Title: Just One Day
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin)
Sparks fly when American good girl Allyson encounters laid-back Dutch actor Willem, so she follows him on a whirlwind trip to Paris, upending her life in just one day and prompting a year of self-discovery and the search for true love.
This book is for every girl who wishes she could break out of her good girl image and do something wild.
Allyson does just this. But it’s not easy, and it actually goes horribly wrong. Willem disappears after their one day together, and Allyson is left inept and changed in ways she doesn’t know how to deal with. She spends the next year dealing with the emotional fall-out, but she becomes out a better person for it.
And not necessarily just because of Willem. Yes, the romance is key in the story, but it’s more because for that one day, she was a different person, and she loved it. She’s been changed as a person, and it takes her a while to find herself again. I loved the parallels in this book of how passive she is at the beginning of the book to how much of a go-getter she is at the end.
Call it New Adult or older YA or whatever you like, but I really like this sub-genre of YA that deals with self-discovery of college-aged protagonists. This book reflected (in more extreme ways) the changes I went through in college and while studying abroad, and the challenges I faced through those changes.
A wonderful book of older self-discovery and change, and I am anxiously awaiting the next book, Just One Year, which will be told from Willem’s perspective.