3 traveling stars.
Just One Day
by Gayle Forman is about 18-year-old Allyson who takes a Eurovacation
before beginning the very exciting adventure of college life. On this
vacation, she meets Willem, a young, Dutch actor who proposes they spend
a day in Paris. In just one day, Allyson falls head over heels in love
with Willem, but then wakes to find him gone. Just One Day explores the concept of losing someone, and then finding yourself.
hate star ratings. I really do. Because if you look at this, you see 3
stars, which technically, on Goodreads, means "I liked it," but to a
great many readers (and authors!) it is seen as something negative. I
do not think that this was a bad book. I did like it; I just didn't
Some fault lies with me in my enjoyment of this. I
interrupted my reading of this because I was too stupid excited to read
Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl and then, instead of giving me some
time to get that book out of my system, I jumped right back into this
one. It was hard to remember that I was reading about Allyson, not
Cather, and the love interest was Willem, not Levi.
also just couldn't relate to the narrator. The entire Eurotrip she's
on, she constantly bemoans that Europe isn't as pretty as the pictures.
Most people would give anything to do what she had just done, but
instead she wastes Europe in a haze of negativity. She is not a
traveler, and I get that, but it was hard to read past the spoiled brat
aspect of her.
The relationships between Allyson and her best
friend, and Allyson and her mom were handled beautifully. How many
people can relate to having a childhood best friend that then becomes
distant when they enter their college years? I certainly can. And
watching her mother go from overbearing - a helicopter mother, if you
will - to trusting in her daughter, was really well done.
second half of the book was heaps better than the first, but also was
where I had the most problems. Allyson falls into a depression after
Willem leaves her for a multitude of reasons, one of which is that she
never properly talks it out and another of which is that her mother
refuses to believe she's depressed (even though it's obvious) and
therefore she never gets any help. That being said, it was still hard
for me to understand her. The way I saw it, she was letting one day
ruin her entire college experience. It wasn't until she decided to find
Willem that I enjoyed the second half of the book.
It's not that I don't believe that people can fall in love in a day; it's that I don't believe she
fell in love in a day. It's hard for me to believe that she would wait
an entire year before finding him if she were truly in love. Even if
she believed he left her, even if she was hurt... wouldn't she have
wanted answers before the year mark? Wouldn't that have crossed her
mind months earlier?
The ending was not satisfactory for me. If the whole point was about Allyson finding and accepting herself, then (view spoiler) Also, where the author actually ended the story leaves a lot to be desired. (view spoiler) I suppose you could argue that she found both, but somehow the ending felt like a cheat.
the first half of this book was enjoyable and the last third, when she
was finally in Europe, was awesome. I liked seeing Allyson open up and
make friends. I liked seeing her learn to like herself. I would
recommend this for people who like books about traveling (because the
traveling aspects were some of the best parts for me) and YA