This duology caught my attention; when I got asked if there were any books I wanted to read from a certain publisher. I went to the new (at that time) program and found this title where I knew, I had it on my wish-to-read-list for a few months. So I took my chance and when it arrived I was eager to see if all those critics I´ve read about it were true. And I have to say: Gayle Forman has a fantastic way to write about feelings, fears, and what it means to be a teenager and spreading out your wings and experience life.

Just One Dady*
Author Gayle Forman
Just One Day Duology #1
Publisher Speak on August 20, 2013
Genre Novel
Pages 416
Format Paperback
Source German Publisher

Allyson Healey´s life is exactley 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.
Allyson got, as a graduation gift from her parents, a trip across Europe. Together with her best friend Melanie, she discovers new cities, countries, and everything that life has to offer. In London, she has Shakespeare on her program and finds in Willem a very special kind of Shakespeare performance. One that will change her life and emotions are deep. All of a sudden she does things, she´s never done before, goes to Paris with him and there she has the most remarkable night ever. But then panic kicks in and things start to become rough. When she finally finds the strength to go on a special journey to find some answers, she discovers a completely different beauty life has to offer.

After a few pages, I was asking myself a bit confused “where does all that lead?”, because I had my difficulties to find some sense in the first part. The tone was a bit dry, there was poetry and Allyson seemed to be a girl who does everything to avoid fun. Together with her best friend Melanie she travels across Europe - a trip spent from her parents for her high school graduation. But it looks like only Melanie is enjoying herself. Allyson seems a bit negative in some ways, thinks way too much, and has a very fertile imagination. That all kind of changes when she meets Willem and makes a one day trip with him to Paris. After that, her life is changing and Allyson starts to learn that not everything in her life is the way she wants it and that only she has the power to change that.

The story is written from Allyson´s point of view and shows in a wonderful way that it is up to you, to make something out of your life; to be happy. Just One Day is all about Love, chances, friendship, and to find oneself and that sometimes it’s the way you go, that makes you see things how they really are. Good, the first part of this novel isn´t really breathtaking, but the second one … wow! Just wow!

Allyson changes completely and when she starts to realize that it isn´t helpful at all for her personal life, that she never stands up against her mother and that her parents speak to her, but never with her, and she finally begins to take back the control of her life - the real fun kicks in. And of course, her mother isn´t happy with the new situation and the tension between them grows and grows, but hey, that´s life, isn´t it?

Sometime during the second part, I got hooked and fascinated by the way how Allyson changed, what she did to get the answer to her “why” and that she wanted to know what really had happened that morning in Paris. And that trip becomes the real one - not only for her alone but for the reader as well. And oh gosh - that Dee -, he is a real piece of cake! You´ll love him!

You would not expect it at first, but this novel turns into a brilliant read after the first half. After I finished it, I was a bit emotional and had to let it sink in. You´ve got to read this book!

Happy reading

*I´ve read the German edition new release by Fischer FJB on March 22, 2016.

Gayle Forman
© Dennis Kleiman

Gayle Forman is an award-winning, internationally bestselling author and journalist. She is the author of Just One Day and Just One Year, and the companion e-novella Just One Night, as well as the New York Times bestsellers If I Stay and Where She Went. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughters.



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