Series Review: Just One Day & Just One Year

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Title: Just One Day (Just One Day #1)
Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: August 20, 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Allyson Healey's life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life.

A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the accidents of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know.

12842134Title: Just One Year (Just One Day #2)
Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: October 10, 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Just One Day. Just One Year. Just One Read.

Before you find out how their story ends, remember how it began....

When he opens his eyes, Willem doesn’t know where in the world he is—Prague or Dubrovnik or back in Amsterdam. All he knows is that he is once again alone, and that he needs to find a girl named Lulu. They shared one magical day in Paris, and something about that day—that girl—makes Willem wonder if they aren’t fated to be together. He travels all over the world, from Mexico to India, hoping to reconnect with her. But as months go by and Lulu remains elusive, Willem starts to question if the hand of fate is as strong as he’d thought. . . .

The romantic, emotional companion to Just One Day, this is a story of the choices we make and the accidents that happen—and the happiness we can find when the two intersect.


I honestly think Gayle Forman’s Just One Day is pretty good, considering the high expectations I had for it. The story is a bit typical, but there’s something deeper about it that makes it different, as well. At the beginning of the novel, we meet Allyson Healey, a smart but shy girl who’s always had her life mapped out for her. During a trip to Europe, she crosses paths with charming actor Willem, and too soon, she finds herself daringly risking an adventure to Paris with this man she knows close to nothing about. What follows is a journey of love, heartbreak, and finding oneself amidst it all.

One of the reasons I love this book is because at some point, I found a bit of myself in the character of Allyson. She’s the kind of person who rarely, if ever, steps out of her comfort zone, and I face that same problem. When she met Willem, though, he kind of became the force she needed to push her to venture out, and being able to do that is something I find admirable. Willem is this Dutch actor who’s a bit enigmatic. He thinks so much but says so little. It was interesting to see these two people interact and fall in love despite not even knowing each other’s full names. It made me happy to see that they found the person they could fully confide in in one another. The characters were developed well, but I would’ve liked to see more of Willem (which makes me all the more excited to read the next book) and Dee, who is probably my favorite character out of them all. He was always there to support Allyson even when she tried to push him away, and I found it cool that he had all these different personalities to him. 

Now, while Just One Day is about Allyson’s story, its sequel Just One Year takes us through the story of Willem, which occurs in the same time frame as Allyson’s. We see Willem travel through different places meeting different people, all while he tries to figure out a way to get his life back together. I think I somewhat prefer this book to the first, because it centers a bit more on the topic of family.

Just as Allyson felt lost in life, we find here that Willem did too. Willem spent most of his life just bouncing around, never really caring about anyone or anything.  He didn’t communicate much with his mother, and he always had a sense of loneliness even when he was surrounded by people. He believed in what he called “accidents”, things that are just meant to be. Gradually, though, he realized that there was so much more to life than these “accidents”, that one can’t rely on fate for everything. I actually felt happy for him at this point, because knowing that, he could finally start doing something that would really make him happy, like reconnecting with his mom. I admire Kate, whom he met during his travelling, because she was able to break through the walls Willem built around himself. It was great that he was able to speak with Yael (his mom) even after all those years, and together, they were able to slowly start mending their relationship. It reminds me that life is hardly perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still find happiness in all that mess.

The one thing that irritated me about this book is that it ends at almost the exact same moment that Just One Day did. I mean, seriously?! I was looking forward to see what would happen after Allyson and Willem met again, but there was nothing?! That was a huge disappointment for me.

Nevertheless, I still recommend these two books to anyone looking for something a bit deep, something that will make you think about life. Hats off to Forman for two amazing novels!



Aimee (Aimee, Always) said...

I think I tried reading Just One Day but put it off for some other books, lol! I'm glad to see you liked Just One Year better, so maybe that'll give me more motivation to continue this series. (And I usually don't step out of my comfort zone, either, haha!)

Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

Dyane said...

Yeah, I kind of prefer male POVs over female ones, haha! Hope that when you do get around to reading it, you'll like it too! :)

Kenzie said...

I've really wanted to read this book and this is one of the better reviews. I also wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Liebster Award @

Dyane said...

I hope you enjoy the book! :) Thank you for nominating us, but sadly we've got a bit much on our plates right now so we won't be able to participate. Sorry! :(

Post a Comment

Hi there! Thank you for taking your time to read through our posts and comment. We really do appreciate every comment we receive, and we try our best to comment back! :D