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Welcome to Paula and Sarina's Book Blog! Avid readers, hard core fan girls of fictional literary male characters, proud library captains. We started this blog because of our love for reading YA novels and decided to share our thoughts on the books we read. We hope you enjoy our blog and contact us if you have any questions :)

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Sunday, 31 March 2013
Title: Just One Day (Just One Day #1)
Author: Gayle Forman
Date Published: January 8, 2013
Grade: A- 

Goodreads Summary: 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.


Review: I remember Sarina and I excitedly talking about this duet of novels one day during PE class, both swooning over the titles "Just One Day" and "Just One Year", freaking out about how cute the books will be and how much we loved If I Stay and Where She Went. So naturally, I was expecting quite a lot as I cracked open its spine, excited to begin my adventure with Allyson and *fangirls silently* this blonde, tall, european actor. Did he have the potential to make our list of most adorable male fictional characters? You see, I had high hopes.

Just One Day easily captivated my heart right away because Allyson was so easy to relate to; She had no idea what she was expecting of the future, she was only trying to please the people she loves instead of trying to make herself happy, and she would way rather be in her room watching movies than outside partying. By the end of the novel, I felt so attached to her and it seemed as if I were her best friend/sidekick, journeying along with her through the streets of Europe. One of the reasons why I enjoyed this book so much, is because I am, to simply put it, a teenager. When I read about her longings to be in love, and how she fell for the mysterious enigmatic blonde actor, and how she notices all the little things he does, I completely understood what she was searching for, or rather, why she was searching so hard to find him.

I hate to say this, but it was surprisingly hard for me to like Willem and as I was reading, I always felt kind of suspicious of him. Like, in reality, what stranger would spontaneously ask a girl to miss her train home and come join him for a day in Paris? I'm all for sudden moments of cuteness but I just couldn't seem to wrap my head around why Willem was so secretive of his family and why there were so many girls who recognized him and were eager to greet him. It was almost as if Forman was setting us up to dislike him? I felt as if I were Allyson's parents shaking my head discreetly thinking "hmmmm this boy seems like trouble...". The only part of the book I enjoyed reading about Willem was the boat ride where his excitement showed some young, vulnerability- which is always adorable  Personally, overall, he just seemed to lack charisma and I couldn't quite fall for him. The more I learned about him, the more I disliked his character.

As most reviews have pointed out, the theme of this novel is self-discovery. So even though I didn't really appreciate the romance Willem and Allyson had, I loved the book because it represented so much more than just a one day fling. That day in Paris with Willem wasn't about finding simply a boy to love, it was the start of finding who she really was. The rest of the book really focuses on Allyon's coming of age as she grows from a reserved, shy, unadventurous "goody two shoes" to a whole other person. Someone who doesn't need to hide behind the nickname "Lulu" anymore to be herself. One of my favourite parts of the novel was when Allyson decides to stop making an effort to keep the awful Melanie, her former best friend, in her life, and instead makes room for new people like the hilariously charming Dee, and her other room mates. By the end of the novel, I felt very proud of Allyson for being so independent, hard working, and self-appreciative.

When I finished the book, I had that familiar feeling of abruptness. The ending felt so quick and short and I wanted to call Gayle Forman up and be like "WHAT HAPPENS NEXT PLEASE TELL ME SWEET MOTHER OF GOD I NEED TO KNOW". But to be fair, I can't judge the ending like that because it isn't really the actual ending of the book, is it? It's the beginning of the next book. I hope that in Just One Year, Willem's character, as well as his and Allyson's relationship, is developed more. Overall, this book is one that will take you on a whirlwind of emotions, and I cannot wait to continue their journey.

Thanks for reading!

Paula :) 



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