Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre(s): Young Adult; Contemporary

This review contains spoilers. If you have not read this book, please do not read beyond this point!

Plot: [From Goodreads] When sheltered American good girl Allyson “LuLu” Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance ofTwelfth Night in England, there’s 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.


  • This book is not your typical YA love story. Instead of girl-meets-boy-true-love sappiness, this book is about the journey to self-rediscovery after having her heart broken by a boy she thought she loved.
  • When you’ve lived a pretty sheltered life, you just want to run away and experience things, and this book is a great example of what happens when you’re brave enough to do so– the good and the bad.
  • She went through all of the stages of grief, which is really how it is when you’re getting over a break-up.
  • Dee (I think that’s his name? It’s been a while.) is amazing. Seriously he’s so much fun.
  • She eventually got back to Willem, and learned the truth.
  • “Stain”.


  • Her “best friend” bullied her for how she felt.

Favorite Quotes: 

  • “Sometimes the best way to find out what you’re supposed to do is by doing the thing you’re not supposed to do.”
  • “I think everything is happening all the time, but if you don’t put yourself in the path of it, you miss it.”
  • “He showed me how to get lost, and then I showed myself how to get found.”
  • “No one is who they pretend to be.”

My Thoughts: This was such a great read. Gayle Forman does it again. I spent almost the entire book so pissed off at Willem, but once I’d learned the truth, I was on his side, hoping and praying that Allyson would find him and see him again. As Allyson went through the stages of grief, I couldn’t help but feel her emotions through her words. I was so sad, angry, confused, etc. And that is a sign of a great read and great character development. Also, this book made me really, really want to go to Europe.

I started the sequel and couldn’t get into it because I was still kind of mad at Willem, but I plan to give it another go sometime soon.

Gayle Forman

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