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Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Just One Day (Just One Day 1)

By: Gayle Forman

Release Date: January 8, 2013

Rating: 2 Stars

Summary: 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.

I fell in love with Forman’s writing style after reading If I stay and Where She Went. So I was really excited for this book, but at the same time I was afraid to be disappointed. And I so wished I could say that isn’t the case. But yeah, I’m afraid I am.

But let’s start with the good parts…

The story is located in Europe, and Willem is Dutch. So maybe I’m a little bit biased since I’m Dutch myself. It was fun to read how Americans see us and vice versa.

“You actually don’t look so American.”
“Really? What looks American?”
He shrugs. “Blond,” he says. “Big . . .” He mimes boobs. “Soft features.”

Also, I loved all those European and Dutch references. And it cracked me up when Willem started talking about ‘Hagelslag’ and ‘Uitsmijters’ to Allyson.

Then it went downhill…

I’m not sure how realistic it is that they travel, unplanned, from London to Paris for just one day. I know it is perfectly possible in time, but I mean more the fact that you decide to go on a sudden trip like that with a complete stranger. But I was prepared to oversee this cause maybe I’m just a wimp (and I probably watched too many horror movies cause I sure as hell would be afraid that the guy is some psycho serial killer and I’m his next target..). And it’s clear that Allyson went on the trip in a rush and actually agrees with me:

‘But then for a brief minute, I thought maybe this was all some sort of scam and you were going to sell me into sex slavery or something.’

But there were a few things that really annoyed me.
1) Allyson
Basically she’s a dramatic, jealous, overreacting annoying thing who even goes into complete stalker mode. Right from the start she reacts jealous and possessive, after knowing the guy for what? 3-4 hours? Every time Willem looked or even just talked to a girl, she practically went ballistic. Get a grip on yourself you know.. He didn’t even ask your real name!

2) Paris
Allyson has never been in Paris before and when they arrive they do nothing. Besides taking a boat. On a canal. Wow, how exciting. What happened to the Louvre, Sacre Coeur, Champs d’Elysee? Or better, what happened to the friggin Eiffel Tower damnit?! How can you go to Paris and not see those places, especially the Eiffel! So to say I am disappointed about the filling up of their trip is an understatement. In my opinion Forman could’ve written way more interesting stuff with a location like Paris.

3) Relationship
I’m all about relationship development. And I knew when I started the book I had to be prepared it was going to develop rather fast cause it is ‘just one day’. I could live with their easy way of liking each other and the quick connection but the jealousy of Allyson overshadowed the cuteness that could’ve been their starting relationship. Her obsessed behavior was also such a turn-off. Damn creepy.

4) Willem
Then we have our mystery guy.. Yeah mystery, cause after finishing the book I realize I actually don’t know the guy. And guess what? That annoys me too!

The way the story goes is predictable. Forman tries to put the reader on the wrong track but if you think about it, it’s pretty obvious there’s more going on than the way it looks at first glance.

Conclusion, the story itself was ok’ish but the main characters were just not likable. Allyson is a source of pure frustration. I was doubting to rate this book 3 stars but writing this review, my irritations surface again and I’m going to go with 2. I think I will read the sequel though. I refuse to just give up on Forman after enjoying her other 2 books so much. So Katy, prepare yourself 😉

Go to Lis’s review on Goodreads.

  1. February 8, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    This was all over Goodreads for a while, but the description didn’t draw me in…I guess it’s a good thing. Thanks for the review!

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