Sunday, December 23, 2012

Review of ARC: Just One Day by Gayle Forman


Just One Day (Just One Day, #1) Goodreads Book Description: 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.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!


My Review:
I'll just say this first. If a book description has to remind the reader that DON'T GIVE UP YET! There is ANOTHER book coming! That's probably a sign that either this should be a stand alone, OR it needs to be reworked. If one of these two had happened, I think this would have been a better book.

My Rating of 3 out of 5 stars is generous because the last 100 pages were much better than the first 200.

I received this book from the Early Reviewers Librarything program in exchange for an honest review.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman is the first book that I've read by this author. Since I've heard a lot of wonderful things about Forman, I knew this was one I wanted to read. This book is about a girl, Allyson (aka Lulu for one day), who is on an abroad program prior to starting college. She meets a boy (a Shakespearean actor of all things) named Willem, who stands for everything she wants to have-- freedom. She has been a coddled only child for her whole life, and primped to become a medical doctor. He spends a glorious day with her in Paris, and then the next morning, vanishes. She ends up in college, in massive depression before she decides to pick up her life and start anew.

I wish that everything I told you happened in 30 pages or less. I'm not even giving you spoilers because everything I've said is in the synopsis on the back. But unfortunately for the reader, this takes up a dragging 3/4 of the book. It's such a stereotypical story-- American girl meets sexy foreign actor, gets dumped, and then is a complete mess, over a guy that she met for ONE DAY. I mean I know the author is trying to branch out and make this out to be how Allyson is finding herself, but it's all geared towards some guy she doesn't even know.

Then something changes. I can even tell you exactly where it does-- page 234. Allyson stops feeling sorry for herself (which she does for SO MANY PAGES), and gets her life back together. The rest of the book is pretty darn good. And it makes me sad that it could have been so much more. This book suffers from "build up" syndrome. The first 200+ pages should have been compressed, and the rest would be the meat of the story. As it is, we are left with a cliffhanger, and the promise that a SECOND book, about Willem is coming. Are you freakin' kidding me?!

Overall, I found this book to be trite and boring that really only came to life in the last 100 pages. It's too bad. This couplet of books should have been one stand alone book.

People loved her other books. But after this one, I'm not sure when I'll read her previous works.

Current Giveaways
1. Interview and Giveaway of dystopian YA novel, There Comes A Prophet by David Litwack, US/Canada giveaway of paperback of his book
There Comes a Prophet giveaway

2. Interview with Jennifer Lane, author of Streamline, US giveaway of signed paperback + bookmark and International giveaway of e-copy, 12/16
Streamline Giveaway

3.  Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop Featuring Keary Taylor, author of Eden and What I Didn't Say! (US only), 12/21-27
Keary Taylor Giveaway

8 comments:

  1. I had such similar feelings as you about this book. She knew him for ONE DAY (and not even quite that long!) but once she starts doing stuff, the book was so much better. I didn't really love If I Stay either so I couldn't recommend it to you.

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    1. Gotcha. It's going to the bottom of my list.

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  2. I've heard some really iffy things about this one so far and I didn't even finish If I Stay so I think I may have to stay clear of this one. Great review though :)
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

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  3. I loved her first book. The sequel to that one I haven't read. I'm not sure if I will..well maybe if there's a discount. I'm happy with it to be a stand-alone.
    I'm not 100% sure I will read this book. It sounds okay.

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    1. Well, let me know what you think if you decide to read it!

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  4. Too bad this didn't impress you all that much! I was really intrigued by the plot and I'm still very excited to check it out. I've read both If I Stay and Where She Went by this author, and though If I Stay was alright, I really loved Where She Went. Thanks for the honest review!

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    1. hmmm, maybe I'll have to check out Where She Went.

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