Lisa Reviews: Gayle Forman’s – “Just One Day”
Just One Day is exactly that! It follows Allyson’s single crazy, adventurous day in Paris with a complete stranger named Willem. She meets him during a street performance while Allyson and her best friend are trying to get away from their boring Teen Tour across Europe. She doesn’t know much about him, except that he is a Dutch actor and takes parts in Shakespearean street plays.
Allyson is still disappointed about the Teen Tour cancelling their plans to Paris due to flight issues. But, having finished up the tour with her best friend, the two girls are getting ready to travel this last weekend of their trip on their own. But Allyson can’t believe her eyes when Willem is standing right next to her at the train station!
She also can’t believe her ears when Willem offers to take her to Paris, promising to have her back by the next day. And, finally, Allyson can’t believe herself when she agrees to go.
Allyson usually doesn’t do this kind of thing. Her mum practically controls her life, and has a colour-coded calendar planning out all her activities and events. Allyson has never done anything this crazy on her own…but it’s about time she does!
Allyson and Willem spend the afternoon sightseeing, eating, and roaming even the smallest streets of Paris. The two finally find a place to settle down and stay for the night, but Allyson can’t ignore the feelings that have started washing over her since the day before when she saw him perform. And throughout those hours of exploring together, those feelings have just multiplied for Allyson.
…she can only hope that he feels the same way…
But when Allyson wakes up the next morning, she wakes up alone. Willem is nowhere to be seen, and doesn’t answer when Allyson calls for him. She has no choice but to leave. She’s hurt and unsure of why Willem would take her to Paris, kiss her, and then just leave her like that.
Allyson might never truly know why…
My biggest worry about Just One Day was the layout. I had no idea how the author was going to write a whole story based simply on a single day. But, to my surprise, it didn’t work that way at all. Yes, about a third of the book is focused on the day Allyson and Willem share together, savouring the good moments. The remaining two thirds of the book speeds through the aftermath of this day.
I liked how it was organised. I was worried I would get bored quickly if the entire book took place in one day. But, in the end, we got the chance to let good parts of the story melt on our tongues while the sour parts were washed away!
Overall, I enjoyed the characters, especially Allyson! At first I didn’t understand why in the WORLD she would leave with a stranger and go to Paris for a day and night, but after meeting her mum it seemed like the obvious decision.
I don’t want to say anything about the ending, but if you plan on picking this book up soon, you have a truly AMAZING story ahead of you!