Friday, January 18, 2013

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

This is the first novel in the Just One Day series by Gayle Forman.

Before going to college, Allyson goes on a Europe trip for teens to experience new things. Her whole life has been mapped out, ever since she saved a classmate at the age of 13 when he was choking and she used the Heimlich maneuver to save him.

Right then, she was destined to be pre-med and become a doctor just like her father. Before, Allyson would never argue with her parents - she just wanted to make them happy.

On the last day of the trip, she was supposed to go to London. When she was presented with an unexpected opportunity to go to Paris (since her group couldn't go due to strikes), Allyson does the most unexplained thing - she goes with this boy would offered to be her tour guide.

Allyson just met Willem the night before, when she went to see him perform a Shakespearean play on the streets instead of an assigned play that was part of the tour.

So Allyson runs off with Willem for the day in Paris and finds herself starting to fall in love with him. She knows around 10 things about him, but the feelings she has for him are overwhelming.

When she wakes up the next morning, she wants to spend another day in Paris with him, but finds that he has left her. In the middle of Paris, all by herself.

She finds her way back to her friend and makes the trip back to the U.S. in one piece except one: her heart. That stayed in Paris with Willem.

But off to college Allyson goes where she doesn't find any excitement in her classes or life. Previously an A student, she ends up with a C grade point average first semester. When presented the opportunity to change her major, Allyson starts to act like a living person again and realizes that she may need to start doing what SHE wants to do instead of what everyone else wants her to do.

And one of the things she wants to do is get answers regarding Willem. Because, even though it's been one year since she saw him, Willem is always on her mind.

One year later, Allyson goes back to Paris. She wants answers and is going to try her hardest to get them. But how will her trip go? Will she get all of her answers, or was the trip worthless and a waste of time? Read Just One Day by Gayle Forman to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I am a huge fan of Forman's previous novels If I Stay and Where She Went, so I was excited to hear about this book and get my hands on it.

For some reason, though, I didn't connect with this novel. At all.

Allyson, or Lulu as she was called for a little bit in the novel, would not be my friend, sorry to say. She was too timid and uncertain at the beginning of the novel, did a RANDOM act by going to Paris with a COMPLETE stranger, fell in love in ONE day, and then was heartbroken when she went off to college for a WHOLE year.

Obviously by all of the caps above, I have some problems with this novel.

If Allyson was a rebellious natured person, I wouldn't have a problem with anything I wrote above. But she was a rule person, went by the book. Then goes to Paris with a COMPLETE stranger?!? No. Sorry. I don't care how much someone wants to change from their previously life, I would NEVER go somewhere with a guy that I just met and knew next to nothing about.

But I stuck with this novel because I had an ending in mind that I thought would make everything that happened throughout this novel that I disliked better. However, I found the ending, lacking and frustrating. It has potential, but the cliff hanger ending didn't float my boat.

There were times that I thought I could like Allyson. She decided to stand up for herself instead of having her parents control every aspect of her life and she decided that she was going to do what she wanted to do. But then she would do something stupid again to make me dislike her.

There is a sequel coming out October 2013 and I think it might be through Willem's viewpoint, so answers could be answered that readers would think about during this novel. As of right now, I'm planning on reading it when it releases, but we'll see what happens when it finally comes in October.

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