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