October 31, 2013

Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay

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, 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.

If you asked me at page 250 (a bit more than halfway through) if I was enjoying my read, I probably would have let said read collide with your head. That's how frustrated I was from page 10 to around page 300. 
By which I want to say: the last half was good, the ending was horrible from one viewpoint and okay from another one.
To confuse you even more, I won't begin at page 1, but with the end of the book, because that's the part I liked the most.
In this part, Forman let my heart squeal of joy about the idea of travelling Europe. She was responsible for my wanting to go to Paris and Amsterdam and Nice and all those wonderful places she described. I wanted to live Allyson's life and meet the people she met and just let loose and travel for a summer.
This last part was the inspiring one. It was also, in my opinion, the most well-written part. 
I could talk to you about the ending and judge it in some kind of way, but I won't. Just that much: it ends on a major cliffhanger that I expected but found completely inappropriate (oops. judgement.)
So, the third half of the book was really nice, everything before that was dreadful and the ending cheesy and uneventful.
Now, you might remember (or, probably not. It was one of my first reviews ever) how I fell in love with Forman's writing in If I Stay. That story was so heartbreaking and beautifully written that it made me cry. It is, to this day, the only book that ever made me cry.
Just One Day only made me very angry.
It had none of that atmosphere, that strong connection with the characters, that nerve racking hoping and wishing that went along with the drama of the book.
I know you're not supposed to compare books like that, but I just don't understand how one book can amaze me so much and the other is just plain boring???
A lot of my criticism probably roots from the main character, Allyson. She was a lot like me in that she had absolutely no idea who she was , she wasn't very risky and let adventures pass her by, because she was too afraid to try something new. I got that she needed to be that way for the story. Some of her other traits, though, just really annoyed me. She was so whiny all the time! She had no confidence at all! She made really stupid decisions and said very mean things.
Apart from Allyson, whom I couldn't really connect with, the story itself lacked reality, in my opinion. I get the message behind it, but I think to make such a statement about real life believable - the plot itself has to be a bit realistic, too.
I found that it really wasn't realistic, everything just seemed to go the way the author wanted it to go. Also, I found the different parts of the book very irritating. I might have gone into it with the wrong expectations, but what I wanted was "Just One Day" in Paris. Not a couple of days in Paris, a year of college, more Paris etc.
It just hopped all over the place and I didn't even know what the story behind everything was.
Finally, what really bothered me was the idea that you can fall in love with someone in one day (Hey there, insta-love!). And THEN (this is the real problem, hence the capital letters) think about nothing but that boy for a whole year!!!! I mean, what is wrong with that girl????

Okay, enough ranting. This just needed to be said.
So, I guess you got the point where I tried to say that I didn't like this book at all and was super disappointed with it, right?

Tell me what you thought about this book in the comments, yeah? And especially if you liked it, what it was that you liked about it! I'd really, honestly like to know :)

Also: if you want to read a positive review of this book, just head over to Goodreads, because everyone else loved it!

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