Review: Just One Day (Just One Day #1) – Gayle Forman

Posted 9 January, 2013 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 0 Comments

Review: Just One Day (Just One Day #1) – Gayle FormanJust One Day by Gayle Forman
Series: Just One Day #1
Published by Dutton Juvenile on 8 January 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Pages: 368
Source: Kindle Purchase
Buy on Amazon
5 Stars

Just One Day is the story of Allyson, who finally decides to take a chance, do something she wants to do and go with the flow. After a trip around Europe where she was supposed to get to know more about culture, she is a little fed-up, and instead of going with their group to see Hamlet, Allie and her best friend Mel decide to ditch everybody else and rather go see Guerilla Will perform The Twelfth Night. For the first time, Allie feels free, and she also understands Shakespeare a lot better, while running around with the actors who are performing by the river rather than on a stage.


Just One Day is a book that delighted me! In every way, I just felt like this was the perfect book for me to read right now, it made me yearn for travel, being 18 again, taking chances and finding myself.

Allyson has always strived to be the good daughter, especially since she remember her parents trying very hard to have another child, and in the end not making it. When she meets Willem, one of the actors from the Guerilla Will troupe, on the train to London, and he recognizes her from the night before things get interesting very fast. Instead of staying three days in London with Mel, she takes the Eurostar to Paris to spend a day with Will there.

And that is just what the main story is about – how much can change in one single day. The way we see ourselves, the way we see the world, what we dream about, and how we go about trying to reach our dreams. Willem is really wonderful, even if he is a serial dater, with a little black book where he has the address of all the girls he’s hooked up with across Europe.

Of course, a lot of things do happen during that day in Paris, but the important thing is how Allie deals with it afterwards, how she still continues to let her mother make all of her decisions, even during her first semester away in college. I got pretty annoyed with the mom! Who actually acts that way with their child? She re-arranges Allies dorm-room when it’s parents day, and she actually thinks she’s doing her daughter a favor. I did get a little annoyed with Allie as well, but I could still totally get where she was coming from.

As the story moves forward, Allie finally gets that she needs to open up to the people around her, share things with them, and even remembers how she was taught how to make friends in kindergarten. As she gets new friends, she also gets stronger, and she changes her classes to do things she wants to do, not what her mom wants her to do. It felt liberating reading about it, and I think it’s actually important for people of all ages to think about why we do the things we do. And sometimes, we need to think about what we actually want to do – we do have some choices to make after all.

I absolutely loved how Allie grew stronger, how she managed to tell her parents she wasn’t doing pre-med anymore, and that she was going to go to back to Paris that summer instead of taking any of the un-paid jobs her mom had lined up for her. And she worked very hard, both to get enough money, and to learn a little French before she went back. She was so much braver when she arrived in Paris the second time, talking to people, making friends, even going to confront her nemesis – in the search of Willem, and of herself.

This is getting to be one of my longest reviews ever, but there was just so much to love in this book! I loved the descriptions of Paris, I recognized the Villette, the Canals, the Latin quarter and a lot of other things, and I always appreciate it when places are written true to form. It also made me really, really hungry for a macaron!

So, make yourself happy! Read this book, and let me know later what you thought about it!

Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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0 responses to “Review: Just One Day (Just One Day #1) – Gayle Forman

    • Thanks for stopping by Liesel! Well, I have to admit I really, really love Gayle Forman. This one is completely different from her two prior books, but the writing is so good, and I loved the development the main character went through.

  1. Okay, so I was curious about this book, because I love Paris (I also heard that’s it’s a very sad story…), but after reading you review I really REALLY want to read it.
    Thanks! 🙂

    • You know Cayce, I had heard that it was very sad as well, but while there were some sad things there, I didn’t think the whole story was sad. And if you love Paris, you will feel like you are actually there! Allyson doesn’t go to see all the tourist attractions, but I could recognize where she did go.

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