Book Review

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Publication Date: January 8, 2013

Publisher: Speak

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Series: The Just One Day Duology, Book One

Format: Paperback

Pages: 400 pages

Source: Purchased

Buy It: Amazon

Rating: 5 sm

Allyson Healey’s life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life.

A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know.


I feel like Just One Day was less of a love story and more of a story about the main character, Allyson, finding herself. And I loved every minute of it. I think she’s an extremely relatable character. She’s a young girl who wants to go on an adventure, and when she goes on her European tour it is nothing that she imagined it would be. However when she agrees to go to Paris with Willem, it’s everything she imagined and more. Then you have the issues with not knowing what she wants to do but doing the things she does because she feels the need to please her parents, and I feel like that’s something that a lot of young people go through.

I love the addition of the “accidents” of life. I think it was a great piece a novel that was well written, and very uplifting. It’s a book that makes you want to travel, it makes you want to fall in love, it makes you want to find yourself. It was truly, a beautiful book. I loved the format of this book; almost the first half of the novel takes place over a day while the second half takes place over an entire year. I thought it was very unique and different. And I love how throughout the second part of the novel it really illustrates how important a day can be.

There were quite a few characters in this book, and for the most part, they all felt very critical to the novel. I really liked Allyson as a main character. I felt for her, truly, and throughout the novel all I wanted was for her to get her answers and be happy. I thought it was interesting that even though you don’t really know that much about Willem, I found myself wanting him to be there; I felt attached to him.

I feel like the message that Gayle Forman was trying to give throughout this book was amazing. And there were a few of them. I think through travel she showed that there are so many different versions of ourselves, and even if we may feel at first that they are not truly us, they are. It’s just another part of us. She showed that in just one day, anything can happen, and it could change your life drastically. There were so many messages in this book that inspired me.

Image and Synopsis Credit

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