Book Review | Just One Day by Gayle Forman

“Travelling’s not something you’re good at. It’s something you do. Like breathing. You can’t work too much at it, or it feels like work. You have to surrender yourself to the chaos. To the accidents.”


Just One Day by Gayle Forman follows Allyson who is almost at the end of her graduation present from her parents, a three week trip around Europe. Who wouldn’t love that as a graduation present? At this point I already knew I just had to read this book. Now in London on the last leg of the tour she meets Willem, a Dutch actor who is ending his tour performing a Shakespearian play. Instantly they form a connection together. When he discovers that Allyson missed her stop in Paris and is about to head home without seeing the city he insists that she go there with him. This isn’t something Allyson would normally do but in the spur of the moment she decides to take a chance and leap head first into the unknown. Together Allyson and Willem spend an amazing day together followed by an incredible night. However, when Allyson wakes the next day she discovers that Willem has gone and she has no idea where to find him.

Upset by the realisation that he left her she travels home and tries to get her life back to normality but she can’t quite shake the memory of what happened that day in Paris. Of course her troubles with her studies at college, her lack of friends and her parents don’t make this any easier. She soon realises that that one day in Paris had more of an effect on her than she realised and she can’t keep going along with everyone else’s expectations.

I’m not going to lie this story made me feel for Allyson. The first part of the story is sweet and romantic and dreamy but it also had this heart aching quality to it which I liked. Here she is spending a day in Paris with Willem but you know that this is something that isn’t going to last no matter how much you want it to. Forman creates this feeling perfectly. Of course there were some parts to the book I disliked like the relationship she has with her mother and the way her so called “best friend” treats her. For obvious reasons I wasn’t a fan of Willem either but he has his reasons but I still don’t feel like it’s enough to total forgive him for being such a (bleep)!

Just One Day is the second book that I have read by Gayle Forman, the first being If I Stay which I quickly fell in love with. This book was very different in comparison. Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy Just One Day but I didn’t enjoy it as much as If I Stay, I didn’t find it as gripping but like her previous book it was just as enjoyable.

I love the whole idea behind this book, who wouldn’t? The idea of a cute boy you barely know offering to be your tour guide around Paris for the day. That sounds like a pretty good opportunity to take on although I don’t think it’s something I personally would do. Don’t get me wrong I’d love to explore Paris I just don’t think I’d be brave enough to do it with a total stranger, no matter how cute he was.

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