Just One Day
Author: Gayle Forman
Release: January 8th 2013
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult
#1 in the Just One Day duology
Companion novel: Just One Year (#2)
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.
I am not going to rate this, because I don't want to ... stain it with my rating.
So, I'll be brutally honest instead: For the first half of the book, the one that's about the day Willem and Allyson spend in Paris, I was really enjoying the novel, it was nice and cutesy enough. Although granted, I was a little annoyed that yet again it's fucking Paris. Seriously, what is your deal with Paris and France, Americans? Why do all of you want to go there and speak French? As someone who has been dragged to France multiple times (against her will), I can tell you that yeah sure it's got a nice scenery and stuff, but the people are so RUDE there, everything is way overpriced and there's really not a lot to see. In fact, absolutely nothing except for the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and maybe the Louvre if you're being fancy. Please stop this mindless obsession, it is making me rip my hair out in frustration. There is nothing magical about Paris, about this country, about the language; actually, it stinks to the heavens and back. You're better off going to Prague, or Rome, or St Petersburg, or Vienna.
Anyways, with that out of the way — maybe I'm just not romantic enough, maybe it's just that I'm too heartless but Allyson pissed me the fuck off with her pining for Paris and Willem. I mean, seriously? What the fucking hell? This dude screws you over a 100%, and yet after months you're still not over the dickwad? Oh My FUCKING GOD. Sorry, but you are really DUMB. If I were her, I would much rather be pining after my lost suitcase and expensive watch than a freaking douchebag I spent ONE SILLY DAY WITH. A DAY. That's not enough time to develop a serious crush, let alone fall in love so deeply you can't forget the dude for over a year! GODDAMN IT.
And that's probably where my issue with this book lies. Allyson spends one freaking day with a boy and she falls so hard for him she doesn't stop chasing him. She sleeps with him, he leaves her alone the next morning and doesn't come back, and Allyson just can't get over that. Fucking hell. I thought this book was about self-discovery and moving on but IT IS NOT. IT IS ALL LIES. This book was about an agonized college freshman who got ripped off in a foreign city by a boy she didn't know the first thing about, who dreamt herself in love with said dickbag and couldn't forget him, thus she fell into a state of depression that lasted months and caused her to get a 2.7 GPA, until she got out of it and her only drive, her only motivation to get out the depressed state was finding Willem. And not only that, but she needed outside sources to help her out of her dark hole, which, nothing wrong about that — in fact, you often need that sort of helping hand, but she actually needs her hand held throughout the whole book by someone or other. Self-discovery, my ass.
And the end was just ridiculous. You know, I was suspecting something like that, because there's a whole book about Willem, so he has to be redeemable, right? Right. How boring and lame. Honestly, I would have thought it much more unique and interesting if Willem really just had fucked her over and left, instead of what actually happened. Then I also would have been much more inclined to read his side of the story; but this way, it's just really cheap.
Just ... I know that everyone loved this book and said it was great, it was a spiritual journey and they learned so much about themselves as well as about the characters in the book, but me? I was just hella pissed the whole freaking time, because the story really was quite aggravating.
I don't blame Gayle Forman, and I'm sure it's just that this particular sort of story irritated me, which is why I won't spoil the experience for anyone by giving it just one star and filing it under "worst," because I'm sure for everyone else, it truly has been a great read. It just wasn't for me, and if, maybe, you're a bit more insensitive and practical like me, you might find it just as annoying.
And yes, if it wasn't evident throughout the whole review, I am really angry about this.