I love Gayle Forman. I loved the emotional catharsis of reading If I Stay and Where She Went. Enjoyable days where I sobbed for hours and hours. Really, she writes the feel good books of the century.
Also, she is fan of Jellicoe Road, and we all know how I feel about that particular book. So when Just One Day was announced, I was very, very excited to have a day set aside for more sobbing.
When sheltered American good girl Allyson “LuLu” Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, thereâs an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.
But guys. I didn’t sob. I barely cried. I mean…I definitely teared up. But I didn’t cry. And this is not, in anyway a complaint. This book, the story and the characters and the journey was so very, very different from Gayle’s previous books. I fell into the story in a completely different way than I did with If I Stay.
I just loved Allyson. I loved her restraint and all of her buried passion. I loved that we got to see her break free early on in the story so that we knew everything that she kept hidden. And then we got to slowly watch her rediscover it inside of herself.
I simultaneously loved and hated how little we saw of Willem. It was frustrating and awful and I just wanted to KNOW what was going on with him. But on the other side of things, I loved how much this was Allyson’s story. And how it was about her relationship with her parents and her best friend and a day in Paris and, well, college changes those relationships.
My favourite part of the book was, surprisingly, not related to Willem at all. Well, only slightly. It’s a conversation between Allyson and her mother. And during the conversation you can see both women disocvering that they will have to create a new relationship. That one is no longer a child and one is no longer needed in the same way she has been. I love the ground that they find, and how once everything is settled between them they start creating something new.
For once I wanted to see that mother/daughter relationship work out more than I wanted to see the romance side of things work out.
Not that I didn’t want the romance side of things to work out. BUT OH MY GOD THAT ENDING! How am I supposed to wait for Just One Year? What if…oh god….what if Just One Year ends in EXACTLY THE SAME PLACE?!?!?! I think I would hunt down Gayle Forman. Really though. I mean I wouldn’t hurt her…I would just tie her to a chair until she wrote them a proper ending. Preferably with them together. Forever. In a LOVE way.
What if they don’t end up together? What if Willem is with some other girl who he’s in love with or whatever. I don’t know if I’ll be able to take that. I might have to burn the book.
OH! I forgot to talk about Wren! I loved Wren…and not just because she was Canadian. But because she was quirky and nice. And because she and Allyson inspired each other. I would really like Wren to have her own spin off book. And I think it should start with that kiss on the Eiffel Tower that we heard about. And I’m pretty sure everyone agrees with me.
That is, unless Just One Year ends poorly. Then Gayle and I are done.
I don’t think it will though. Right? I don’t think so.