Title: Just One Day
Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: New Adult, Realistic, Romance, Coming-of-age
Note: I usually don’t read new adult. It’s not my genre. My genre is young adult, but this premise was too delicious to ignore.
Premise: Typical ‘good girl’ Allyson is put in London on an international tour. She is lured in to this Guerilla Will show and meet the Dutch actor Willem. (I feel like I’m botching their names.) She pretends to be Lulu and travels to Paris with Willem. Before he disappears. Before she goes to college. Before she looks for him.
Plot: This plot is interesting. For the first part, it was set in the span of a day or two. It isn’t rushed, but it is just right. It takes up a lot of space for those few days. The story has little action except the park scene where Lulu gets daring and hits a guy with a book. There is sex which I don’t particularly enjoy…but there is a hint of romance. There is actually no romance. That would be insta-love. I can’t place if Lulu feels lust or infatuation. For me, this book is about daring choices and finding your place. It’s about romance and journeys. It’s about finding who you should be with. It’s meeting new people and going new places.
It’s about travel. It’s about travel.
I can’t say much. They run around Paris for a bit. Then, Lulu goes home and becomes Allyson again. She fails at school for her first semester before making herself ‘right’. She becomes this girl who works and does what she wants. She becomes Lulu, in a way.
Of course, we all want to know what happens next. About Willem’s girl. About Allyson. About school. About everyone. I hate the cliffhanger at the end of the book, but I’ll admit I was close to tears.
Willem. This guy is one of those characters. You hate him and love him. You hate how he is a player, but you love the quirky side of him. You get to know him in the first part as this romantic guy with impulses. He then turns more sinister and lustful in the second part. Playing girls. Cheating. As Allyson explores the part of him she didn’t know, she seems to see who he was. A student. A friend. A boyfriend. He becomes more than just…Willem.
Allyson/Lulu. The star of the show! Allyson is the girl who is all goody-goody before she turns into Lulu. She becomes daring and crazy. She does things she might never have thought of doing before. She acts like nothing can stop her. And, really, as Lulu, nothing can. She is high in the clouds and is not coming down. But. She has to. She is forced back into reality. She is forced into college. Into pre-med classes and terrible grades. She goes from the top of the world to the slums in a matter of months. She turns into the girl she never thought she would be. Until her Shakespeare class. She changes. She becomes more alive. And she realizes that everyone has their different sides. She becomes Lulu more and more as the story goes on. And she becomes Lulu again completely when she searches for Willem. And…I like the change. It doesn’t always happen in books, but this change…is…good.
Problems: The problems in this book aren’t exactly limited. There is the crazy, impossible notion of a guy telling you to go to Paris with him. That wouldn’t happen in real life. This is a realistic book. You have to be more realistic compared to wizards and ghosts.
This book also has insta-love. I don’t know, though. I can’t place if it is infatuation or lust or love. There are so many interesting things. There is the fact that they had sex. It is the fact that they are running around Paris. I feel like they had crazy schedules. They are on two different planets, but those planets only touch once or twice in a few decades.
Good points: The thrill of adventure is amazing. You travel. Everyone wants to. I miss traveling. I used to go to Asia each summer. I loved it. I miss it. The heat. The running. The adventure. This book is…like that. I’ve been to Europe once. Only once.
The change is so interesting. The things that happen to Allyson could change her. Forever. She loves. She lives. Those are things people react differently to. You don’t know how someone will react until you see it. Allyson reacts differently. The reactions and reasons why someone reacts that way are important in a book. I feel like Gayle Forman didn’t a pretty good job with that.
The metaphors. ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ ruined metaphors for me. Kinda. I like them. They’re great when writing poetry, but that book seemed to ruin it. For me, this book built it up. The stains. The quitting. The jumping off the high dive. So many metaphors. They seem so well placed.
Score: 7/10 (If you are wondering why it’s not 8/10, it’s because I’m not fan of romance.)
Recommended: If you liked ‘The Fault in Our Stars’. If you like whirlwind romance. If you like adventures and traveling.