Book Reviews, YA Book Club

YA Book Club: Just One Day

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Today is a glorious day, for after far too long it is time for another installment in YA Book Club, hosted by Tracey Neithercott. This month’s selection was Just One Day by Gayle Forman. (Book cover links to Goodreads page.)

12842115I absolutely adored Just One Day, to the point where I stayed up until one in the morning to finish it – which is a feat I rarely accomplish anymore because I’m a Premature Old Person. Initially I read it in bits and pieces at work during lunch, but I realized quickly that bits and pieces wasn’t going to do Forman’s descriptions of England and Paris justice – she did such a great job creating settings that really came to life and made me so jealous of Allyson/Lulu’s adventures (and not just because she was running around with a cute Dutch boy, but that sure didn’t hurt).

It took a little while to get into what I felt was the meat of the story, but I didn’t mind because I was so busy enjoying the settings. But what I loved the most about this book was Allyson’s discovery of Lulu, her fearless alter-ego, during her one day in Paris with Willem, followed by the following year in which she struggled to find Lulu again – and realize that Lulu and Allyson are actually the same person. I think what struck me most was how honest Allyson’s struggles were – her struggle to figure out what she wants now that she has the power to decide is something a lot of us could probably relate to at that age, and I feel like this perfectly captures what the whole New Adult thing is about.

For me, the romance wasn’t nearly as important to the book as Allyson’s self-discovery, but I still loved it. I loved how Willem brought out the more fearless side of Allyson, and I spent the entire second part of the book rooting for them…although I can’t really go into it too much more because spoilers. Suffice to say, I can’t wait to read Willem’s side of the story.

Have you read Just One Day? Go join the discussion at Tracey’s blog!

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9 thoughts on “YA Book Club: Just One Day”

  1. I agree that the romance wasn’t as important as Allyson’s growth. I just didn’t love the romance like you did! I love what you say about her realising that Allyson and Lulu are the same person, that she doesn’t have to be one or the other. And I definitely agree that this book perfectly captures what NA is (or should be)!

  2. “For me, the romance wasn’t nearly as important to the book as Allyson’s self-discovery, but I still loved it” Agreed! I think I loved it more because the romance was a subplot, compared to Allyson’s personal journey.

  3. I also read in bits and pieces to begin with, before I sat down and read the rest in one sitting. I wasn’t sure if I wanted her to find Willem or not because I didn’t want that to ruin all the self-growth she’d had over the past year.

    And YES, I had the same thought about it perfectly capturing what NA should be.

  4. Oh, Steph, my feelings regarding this book are right in line with yours. I loved it, and I totally got Allyson. I didn’t always love her, but it was very easy for me to empathize with her. I can’t wait to read Willem’s book this October. I’m very much looking forward to learning about him and his past, and seeing how it all impacts Allyson and her journey.

  5. ” But what I loved the most about this book was Allyson’s discovery of Lulu, her fearless alter-ego…” <–YES! I really, really loved this aspect of the novel. The way she slowly came into her own was so well done. And I'll second your love of the settings. They're so vivid—I felt like I was a fellow traveler with Willem and Allyson.

  6. I think we’re on the same wavelength when it comes to this book. I found the beginning section with Willem and Paris amusing and charming, but it wasn’t until after that bit that I became really invested in the book. Allyson’s struggles are so honest and relate-able, and it was amazing to realize along with her that Lulu and Allyson can be and are the same person. 🙂

  7. Allyson’s growth was really what kept me reading here. I didn’t really care for the romance. I also didn’t go into the story knowing Willem was going to leave her, so I was a little thrown by it. Surprised? Not really, but thrown. Obviously without it we wouldn’t have had a need to go through Allyson’s journey with her, but part of me wishes she didn’t end up on his doorstep at the end but instead only found herself. Great thoughts!

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