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.
Some of my favorite things in this world include books set in college and books that take place in unfamiliar countries. I also like Shakespeare and plays and books that take place over short amounts of time. And although Just One Day combines all of these things (and more!), I did not love it quite as much as I hoped.
I think what prevented me from loving this one completely was the speed that things happened and the actual timeline of the things that take place. I thought that most, if not all, of the book would be just the one day Allyson spends in Paris, but that’s really only the first part of the book. Which is fine and adventurous and still fits in so much excitement, because it's Paris, but I was not expecting such a small amount of time being spent there. I like the other sections, the ones that took place while Allyson was at college, but I think that some more time could have been spent in Europe, especially considering the speed with which Allyson's, or "Lulu's," relationship with Willem developed. I had some trouble believing that she would be so hung-up on the guy because there just wasn't enough time devoted to their connection for me.
Even with those qualms, though, Just One Day has many special aspects that captured my attention. The European settings are obviously enchanting, but just as interesting for me was Allyson's time at college. It's probably because I am in college, but I liked seeing Allyson deal with so many painful emotions while trying to balance everything else. It is not only easy to relate to her stress, but the inclusion of school on top of everything else made her feelings regarding Willem more believable because of the combination of it all. I also like that Allyson was kind of abrasive due to this, because cranky main characters might get annoying but I always like them best because they seem more realistic.
The various settings and emotional depth of Allyson make Just One Day enjoyable, but because I missed the connection with Willem, I am not as crazy about it as I otherwise could be.
Book details: Dutton/Hardcover/$17.99
Source: sent by publisher for review