Just One Day by Gayle Forman
"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."- summary from Amazon
Yes, I partook in the Just One Day Read-a-thon. I didn't exactly win it- I only just finished the book a couple hours ago, but I did make a pretty good dent in the book in that 24-hour period, reading a little over 200 pages. That also included a lot of sleeping, dinner at Olive Garden, and seeing Pitch Perfect. So I think I did pretty good.
Anyway, you want to know about the book itself. Well, it was pretty much fantastic. I wish I hadn't been doing so much this weekend so I didn't have to put it down so often! Forman really writes a compelling story and I loved seeing Allyson grow throughout the book. There's a real change in her from beginning to middle to end.
I also realized how Forman intends to write these companion novels. I was a bit confused just going by the titles, thinking this would be about one day and the other about one year, just from the different perspectives. But I see that the book is divided up into two parts- Just One Day and Just One Year. So in the first half, we witness the day Allyson/Lulu and Willem spend together and then go through the year afterward in the second half, where Allyson is at college and then starts to try and find Willem again.
I really enjoyed seeing Allyson and Willem's interactions. It never felt dull even though pretty much that whole first half (about 140 pages) is mainly just the two of them together with no other characters. I wanted their adventure to go on and on!
Like I said before, I loved Allyson's journey toward doing more and realizing her potential in the second part. I particularly liked her friendship with Dee, someone she meets in her Shakespeare class. He was such an interesting character and even though it probably won't happen, I'd love it if he popped up in Just One Year somehow.
Overall, another amazing book by Forman and it may have intimidated me as a writer a bit. She just writes so wonderfully and beautifully. Definitely pick this book up!
FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.