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Just One Day Paperback – August 20, 2013

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Just One Day + Just One Year + Where She Went
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition (August 20, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142422959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142422953
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Call it an accident, serendipity, or a miracle, a single event comes to define a year in Allyson Healey’s life. Straitlaced Allyson finds her postgraduation trip to Europe (“Teen Tours!”) underwhelming until she makes the uncharacteristic decision to follow Willem, an actor in a “Guerilla Will” performance of Twelfth Night, to Paris for a single day. Before you start thinking this is a teen version of Before Sunrise (and the first third kind of is), Willem seemingly up and disappears after a one-night stand. What follows is a tumultuous freshman year for Allyson, filled with what-ifs, severe depression, and, finally, strength as she decides to seek the truth of what happened that day. Although some readers may feel frustrated with Allyson’s descent into the depths of despair after a 24-hour affair, others—the romantics—will get swept up in the story, which has it all: true love, Paris, Shakespeare, and, yes, the notion that “anything can happen in just one day.” The believers won’t want the story to end; luckily, Just One Year, told from Willem’s point of view, is on the horizon. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Forman’s If I Stay (2009) and Where She Went (2011) were New York Times best-sellers. This is lighter fare from the popular author, and teens will be waiting for it. Grades 9-12. --Ann Kelley --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


“[Forman’s] very good on travel’s expansive effects, the fluidity of teenage identity and the yearning for reinvention, how fleeting encounters can transform us.”
(New York Times Book Review)

* “Offering mystery, drama, and an evocative portrait of unrequited love, this open-ended novel will leave fans eagerly anticipating the companion story.”
(Publishers Weekly, starred review)

"Reading like a teen version of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, this tale of romance and mystery engages readers and will cause them to examine their definitions of love and self-identity."
(SLJ, starred review)

"As [Allyson] blossoms a. . . the novel becomes absorbing, and readers will find themselves rooting for Allyson’s more autonomous and interesting self."
(Kirkus Reviews)

"Romantics will get swept up in the story, which has it all: true love, Paris, Shakespeare, and yes, hte notion that 'anything can happen in just one day.'"

More About the Author

Gayle Forman is an award-winning author and journalist whose articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Seventeen, Cosmopolitan and Elle in the US. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#46 Overall (See top 100 authors)

Customer Reviews

Gayle's writing is beautiful.
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids Book Reviews
Just One Day made me smile, laugh, sigh, swoon, and ache in my heart for Allyson.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
What a wonderful story about love, adventure and self discovery.
Joy Engel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I received this book from the Early Reviewers Librarything program in exchange for an honest review.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman is the first book that I've read by this author. Since I've heard a lot of wonderful things about Forman, I knew this was one I wanted to read. This book is about a girl, Allyson (aka Lulu for one day), who is on an abroad program prior to starting college. She meets a boy (a Shakespearean actor of all things) named Willem, who stands for everything she wants to have-- freedom. She has been a coddled only child for her whole life, and primped to become a medical doctor. He spends a glorious day with her in Paris, and then the next morning, vanishes. She ends up in college, in massive depression before she decides to pick up her life and start anew.

I wish that everything I told you happened in 30 pages or less. I'm not even giving you spoilers because everything I've said is in the synopsis on the back. But unfortunately for the reader, this takes up a dragging 3/4 of the book. It's such a stereotypical story-- American girl meets sexy foreign actor, gets dumped, and then is a complete mess, over a guy that she met for ONE DAY. I mean I know the author is trying to branch out and make this out to be how she is finding herself, but it's all geared towards this guy she doesn't even know.

Then something changes. I can even tell you exactly where it does-- page 234. Allyson stops feeling sorry for herself (which she does for SO MANY PAGES), and gets her life back together. The rest of the book is pretty darn good. And it makes me sad that it could have been so much more. This book suffers from "build up" syndrome. The first 200+ pages should have been compressed, and the rest would be the meat of the story.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Victoria G. on February 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
There’s too much stupid in this book for me to like it. And the funny thing is, it’s aware of all its stupid. It points its stupid out. And I’m like, does that make all the stupid okay? No. No it doesn’t. You could argue that knowing something’s incredibly stupid is far worse because that means you had the power to stop the stupid, and you didn’t. Girls like Allyson are the reason why most fresh-faced, doe-eyed college kids all eager to study abroad get the don’t-get-pregnant/don’t-get-engaged/don’t-run-away speech from study abroad organizers. They’re all sitting there, weathering the ridiculousness of that speech, thinking, "what wacko goes and gets pregnant/engaged/runs away in a breezy three month period? Hahahahaha"

What’s even worse about it is the author paints our main idiot here, Allyson, like a sensible good girl. I think if you want to write a book about stupid, go all out. Make the main character as effed up as possible. Give us a downward spiral and then maybe redeem her in the end. Because then the shenanigans would make sense. I mean, really, am I supposed to applaud her for not going out drinking with her friends, and then cheer her on when she takes up with a complete stranger and surrenders all of her belongings to more strangers so she can run around doing nothing particularly noteworthy in a country she doesn’t speak a lick of the language in? Really Allyson? You couldn’t just go to a damn pub with your friends? I feel like I read a lot of books about women who are “good” that are tired of being “good” and just want to be a more exciting version of themselves. And okay, I get that. Who doesn’t. But it becomes problematic when “good” is translated to “uptight” and adventurous becomes stupid. AND SOMEHOW ADVENTUROUS IS STILL PREFERRED.
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40 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Miss Bonnie on January 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
'We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day.'

Admittedly, I do believe I started this when I was in the completely wrong sort of mood. I totally killed this story for myself in the beginning and could not get into it. I was mentally flashing to scenes from 'Taken' and kept waiting for her to start using her brain and NOT get on the train with the complete stranger BY HERSELF to PARIS where she's never been before, barely has any money, and can't speak the language. I can understand getting caught up in the moment and feeling a connection to someone so much that you just lose yourself in the moment... but this was just downright reckless and so potentially dangerous that it sucked all enjoyment out of it for me.

Allyson was such a strange and unrealistic narrator. Always the smart girl, the girl who played it safe, and then she meets Willem and he unlocks a side of her that she herself didn't know existed. Allyson had been on a tour of Europe for several weeks but had never got to see Paris, so he asks for her to go with him there. And this is where I get even MORE disturbed. They have one single day in Paris and it ended up being the most random, jumbled and seemingly unenjoyable day. So it wasn't the type of day spent in Paris like you see in the movies but they didn't even DO anything! So much beauty surrounded them and for part of it they ended up taking a nap in the park? Are you kidding me? If I had a single day in Paris and I needed to nap I'd be pounding the red bulls and trying to get the most I could out of that day.

'We kiss again. This next kiss is the kind that breaks open the sky. It steals my breath and gives it back.
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