Series Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman


Title: Just One Day & Just One Year
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: August 20, 2013
Stars: 3.5/5

Summary (from Goodreads): 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.

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Just One Day has been sitting on my bookshelf for years now, and I am glad that I was finally able to pick it up. It is a story about travel and identity, and the main character is so real. I tried reading the sequel, but it didn’t compare to the first book at all, so I set it aside.

This book tells the story of a girl who spends a perfect day in Paris with a stranger. The next day, he is gone before she wakes up. Allyson returns home and goes to college, but can’t stop thinking about Willem. This book is all about the aftermath of a perfect day and discovering your true identity. I loved reading about Allyson’s adventures in Europe, especially since I am a sucker for books about travel. If you are looking for a book that is both cute and heartbreaking, I would definitely recommend Just One Day.

I really enjoyed Allyson’s character. She is independent and ambitious, and she really transforms throughout the book. Allyson learns to take risks and go out of her comfort zone every once in a while. Her character is so relatable, and the emotions she feels are so real. I just wish she was a little bit more considerate of some of her friends.

I tried to get into the sequel, Just One Year after the massive cliffhanger at the end of Just One Day, but I just couldn’t. From what I read so far, it is basically the same story, but told from Willem’s point of view. To me, it wasn’t as interesting, and I didn’t like the new characters as much. I feel like the two books should have been combined into one.

Just One Day is an inspiring story about the aftermath of a one day adventure. I really enjoyed the main character and her transformation. I personally didn’t enjoy the sequel, but the beginning is worth the read to find out why Willem behaves the way he does.

16 thoughts on “Series Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

  1. Raven @ Dreamy Addictions says:

    Great review! I haven’t read this series but I’ve seen so many people loved it. It really sounds like a great read. I’m sorry the second book wasn’t as good as the first book but I’m glad you still enjoyed the overall story.

  2. Jenea says:

    Just One Day sounds really good and I’m glad you enjoyed it! But I am sorry to hear the follow up wasn’t what you hoping for. I’ve read another series that does this same thing, and it can be a little repetitive. 😕

  3. kozbisa says:

    Well, at least you didn’t hate them. I did love this series. I liked being inside Willem’s head, and the novella was such a great final part of their story for me.

    • Candid Cover says:

      Maybe I should give the novella a try! I am glad that you enjoyed the second story. I think it is going to be one of those books that you either like a lot or not at all. 😉

  4. Savings InSeconds says:

    This is my first time hearing of this book. The only Gayle Forman book I’ve read is If I Stay.

  5. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    I really like the premise of this book, and especially how it’s not centered around the romance/relationship but the protagonist’s personal journey in finding herself. I love books about travel as well so that is something I’m looking forward to.
    I’m not sure I would enjoy the sequel either, seeing as it feels so recycled. Nowadays, it’s as though every author is being “forced” to write about the guy’s perspective in the sequel, even if it doesn’t really make sense or add anything to the story. In this case, maybe it does but it still doesn’t look too promising.
    Amazing review, yet again! And I’m sorry it was a bit of a disappointment. Hopefully your next read will be better 🙂

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