Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton | 368 pages | Buy It
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!
As the description says, Allyson is this good girl on a summer-before-college European tour who bumps into a tall Dutch hottie named Willem. When he offers to show her Paris on her last day of the tour, of course she jumps on it (who wouldn’t). As you’d expect, their one day is perfect and awkward and sun-dappled and charming. Willem is a total mystery of glances and unanswered questions — just waiting to be unwrapped. And, for a minute, I’d thought (hoped) their Parisan adventure would last through the whole book. But it doesn’t.
The rest of the book is all about searching and self-discovery. And in a lot of books, that would have bored me because it would drag and I’d yell at the protagonist to stop whining and do something. But in this one, it didn’t bug me so much — because she was doing something. Forman didn’t stay too long in one spot to get deep into the wormhole of whatever Allyson was figuring out. And once she’s hot on Willem’s trail again, the speed picked up until … it just ended. Seriously. It. Just. Ended.
I will POUNCE on that second book and take a sick day to finish it, if I have to. Willem, I can’t wait to discover your secrets!