I could not put Just One Day by Gayle Forman down, and now I want to go to Paris. And re-read some Shakespeare. And go back in time and be 18 again. Sigh…
This compelling and engaging story is a true quality read. Teen girls may see plenty of themselves in main character, Allyson, though even if they are nothing like her, they will certainly enjoy her story. Sheltered by her extremely controlling, “helicopter” mother, and always the quintessential “good girl,” Allyson shakes things up on a whim while on her high school graduation trip in Europe.
She meets free-spirited, adventurous and handsome Shakespearean actor, Willem, in London and spontaneously decides to leave her tour and go with him to Paris. Completely out of character for her, and out of her comfort zone, she becomes a different person with Willem, and falls in love with him over the course of their whirlwind, perfect day. When he disappears, her heart is broken, and she spends the next year depressed, floundering in school, trying to figure out who she is and how to re-capture how she felt in Paris.
I loved this story for the journey, both the physical one, and the internal one that Allyson experiences. She finally comes into her own, figures out what she loves, who she wants to be, and learns how to speak up for herself. Supporting characters are equally as fabulous.
I was dreading reaching the end of the book, and was delighted to see that there will be a sequel, which cannot be published soon enough for me! Until then, I might have to give this one a re-read. Put this one in the hands of the teen girls in your lives, or pick it up to read on your own. Be ready to yearn for adventure and youth and macarons.