Published by: Penguin Young Readers Group
Release On: 1/8/2013
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound
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!
My review: This is one of those perfectly written, beautiful reads that will connect with you while you're reading, and leave you thinking about long after you finish it. Whether you're at that stage in life where you're trying to figure out who you are and where you want to go, or whether you're long past that stage (like me). This is a book about finding yourself, and in following Allyson's story it took me back to those moments and years right out of high school where I had the world at my finger tips, and I had to decide what I was going to do with it. Like Allyson, during my adventure of figuring out the world, was the discovering of who I was.
Just One Day is also a story that encompasses love, loss, friendship, venturing out on your own, fear, hope, accomplishment, and empowerment. I'm talking that empowerment that only one's self feels after they achieve something they never thought possible. Gayle's writing is beautiful. It's raw, it's honest, and moving. Gayle's writing extremely realistic and encompasses so many things that real life throws at us. Well in my case Gayle's writing also offers me something I've always wanted to do and haven't yet done, and that's seeing parts of the world I've yet to see. I love feeling like I was traveling right alone Allyson. Feeling her joys, her worries, and understanding what she was dealing with both with her heart, and with her friendships.
I LOVED this book. This is a book that readers of all ages will/can connect with on some level. It's one I'd highly recommend picking up if you're a teen reader and older.
Interview: Did you guys know that Gayle Forman is hilarious?! I'm not talking just about joke telling. I'm talking about Gayle being one of those people who when she enters the room, and the moment you start talking with her you not only feel at ease, but she'll have you laughing in a matter of seconds. She's also someone who when you sit and talk with her, the time flies by way too fast! *please not that some of Gayle's answers and my responses are paraphrased, since I wrote down her responses*
Allyson is a character I feel readers of all ages can relate to. Whether they're at the stage of trying to find themselves, or are looking for an adventure or have already passed that stage. What's something that drew you to Allyson and her story?
Oh God, Allyson. I wanted to smack her (laughs). I wanted to write her. She's a pleaser. She's a buttoned up good girl with insecurities, and I wanted to balance that. I knew travel would change her. Yes there's a romance, but it's the events that change her. She became heroic to me from the moment she threw that book at the skinheads. That's not something most people would do.
Aside from Allyson, which character would you want to spend Just One Day site seeing with and where would you go?
Dee! I love Dee. We'd go to Dee's mom's house for food. Dee's mom would feed me cobbler and collared greens. There would be lots of food. Then we'd wander around the city together. Go thrift store shopping.
I love how you are able to bring realism into your books. How do you balance out the love story with the story line's reality?
I like that romance is part of the character's growth. It's like life. Like life it can be complicated. I like that books can portray that to. Stephanie Perkins's Anna and The French Kiss does that. (this was my favorite answer of Gayle's, as it spurred on a few minute conversation between her, myself and Megan about Gayle's books and her writing).
Willem. I'm asking this for Sophie and for those who are dying to know. What was the thought that ran through his mind during the last scene of the book?
(laughs out loud). Nice try! I can't answer that.
Me: (laughing) I had to try for Sophie.
Gayle: The mystery in book two comes from the events of book one, and I'm not going to spoil anything.
Me: I love that we get the story from Willem's point of view, and that Penguin Teen is not making us wait another year to read it.
* In talking about Allyson's Mom: Allyson's mom is a character that while there were things she does that were infuriating, we understood some of the things she does, not all the things, but some. We liked that your book has a mother who is present and apart of your character's life. Did you draw inspiration from your own mother to write her?
My parents were so proud of me. They trusted me and supported me in my travels. Back then we didn't have the Internet and it wasn't so easy to stay in touch like it is now. I would call home every two weeks.
* Gayle's parental themes in her books; Gayle: If I Stay was about making sacrifices for your kids without thinking. Just One Day is about creating boundaries.
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