Just One Day

Just One Day

From the New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay Allyson Healey's life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes....

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Title:Just One Day
Author:Gayle Forman
Rating:
ISBN:0142422959
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:369 pages

Just One Day Reviews

  • Tatiana
    Oct 10, 2011

    As seen on

    is a story of self-discovery sandwiched between the romance-heavy beginning and end, two stories in one if you will. High school graduate Allyson meets an amateur Dutch actor Willem during her post-HS culture tour of Europe and with a spontaneity unnatural to her throws away all her caution and embarks on a day trip to Paris with him. They spend a day (and night) together, and then it's over, abruptly. Allyson goes back home then, starts college and succum

    As seen on

    is a story of self-discovery sandwiched between the romance-heavy beginning and end, two stories in one if you will. High school graduate Allyson meets an amateur Dutch actor Willem during her post-HS culture tour of Europe and with a spontaneity unnatural to her throws away all her caution and embarks on a day trip to Paris with him. They spend a day (and night) together, and then it's over, abruptly. Allyson goes back home then, starts college and succumbs to ennui. Her already depressed state is made even more severe by hardships in college, intense helicopter parenting and lack of friends. But her experiences during that one day in Paris eventually encourage her to change her life in a major way and go back to Paris...

    These are the words that were constantly on my mind while reading

    . I am not sure a tone like this can work for me for an entire romance story. I obviously like some drama, if I enjoyed Forman's very tragic previous novels (

    and

    ), but even those books were based on a love story that started out as charming, happy, romantic, swoony. In

    , on the other hand, it's all doom and gloom and sadness, from the beginning till the very end. I am sure I would have liked

    more if the romance were more uplifting, interesting. I found it hard to care for Allyson and Willem. Allyson is a dull, passive narrator. Willem lacks charisma, charm, sexiness, humor even. Their one day in Paris is not romantic or fun in any way. I attribute my negative impression of this day trip to the flashbacks of Taken running through my mind and my concern for Allyson's safety, and to the general grimness of the whole European adventure. (While I do not doubt the accuracy of Forman's depiction of Europe, this depiction is just depressing, to exactly match the novel's overall dark mood. How can one be so miserable in a midst of so much diversity, culture, excitement and freedom? I don't get it.) If I had the experiences in Paris Allyson had in this novel, I would have considered such extended date a complete failure and a waste of time, and nobody would have gotten laid by the end of it. But this one day has a great effect on Allyson, and this part of the novel I never quite accepted or understood.

    Because I mostly felt indifferent towards the romance frame of this self-discovery story, the middle portion of the book felt more compelling to me. It is especially compelling if you are looking for books with those notorious "new adult" experiences - exploration of life after high school, learning how to be independent from your parents, choosing an educational path that suits you and not people around you, finding new friends, getting your first job. I liked most of this middle, except maybe the part where Allyson handles her schooling - I don't believe that taking pottery classes instead of pre-med classes while your parents are paying $40K a year for your school is a responsible and mature thing to do, even if it makes you happy. (My philosophy is - don't trifle with other people's money, you can get your pottery classes for $80 at your local community college.) But Allyson's struggles with her parents and her diving into new friendships were the highlights for me.

    It is hard to give this book a fair assessment, because so much of my dissatisfaction with this novel rests on my personal taste in YA romance, college experiences and overall attitude to life. On a technical level,

    is well written. For me as an opinionated reader, however, this story felt lackluster, with its unjustified main character's ennui, realistic, but grim portrayal of various European countries and unconvincing romance. I would pick

    over this novel any day. It's just much, much more fun. There HAS to be some fun in any romance, am I right?

  • Wendy Darling
    Oct 10, 2011

    I don't know how this author consistently writes such beautifully crafted stories of personal growth, but the level of emotional maturity in this one just astounds me.

    But sheesh, what a place to stop the story! Can't wait for the next book this fall.

  • Keertana
    Apr 10, 2012

    Rating: 4.5 Stars

    Nearly a decade ago, someone once told me that books are like memories; within their pages, they store your emotions and thoughts, a document of sorts of your experience. I still don’t know how true that statement is, but I dearly hope it is – at least when it comes to

    Nothing better than this book itself can summon up the whirlwind of emotion I felt when I read it. Although I cracked open its spine with trepidation – there are, after all, a plethora of mixed revie

    Rating: 4.5 Stars

    Nearly a decade ago, someone once told me that books are like memories; within their pages, they store your emotions and thoughts, a document of sorts of your experience. I still don’t know how true that statement is, but I dearly hope it is – at least when it comes to

    Nothing better than this book itself can summon up the whirlwind of emotion I felt when I read it. Although I cracked open its spine with trepidation – there are, after all, a plethora of mixed reviews out there – my feelings quickly changed from that of anxiety to excitement as I was swept up alongside Allyson on her breathtaking journey. At one point, I wasn’t sure if I was laughing or crying for I was so full of giddy happiness and bittersweet longing -

    are the types of feelings a Gayle Forman novel inspires in you. I finished

    with a smile on my face, my heart swelling with pride for Allyson, who felt as close to me as my own best friend, and although the pang I feel when I think of this novel is only an echo of what I feel for Forman’s

    and

    duo, I still love it, albeit in an entirely different way.

    is a novel that will very easily either captivate or disappoint readers. It’s a New Adult novel that almost

    that you be a teenager to truly understand it, for Allyson’s journey is such a personal and nostalgic experience, one that everyone can definitely relate to. One of the best ways I can find to summarize it is a realistic rendition of Kristen Hubbard’s

    Although

    is one of my favorite books of all time, I can’t deny that the chances of traveling to a new country and finding a hitchhiker to explore with are rather low. Thus, Allyson’s summer experience in Europe, a disappointing one full of touristy stops and not enough

    is easier to relate to. When Willem, an enigmatic Dutch actor who Allyson sees performing Shakespeare in London, offers to take her around Paris – for just one day – she agrees, despite her goody-two-shoes attitude.

    What follows is a day of whirlwind journey; it isn’t perfect, but it’s

    and it’s far more rewarding than any other trip on Allyson’s summer vacation. Perhaps best of all, to Allyson at least, is that she is no longer Allyson, the girl who listens to her parents, studies hard, and never lives life the way so many other teens do; now, she’s “Lulu”, a nickname Willem gives her, and as “Lulu,” Allyson is finally free to let loose the person she truly is inside. Nevertheless, her exhilarating journey is abruptly halted when, the next morning, Willem is gone. Now, Allyson is distraught, both at thinking that Willem may have just used her and at contemplating her life in college as a pre-med student – a path that her mother, not her, wants to follow. As Allyson will learn, however, her day in Paris wasn’t about Willem at all – it was about

    and finding out that she was more than she – or anyone else – ever quite imagined.

    as I’m sure countless reviews have stated, is a journey of self-discovery. Although I will admit that it isn’t wholly original, it is certainly memorable. Allyson has a certain vulnerability about her that makes her impossible not to love. In Paris, she may have been pretending to be “Lulu”, but

    was who she really was and she struggles to find a way to be that person again, all while continuing to please her parents and hold onto her childhood best friend, Melanie, who constantly reinvents herself. One of my favorite aspects of this tale was the subtle heartbreak that came not only with seeing Allyson and Melanie grow apart, but also Allyson and her parents. In their place, however, Allyson makes new friends, never replacing those from her past, but simply realizing that growing up also means leaving room for new people to join her life, such as Dee, the African American boy she meets in her “Shakespeare Out Loud” class; the person who shows her that although she has many personas – “Lulu”, pre-med student Allyson, reliable Allyson – who she really is is a mixture of all the roles she plays, and still so much more.

    In my eyes, what makes

    such a hit-or-miss novel is the mere fact that Allyson is a character trying to find her place in the world. After her trip to Paris, she comes to the stark realization that no one

    sees her – not her parents, not her best friends, no one – except for Willem. Willem, who took a bargain in spending a day with her, unknowingly changed her entire life, not

    because of who he was, but in what he brought out inside her. What I loved about this story was that Allyson found herself again -

    herself again – and this time,

    Willem. It is this journey, this third journey almost; the first being her wake-up call, the second being her slow emergence from the typical life she leads that isn’t really

    to this now final journey of finding who she is all through her own experience, her own friends, her own interests, and her own initiatives. It’s beautiful.

    Nevertheless, I will admit that

    is not a perfect story. For one, some secondary characters, such as Allyson’s father, are astonishingly underdeveloped, lacking personality when surrounded by such well-fleshed out characters. Furthermore, this novel failed to impact me on an emotional level equal to that of

    or

    I can’t really pinpoint

    it is that made this novel fall for me, but a certain aura or fully nuanced aspect of Allyson, perhaps, was missing. Unlike other readers, however, I was never bothered by the mysterious figure that Willem remained throughout the novel. If anything, I loved the way he was portrayed in this book – a traveler, a lonely young man, a player…or someone who we’ve all just judged too quickly, because, perhaps, there’s more to him and his story than what we see before our eyes. Yet, what I liked best was that he didn’t reappear in this story – once he left, he was gone and then it was all Allyson and the manner in which she came to terms with who he was and what he did for her, changing her life, was remarkable.

    is a novel that just

    be read. It is beautifully written and to see Forman take on something different – the idea of living

    and

    instead of the idea of choosing between life and death – was refreshing. Of course, there are many authors who have written self-discovery novels in the past, and I have liked some of them more than this one, but Forman’s tales just never leave my head. I was thinking about this the whole day, ever since I finished it last night (at 11:54, which means I actually read

    in exactly a day!), and I am still convinced that I have not extracted the full depth and meaning that this story has to offer. It’s a universal tale, one that will transport you to other countries, make you feel emotions you thought you could never feel, and ultimately, just as it changed Allyson, it will change a small particle of you too.

    You can read

    and more on my blog,

  • Ariel
    Oct 22, 2012

    January, 2016: "My first read of the year is always a reread and this year I've chosen to reread this book which I loved my first time round! I want to go back into the love of travel and growth of the main character! Hope I love it as much this time!" I tried to read this but had to stop. I wasn't enjoying it and it was tearing up a loved memory for me. Here's a video about the idea of reading books at the perfect time:

    October, 2013:

    Just One Day blew my mind. It took me

    January, 2016: "My first read of the year is always a reread and this year I've chosen to reread this book which I loved my first time round! I want to go back into the love of travel and growth of the main character! Hope I love it as much this time!" I tried to read this but had to stop. I wasn't enjoying it and it was tearing up a loved memory for me. Here's a video about the idea of reading books at the perfect time:

    October, 2013:

    Just One Day blew my mind. It took me all over the world and blew my mind.

    I have recently been craving this book, CRAVING IT LIKE TURKEY DINNER TWO DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING, and I received it for my birthday! I dove right in.. and then kept swimming, and didn't stop for a breath until I finished this beautiful beautiful book.

    I HAVE A LOT OF THINGS TO TALK ABOUT, SO LET'S GO:

    Format: I loved the format of this book so very much. Almost the first half of his book takes place over just one day: the whirlwind adventure and romance of Allyson and Willem. The second part of the book then covered an entire year. It was really impactful having such a huge part being such a short amount of time, because after Part One as a reader I felt what Allyson felt: SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED AND IT'S ONLY BEEN A DAY! It felt like an entire novel all on its own! Then we fly through an entire year.. it really illustrated how important a day can be.

    Characters: There were actually a lot of characters in this book, and they all felt so genuine and critical! I loved that we interacted with so many different people and that even if their impact on Allyson's life was small, it was felt. I really liked Allyson as a main character: if other authors had written her she might have actually gotten annoying, but Gayle Forman wrote her in a way that I always felt like Allyson was on the edge of understanding and that she really wanted to figure it out even if she didn't know how. I felt hope for her. And as for Willem, it's fascinating that we really don't know that much about him. It reminds me of Looking for Alaska, where when Alaska disappears you long for her but you then realize that you really know nothing about her! I felt the same here: I wanted Allyson to find Willem, and I felt attached to him, but really I didn't know him at all!

    Settings: Like eating all of the desserts. All of them. I love reading about different cultures and different settings, and this book did NOT disappoint. MOST of the book took place in Paris, which was gorgeous and lush and grimy and glorious, but we also visited London, Avon-Upon-Stratford, Amsterdam, and near-Boston. So many places where I actually felt like I was IN the places, not just looking at them. I was so absorbed in the surroundings that I was constantly immersed in other countries.

    Writing: It was nice! To be truthful, I didn't notice it very much WHICH IS TOTALLY OKAY. In my opinion there are basically three types of writing: writing you notice because it's particularly beautiful, writing you notice because it's particularly terrible, and writing you don't really notice because it's simply delivering a story to you. I felt the latter in this book. I really enjoyed the story that Gayle Forman created, I loved the characters, the emotion, the drama, the settings, the messages and themes and morals, but I wasn't swooning over beautifully crafted sentences. I just didn't notice them because I was so busy being alive in the story!

    The message: The messages in this book are brilliant brilliant brilliant. So many things that I related to, that I felt I learned, that I agreed with. That travel is important, that we can be different versions of ourselves, that life is just a chain of accidents, that we need to control where we go in life, that we should never give up, and so many more things! Just BRILLIANT.

    I loved this book. It is absolutely one of my favourite novels of all time. I know that I will be constantly rereading this novel for the rest of my life. My only complaint is that it made me realize that I need to visit Europe.. SOON. I am so excited for the sequel that comes out in a matter of days (thank goodness because I can't wait too much longer!) and I will definitely be doing an entire video about these two books.

  • Thomas
    Jan 05, 2013

    Are you looking for a whimsical romance filled with love songs and fiery kisses? Are you searching for a story with constant adventure, brimming with beauty and overflowing with passion?

    If so, stop.

    is not one of those books. It is not shallow. It is not like

    . It is beautiful, but in a bittersweet, lyrical, and oftentimes melancholy way. This is a book for people who have ever felt lost, for those who know what it feels like to be unsure of who they are, or

    Are you looking for a whimsical romance filled with love songs and fiery kisses? Are you searching for a story with constant adventure, brimming with beauty and overflowing with passion?

    If so, stop.

    is not one of those books. It is not shallow. It is not like

    . It is beautiful, but in a bittersweet, lyrical, and oftentimes melancholy way. This is a book for people who have ever felt lost, for those who know what it feels like to be unsure of who they are, or of who they want to be.

    After her senior year of high school, good girl Allyson Healey embarks on a journey to Europe. Except it’s not really a journey at all, or even a trip – just a boring tour with her blond best friend Melanie. That is until she sees a magical performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and one of the actors flips her coin. By chance she encounters this actor – Willem – again on a train, but their relationship turns an entirely different direction when she decides to spend a day with him in Paris. There she becomes Lulu, an adventurous soul with no reservations, and she discovers a side of herself with Willem she comes to love in less than 24 hours. But the next day she wakes up and Willem is gone. Allyson spends the next year struggling to find herself, who she thought she was, and who she’s turning out to be.

    If New Adult becomes a tangible genre in the realm of fiction, this is what it needs to be like.

    is not a sexual love story. Depending on how you define the concept, it might not even be a love story at all. It encompasses all of the emotions associated with coming of age, going back and forth between growth, angst, hope, and sadness.

    Reading

    reminded me why I loved Gayle Forman’s first book,

    . Like I’ve tried to repeat in this review, it’s not your typical love story where the protagonists meet, slowly fall in love, have a falling out, get back together, and live happily ever after. It’s far from that. Allyson thinks she comes close to finding herself after one day with Willem, but breaks apart once he’s gone. Her character screams of vulnerability, insecurity, and nuance, but has that spark of relatability and that whisper of strength that urges you to cheer her on. The other characters in the book: Allyson’s helicopter mom, her well-meaning yet lacking best friend, the shape-shifting black student she meets at college, etc. are all finely developed and feel strikingly real.

    Forman’s writing blew me away too. She described France, Holland, and each and every one of Allyson’s experiences richly and completely. Her attention to subtle details within her characters’ dialogue and actions as well as her pacing of the story did more than satisfy me. While this isn’t a dark, dangerous action-adventure novel its progression through Allyson’s bildungsroman backed by its sheer emotional maturity makes it one of the best realistic fiction books I’ve read.

    There are numerous themes that come together to form

    . But my favorite has to be that of identity and discovering the truth about oneself. By the end of this book Allyson hasn’t just found herself after that one tragic day. She’s created herself, and I can’t wait to see where Forman takes her and Willem next.

    *review cross-posted on my blog,

    .

  • April (Aprilius Maximus)
    Aug 17, 2013

    I HAVE NO WORDS

  • Emily May
    Nov 14, 2013

    My heart is saying yes but my head is saying

    . So I guess it's only fair that I appease the two of them and rate exactly down the middle. To be honest, I have come to expect more from Ms Forman's characters. I found it extremely difficult to care about either Allyson or Willem, especially the latter. While I came to appreciate Allyson's story more in the second half and had my heart singing along to the sad tunes of heartbreak, I never

    My heart is saying yes but my head is saying

    . So I guess it's only fair that I appease the two of them and rate exactly down the middle. To be honest, I have come to expect more from Ms Forman's characters. I found it extremely difficult to care about either Allyson or Willem, especially the latter. While I came to appreciate Allyson's story more in the second half and had my heart singing along to the sad tunes of heartbreak, I never came to care much about Willem. Something which became even more obvious when I recently decided to try the sequel -

    .

    I've been putting this book off because of the mixed reviews I've seen online but I finally gave into my need to check out everything by my favourite authors. This story is about an American girl called Allyson who goes on a tour around various European cities in the summer before she is due to start college. Allyson has always been the straight-laced, err-on-the-side-of-caution kinda girl, but a meeting with a boy in London seems set to change all of that...

    In a completely spur of the moment decision, Allyson decides to do something crazy for once and runs away to Paris with Willem where they spend one day and night together. When she wakes in the morning, Allyson discovers that Willem has disappeared. Disappointed, she returns to her life in the US and tries to carry on with College and forget about Willem. But she sinks deeper and deeper into depression. With the help of new friends, Allyson decides that all might not be lost after all, and that what she is really seeking might go deeper than a boy she only knew for one day.

    Surprisingly, the second half of this book worked for me more than the first. The first half (or third) is certainly more action-packed with spontaneous trips to Paris and a whirlwind romance. But I was so irritated by Allyson and her upper middle class white girl problems... she gets to travel around all these amazing cities in Europe and she feels sorry for herself because the cities "weren't like the movies".

    . Am I supposed to pity her because she got to go on a trip of a lifetime and just sulked at every stop? Well, I didn't.

    . Whine, whine, whine about all these other girls that are more beautiful than she is... but everyone still seems to think she's hot anyway.

    She's jealous of the overtly sexual Celine, she constantly compares herself to her also overtly sexual friend - Melanie, even her own mother is portrayed negatively. I might expect this from some authors, but not Gayle Forman. I also didn't expect Forman to be all tell and no show with Willem's characterization. Apparently he's charming, but I never saw any evidence of it.

    The second half appealed to me more because I could understand and appreciate a story about a young woman suffering from depression more than I could understand and appreciate a story about a poor little rich girl who discovered the big wide world wasn't as sparkly as it looked from her mansion window. I thought this second part of the book was realistic and sad - really touching in parts. I especially loved the Shakespeare parallels and the whole theme of pretending to be someone you're not... and how maybe that pretense is as much a part of you as the person you are the rest of the time.

    By the time the ending rolled around, I was stood there right in the middle of the story with Allyson. My heart was pounding with dread and anticipation at what she would find. I finished it knowing that no matter how much Willem didn't float my boat, I would still have to read the sequel just to find out what happens.

    . And I suppose that made the earlier disappointment worth it.

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  • Sarah
    Apr 27, 2014

    I really liked this book! Which is quite shocking considering that I really didn’t like ‘If I Stay’/’Where She Went’.

    Allyson made some bad decisions in this book, and as a parent you would want to ground her for life. Jumping on a train to Paris with a man she’d only just met? Leaving her suitcase with someone she doesn’t know (who could plant a bomb in it)? Not telling anyone where she was o

    I really liked this book! Which is quite shocking considering that I really didn’t like ‘If I Stay’/’Where She Went’.

    Allyson made some bad decisions in this book, and as a parent you would want to ground her for life. Jumping on a train to Paris with a man she’d only just met? Leaving her suitcase with someone she doesn’t know (who could plant a bomb in it)? Not telling anyone where she was or what she would be doing? And the list goes on. I’ll admit that she was acting on lust, but things could have worked out really badly. She’s lucky she didn’t end up dead.

    Anyway, putting Allyson’s craziness to one side, I did enjoy this book, and I liked the mystery over exactly what happened.

    8 out of 10

    Anybody else want to learn French and go to Paris now?["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Laura Marcela ✎・:*:・ |spoilers af|
    Oct 04, 2014

    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 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.

    And I finally did it. It took me more than a year since I bought the book to actually read it. I didn’t want to. So much has changed in my life since I got this book and I hadn’t been able to read it. Didn’t feel like I could but part of moving on is facing small things, difficult things, that make every day a bit harder and that’s what I’m doing.

    Now, boy, I did have such a hard time reading this book. I mean, I really enjoyed Forman’s storytelling,

    But, there was this factor I couldn’t like and it took me 75% of the book to say

    and that was Allyson.

    Not liking one of the MCs or the main MC

    the one who’s telling the story, well, that’s a real deal breaker for me but I kept reading. I wasn’t going to give up and I’m glad I didn’t because, even though it took me a lot of time to like Allyson, I could relate to some things, feelings and situations and, in the end, I knew that reading this book was going to help me see things differently. And just like it happened to Allyson, I realized a great deal about myself.

    Let’s this party started!

    First we have this girl named Allyson and her best friend Melanie and we’re told all about their trip to Europe. They’re starting college and this trip was a gift from Allyson’s parents.

    But, as the paragraphs go, we see how Allyson isn’t one to take risks. She lives her life as her parents dictate and she’s pretty much a pushover. Her friend Melanie is the wild one. The one who is adventurous and always tries to make Allyson to try new things. Their friendship was doomed from the beginning and it’s not because they’re different, no, it’s because what really kept them united was all the years they spent together.

    Sometimes, when you know someone from a very long time, you just end up not knowing them at all. All these detail and precious information we gather when we’re getting to know someone, are somehow lost under the years. I think that’s what happened between the two of them. And going to different colleges just make that even clearer.

    That doesn’t mean I liked Melanie, because I didn’t. I can’t like a person who’s always trying to do what

    whether you’re or not okay with it.

    Friends are supposed to help you get through the bridge, not push you to the end and then say “you’re welcome”.

    So, when Allyson meets Willem and she’s all enchanted and curious but cautious, yeah, I could see where that was coming from but I didn’t like so much how she went and decided to go to Paris with the guy she just met.

    Sue me but I believe there are a lot of fucked up people in the world who can be whoever they want to be to get just what they want from people. But, let’s play along because I can

    forgive Allyson for that.

    The whole day she spent with Willem was a really great day. They’re both quite different but they met halfway and they made it all work. She’s easy to jump to conclusions and he’s just so good at making people to stop and breathe. I had trouble with Allyson being so childish but her parents were so damn strict with her and all that control, well, I knew why she was the way she was. But as the day ends and shit happens, I didn’t know what to think.

    Even if he didn’t feel the same way as Allyson, we got to know him as much as to consider him kind enough to not leave the girl alone in a strange city after they slept together.

    So, who the fuck is Willem, then?

    He’s this Dutch actor who believes that falling in love is not the same as being in love and that accidents, big or smalls, are what drive us to wherever we need to be.

    He has a peculiar vision of the world and I can’t say I disagree with him. It all makes sense but still, he was, is, a great mystery. Why was he the way he was? Why was he so far from his home? Why didn’t he go back to Holland before? Is he running away?

    Those same questions and more are the only thing Allyson can think. Oh, and the pain and misery she feels. The heartbreak. The feeling that she was more herself when she was with Willem for that one day than all these years.

    I got she was mourning, not only for the way she’d been played but also for the Allyson she was when she was in Paris. The Allyson who was happy, carefree and real. But now she’s in college, being Pre-Med, no real friends and living a lie.

    She’s utterly unhappy and it’s so painful to see I got annoyed rather quickly.

    She was such a bitch. Not to people but to herself. She didn’t know how to handle things with her parents and she didn’t handle well what happened with Willem and now she’s alone in Boston and getting bad grades.

    I

    exactly how that feels like, so maybe that’s why I couldn’t stand the way she was coping with things and I had to remind myself that we all deal with our shit differently but she was just so

    Why wasn’t she nicer to herself? She was really smart, she knew things were going to end at some point or she was going to end up living the life her parents wanted her to live. We know what we do, what we don’t and what we deserve and what we don’t so I think she just liked being like that so she didn’t have to make any decision.

    I can’t be okay with that.

    So, after a few breakdowns and family fights and arguments with Melanie, she started to see the fucking light and started to do shit by herself.

    You know why I kept reading even though I didn’t like Allyson?

    Because the book was really good. The changes, the people around Allyson, the situations, the feeling… All those things were exactly what she needed, what

    needed to read because I think we can all relate to them. It’s a really general yet an important topic:

    It’s never late to start over and do things just for you. It’s never late to wake up and be different, if you want. Or be a different version of yourself, a better version, a version that makes

    happy. And because the book delivered that it’s why I liked it.

    Allyson was getting better, making old/new friends, facing their parents, learning what she likes, what she doesn’t like and then, making decisions.

    Going back to Paris was a good call and I got happy what she worked her ass off and managed to do it. I liked how she worked things with her mom without giving ground away and I

    when she went to places because she wanted to. That’s what I wanted for her since the very start. Searching for Willem and for answers, took Allyson to meet new people, things and parts of her she didn’t know and what a wonderful thing it was.

    The end of the book were both predictable and shocking. Like, what happens

    the end were unexpected but the main thing wasn’t. So I’m both happy and mad for the way the book ends.

    .

    And there’s this song I couldn’t get out of my mind while reading this book. I hope y’all like it. I love it.

  • Zoë
    May 03, 2015

    THIS WAS SO GOOD! I read this while traveling which was the BEST idea. I love how we got to experience so many different countries and meet so many different people without the story getting confusing. Allyson grew so much as a character and ahhhh I just loved it! Now I definitely have to go out and get Just One Year and read it ASAP.