Monday, January 14, 2013
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
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.
Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Just One Day is a little like If I Stay and Where She Went. Each these stories have a sweet start only to get’s heavier and heavier with the emotion. It’s a fact that does not always stem from romantic complications either. So on the one hand, it read emotion plenty and introspective heavy, but it could also be sweet then romantic, too.
We’ve two stories here:
*The first of a girl falling in love the first time, stepping out of her comfort zone (literally).
*Then a second one of her facing the consequences of that and growing up and then owning the fact that she’s no longer a child.
That first half? Sweet, Willem had me swaying from in love with him but doubtfully suspicious as well. I love that she didn’t swoon for him from moment one, rather we’ve these wild imaginings with have her questioning things (and, well she really should have,) but there’s also another part of me that’s pumped with the way things began, and hoping for the best for the both of them, because you know, in love and all that, right? But then there’s the second half to contend with… and … well, here goes:
I didn’t like ‘the why’ behind things happening the way they did, but get this: I liked the where things went because of the same. The why, (view spoiler)[concussed and what not? (hide spoiler)] read too close to day time soap opera for me. But then there’s the what then... I mean the what then, before she knewthe why. Well, it’s that aspect that had me seeing more of the girl and, consequently, buying more into her drama. Because their aftermath, it’s turned things into a messy mix of the true then the heartbreaking then the depressing and the frustrating only to lean toward the uplifting and the right.. at least eventually. And I say ’right’ because if the first half has her reading too young, too sheltered and sometimes lacking in life (‘til he’s in the picture) she’s not that in the second half. It’s her feeling all these things, recognizing things for what they were as well as people for who they truly were, and most important owning the fact that she’s no longer anybody’s little girl that struck home for me.
The first bit is for the romantic at heart. It’s on the sweet side with boys who come in and sweep girls off their feet, except it’s the second bit that I loved more… as it had me thinking of what might have happened in the between Before Sunrise and After Sunset. Heck even my frequently alluded to ‘first half’ in this one has me thinking of the movies! What with Willem’s knowledge and her lack of information. Think of it this way, she’s Ethan Hawke and he’s the French girl… except neither of them are as philosophically inclined. Well not all the time at least. Then all those revelations of the guy who’s mysterious and knowledgeable, then further realizations on both their parts that they each might be falling of the other? And gosh golly... this one was every bit as wonderful as I was hoping it was going to be.
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