Title: Just One Day
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
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.
I feel really bad about reviewing this book. First of all, I didn’t even finish it (*Note: a rating of 0/5 = did not finish), and second of all, I didn’t like it, and Gayle Forman wrote it!
It was taking me way too long to get into this book. When more than a quarter of the way into a book and it’s still not doing anything for you, you should probably stop. For some reason, even though this book was meant to take place in one day, it still felt really slow to me. I would’ve thought that with less time for the story to take place, this book would’ve been a lot more action packed than it was.
I also wasn’t that big a fan of Allyson/Lulu. I felt like Gayle Forman had to change her name to Lulu because Allyson was just too boring of a character. She’s just so sheltered at the beginning of the book, and that turned me off to her. For some reason I couldn’t seem to identify with her, which was disappointing since I so identified with Mia and Adam of If I Stay and Where She Went. On the subject of those books, I also felt the writing in this book wasn’t on par with them. Just One Day, or what I read of it anyway, wasn’t nearly as lyrical, powerful, or moving as Forman’s other books.
I didn’t find the plot too interesting either. You basically know what’s going to happen when you start reading, and the biggest surprise I had was the part where Allyson/Lulu attacks one of the skinheads in the park in Paris. You know Allyson and Willem are going to fall in love, and you know he leaves the morning after because it’s right in the summaries on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. Maybe I just hadn’t gotten to the good part of the story, but I firmly believe that by 32%, the book should’ve gotten going.
Perhaps I’ll come back to Just One Day at a later time, but for now, book, I wash my hands of you.