Release Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Rating: YA 16+
Genre/s: Contemporary, Romance
I've been battling with some severe confusion and depression over the past few years... wanna know why? Because I couldn't see what all the fuss was about with Gayle Forman and her apparent ethereal, out of this world writing! As a book blogger, it is THE most annoying, exasperating feeling in the whole world, let me tell you, to not be able to gush over an author's amazingness with your other reviewer-friends. I only felt safe to get this confession out there after I read Just One Day, and now finally, FINALLY I too can rave about this impressive author's expertise. If you were like me before, and didn't really get her other books- perhaps you thought them slightly drab and cliché, do not fear. Just One Day is here!
This book is so much more than a girl-meets-boy story. What most appealed to me was not the romance actually, but Allyson- the MC's journey of self-discovery. Moreover, even though Allyson was looking for Willem, she was also searching for herself in a sense and along the way, trying to build up the courage to trust and love not only him, but herself. She started out fairly shy and timid; a devoted Shakespearean nerd, and she stayed that way. Too often are self-discovery novels about complete change and a new persona... when most of the time, the person you are has been standing right in front of you, waiting for your acceptance. Willem didn't change who Allyson was and her essence; he simply gave her the confidence and courage she needed to embrace it and flower.
A lot of reviews I've read of this book have mentioned how they didn't really love Willem's character, and I agree. It wasn't so much that he did something wrong... he just wasn't very likeable or swoon-worthy in my opinion. I'm not saying he should have been, it's just in this hottie-ridden genre, there are so many amazing, engaging male lead characters that Willem's slightly platonic character didn't really leave a mark. The romance, however, was one of the best I've read this past year! Not too cheesy; so real and authentic with undeniable sparks, I don't remember reading a Contemporary romance that got me this excited!
GAAAHHH the ending!!! *fights back tears* So close! Just One Day started out kind of slow, but kept picking up pace throughout the novel, and didn't slow down- not even once! Forman didn't end it at the climax- which would have been woeful enough, but rather at the beginning of the climax! The paaaaain.
Anyway... back to earth, Riya. So, I'm not gonna sugarcoat it or anything, but Just One Day is really one of the best YA Contemporary novels I've read all year. Seriously guys, pick it up- regardless of whether you're a Contemp. girl or a Dark Paranormal type of gal! Although, a hint of caution...... don't keep any sharp, lethal objects near your grabbing distance when nearing the end.
*nurses purple bruise on knee*
I warned you.
If you like this, try:
This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
Golden by Jessi Kirby