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Alluring Reads

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Just One Day

Just One Day - Gayle Forman You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.Just One Day was easily one of my most anticipated titles of 2013. I have become an admirer of Gayle Forman and her writing has never failed to make me have all the feels. In this latest novel she has once again amazed me with her beautiful and completely honest way of writing. Here we get the story of Allyson who has just graduated high school and received a trip to Europe (with her best friend) from her parents as a graduation present. She is less than amazed with her travels until the tail end of her trip when she meets a tall, handsome stranger who is a street performer of Shakespeare. As luck would have it they find themselves on the same train to London and strike up a conversation. As Alysson expresses her unhappiness about having not been able to see Paris her handsome stranger, Willem, prompts her to seize the moment and head there with him for just one day.The beginning of this novel felt magical to me. Being Alysson as she explores unknown territory and really lets herself go was beautiful. I loved how she threw caution to the wind and did something so out of her comfort zone. While it was definitely a reckless decision and one I would probably never make, it made for a very good story. There is a sudden shift in the tone of this novel when Alysson wakes up after their day in Paris to find Willem has vanished without so little as a goodbye. What follows is a year in her life as she starts college and deals with the heartbreak of her tryst with Willem. This section of the novel has a much darker tone, Alysson is depressed and reclusive in her sorrow. I think throughout the story we watch her grow so much that she really became a person to me. I felt her heartbreak and her frustration at not knowing what happened to Willem that morning. The questions that come along with a situation like that would tear anyone apart and I was so happy when she started to come back to life and search for answers. While this is definitely a tale of romance at its heart, it always has a strong sense of friendship and family. Alysson’s relationship with Melanie is that of life long best friends. They know each other through and through and support each other. As they started to drift apart I felt just as much sadness as I had for Alysson and Willem. I mean that happens, friends grow up and go their separate ways, but you always hope to remain best friends. But rest assured that Alysson finds new friendships as she progresses in the novel and when she meets Dee I immediately loved him. He was so funny and sassy and just everything one could want in a best friend. The sense of family here is a strong one. Alysson’s mother is so involved in her life and shows so much interest in it. While she is definitely overbearing it was wonderful to see such an involved parent in a YA novel. Just one day is a beautiful story that takes the reader on a wild rollercoaster of emotions. You will feel love and you will feel heartbreak, but above all you will feel hope. It has a good message about being happy in your own skin, with who you are and doing what you need to do to make yourself happy in the face of how it may make others feel. It’s full of fantastic characters and amazing writing. This is one I recommend for absolutely everybody.