Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Series: Just One Day #1
Publication Date: August 20th 2013
Just One Day has been sitting on my bookcase for over a year now and I always meant to get to it sooner since everyone seemed to love it. So when I was in the mood for a contemporary last week I finally decided to pick this one up.
Just One Day follows our main character Allyson who completely plans her life. She's organised and doesn't enjoy doing things outside of her comfort zone. On the last day of her post-graduation Europe tour, she meets a guy called Willem. Willem loves travelling and hates to have something tying him to one place - he wants to explore. Willem invites Allyson to spend a day with him in Paris, and she surprises herself by saying yes.
As soon as I started reading Just One Day, I fell in love with it. Allyson and Willem were fantastic characters, and they were so different. Allyson is extremely organised and never does anything out of character. She feels like she has to please her parents and be a specific kind of person for them to be proud of her. Willem is a free spirit. He likes to leave everything down to chance and fate and spend his time discovering the world.
Just One Day followed Allyson and Willem's twenty-four hour trip to Paris and the changes that Allyson went through after. I adored the Paris setting. I've never been to Paris, but it's always been one of the top 5 cities that I desperately want to visit. I could visualize everything and reading about Willem and Allyson exploring Paris made me want to go even more. I wanted to try macarons and pick a random tube station and just go with the flow. It was such a fantastic way to discover Paris. After the Paris trip, Allyson begins to notice a change in herself. She misses the person she was in Paris and she's determined to get that feeling back. She tries her hardest to please her parents, but she begins to realise that making herself happy is more important than making her parents happy.
The romance in Just One Day did escalate very quickly during their day in Paris, but they were both caught up in the moment and wanted to enjoy themselves. Throughout the rest of the book, there was a huge amount of time for both characters feelings to develop and for them to work out how they felt about each other.
The ending of Just One Day left me desperate to know what was going to happen between Willem and Allyson, so obviously I started reading Just One Night straight away. I was slightly disappointed with Just One Night. It had a completely different feel to it and didn't really flow that well considering there were so many other characters being spoken about as well (that I really didn't care about). I got to see what happened with Willem and Allyson, but Just One Night was a bit of a let down.
Overall, Just One Day is an adorable contemporary about love, travel and self-discovery. I loved every minute of it and would highly recommend it. Just One Night, however, was a bit of a disappointment, but I'm glad I know how everything worked out in the end. I can't wait to get around to reading Just One Year and see Willem's side of the story.