Title: Just One Day
Author: Gayle Forman
Published: Definitions; Random House, 2013
A whirlwind day in Paris…
A chance at true love…
Heartbreak is waiting just around the corner
Allyson is the good girl. On a “Teen Tours! Cultural Extravaganza” she sees all of what she is supposed to see, and very little of what she wants to see. So, on a whim, encouraged by Willem – cute boy she meets at the train station who calls her Lulu, they take off to Paris. What follows is the experience of a lifetime, followed by heartbreak. Going off to college on her return, she effectively wastes her entire first year pining for Willem. That said, she makes an awesome friend in the unique and hilarious Dee. If nothing else, read this book for him!
So after a crap year, she decides to go back to Paris, and therein lies a slightly corny, partly unrealistic, but touching coming of age romance story. Forman’s writing is excellent, as I’ve said before in my review of If I Stay & Where She Went. This is easy to read, a real page turner. I totally recommend if you don’t mind a bit of sap, a little exaggerated emotion (although, I suppose that’s what the teen years are about!), and some slightly unbelievable coincidences.
I had one frustration – if I knew Allyson, I’d either be slapping her about the head to get over it – or sending her to a psychiatrist. A good dark wallow is fine post break up, even recommended, but this was basically a one night stand, and she is deeply depressed for months. Admittedly, there is more to the picture, and I suppose the exaggeration works well in fiction.
However, I am looking forward to reading Willem’s half of the story in Just One Year.