Sunday, January 20, 2013

Just One Day, by Gayle Forman

Barnes & Noble

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay. 

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.

4.5 stars.

The teenager in me--the one who traveled around Europe and spent a year studying in Paris--is thrilled at Allyson's spontaneous decision to take the train to France.  Yes!  Go visit the City of Lights for a day and marvel at All Things French!  The mother in me--the one who doesn't even WANT to think about her daughter participating in some of the activities that she did--is horrified.  Don't you dare get on that train, young lady!  What on earth are you thinking?

At one point during Allyson's and Willem's day in Paris, I was reminded of how much the French like a good story.  If you tell them a sob story, or a tall tale, or speak of a whirlwind romance, they are putty in your hands!  Always--ALWAYS--have a juicy story in your back pocket when you are in France.  You never know when you'll need one!

Neither Allyson nor Willem is perfect, which makes them all the more real; Allyson is rather naïve and Willem's kind of a dick.

Oh, teenage depression, I know you well.  I really connected with Allyson.  I know how hard it is to go away to college suffering from depression; everything just gets worse.  I love how she grew up and found herself over the following year. 

I can't wait until Just One Year--Willem's story--comes out later this year!

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