If you’ve ever been looking for a book that is just so inspirational that it’ll change your entire outlook on life, Just One Day by Gayle Forman is your book. You’ll never expect what feelings this book will evoke from inside of you and you wouldn’t want to anyway. It’s full of heart-aching, pleasant surprises.
When Allyson Healy meets an actor and is invited to see him in an underground performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at the end of her tour of Europe, she decides to sneak off to see it despite her “good girl” nature. However, she didn’t know that this one performance would change her life. After watching Twelfth Night she expected to never see said actor ever again, but that is exactly who she bumps into on the train the next day. And when he offers to take her to Paris – her trip to which was cancelled – for just one day, how could she refuse?
Allyson and the actor – whose name is Willem – spend a beautiful day in Paris and by the end of the day, their feelings for each other have ignited. At least, this is what Allyson thought until she woke up the next morning to find Willem gone from her life. So, with only the bare minimum of knowledge about Willem and unable to find him, she knows she has to move on with her life.
She spends the next year going on a journey to discover herself and realise that she isn’t the person she’s been confined to all her life. She knows that she is somewhere between that confined girl from back home and that adventurous girl she became in Paris. So, even if she lost her almost-true-love, she did gain one thing from Paris – her true self.
Allyson Healy is just your girl next door. She’s a good girl and always abides by the rules. Her best friend refers to her as “reliably you.” And that’s exactly what she’s always been. No matter what changes, she always stays the same. But Allyson doesn’t want to be the same anymore. She wants to be the girl she was in Paris. She just doesn’t know how to find herself again.
Willem De Ruiter is a laid back Dutch actor. He’s been travelling for the past two years without returning home. He’s experienced and only seems to care about enjoying life. He seems to be the perfect guy to help evoke the real Allyson. And that’s what he does when he calls her by “LuLu” an actress that he thinks she is a replica of. He doesn’t even find out her real name.
No amount of words could encompass what I feel about this book. The only word that even comes close is happiness. Allyson found herself on her journey and I found myself by experiencing her journey with her. I never realised just how much of myself I see in Allyson until I was about halfway through the book. She has a beautiful story that is definitely relatable.
This book evoked far too many emotions to even list them all. When reading this book, I think you’ll be laughing and crying and not knowing exactly which emotion you’re doing what for. There are so many ups and downs, but they’re exactly what make the book. It represents true life in its exact form. Life is full of accidents and that is the exact point of this book – to amplify them and show the different ways you can look at them. There’s always a way to look at them in a positive light and make the best out of life.
I think many people will discover pieces of themselves in this book and you’ll never regret picking it up. I found not one flaw in Forman’s writing. The only thing that made me a little sad was to see that there was a cliffhanger – one of these days, I’ll learn to check to see if a book is part of a series!
This book is full of happiness, sadness, adventure, love, friendship, and true life lessons. With such beautiful writing, I can’t help but reward Just One Day with 5 out of 5 stars.