[Book Review]: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

17623975Book Title: Just One Day
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Speak - Penguin Group
Source: Purchased
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Year: 2013
Page Count: 369
ISBN: 9780142422953
My Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0

Goodreads' Blurb:
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.

The first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon! Released is also the novella, Just One Night.

Written in the first person point-of-view of Allyson's, the book consists of two parts: One Day and One Year. The first part recounts about how Allyson meets Willem and their adventure in Paris just in one day. The second part is about how Allyson deals with her broken heart after Willem disappears before her without a word. And how her world seems to turn upside down because of it, until finally she decides to look for him to Paris.

Gayle Forman has been one of my favorite authors since I read her works; If I Stay and Where She Went. After those two books, I felt the need to read other books she wrote and I decided to go on with Just One Day. My expectation was so high that I could not hold the anticipation to read this one.

I really liked the author's frequent insertions on analogy about life. I found them really inspiring. I liked how she offered the readers the description of Europe and the adventure of a bare traveler.

But there are some significant things that made myself disappointed in this book. Since the first chapters of it, I already felt annoyed with Allyson's early characterization, added by the writing style of the author's. And as I was reading it, I couldn't believe that this one was written Gayle Forman, the one who captivated me with her 'Where She Went'. All I could see was only an amateur writer who recklessly tried to do the first writing in first person point of view.

I don't know if the author deliberately designed Allyson's annoying character in the first chapters of the book, so that she could give a room for her to grow gradually in the whole book (which I think is a remedy so that I wouldn't give less than three stars for this book). But I was frustrated much by this book. I felt exhausted reading it. It was just like my early huge expectation was plummeted down to the ground with some small mistakes of the author's.

Nevertheless, I will still read the next installments for this series, only for the sake of me being curious about what happens next with Allyson and Willem's eventual encounter. I will say that this book is recommended for backpackers who have those wanderlust over Europe.

Also by Gayle Forman: If I Stay (click here to read my review for the book) and Where She Went (click here to read my review for the book).


  1. I couldn't agree more! I'm also a fan of If I Stay and Where She Went. But now i find it difficult to finish this book :((

    1. Hi, Ratri. Thank you for visiting. The book was rather tedious indeed, but it still had some hidden x factor that gave me mere patience to make it through the finish line. I hope you'll find it to help you reading this one :)