get back to Paris and Willem.
This book is absolutely stunning. I highly suggest it!