Just One Book….It takes just one book to go from loving to disliking an author. When I read ‘If I Stay’ I wasn’t moved a lot but I liked what I read and was hopeful of liking Gayle Forman’s other books. And ‘Where She Went’ proved me right as that book was just fantabulous. I bought (rather rented) ‘Just One Day’ because I like Forman’s writing and despite being sceptical of the plot, I still was hopeful of liking it. But sadly, the book broke my heart. I am saying so because Just One Day was either very clichéd or very depressing. Nothing more, nothing less and nothing in between. A girl spontaneously decides to go on a trip with a complete stranger hoping to have some fun and is left heartbroken after the guy abandons her without a word. When I read the book blurb I had my reservations about it as I can’t even imagine going to the local market with a stranger let alone a trip to Paris. But since it was Forman I thought maybe there is more to it than what it seems. I may be wrong. There must be more to it. But whatever that ‘more’ is about, it is in the second book and not in this one. I don’t see myself reading the second book as I did not like this book a bit. Here are my reasons for disliking this book so strongly.
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Publisher: Penguin Group
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.
(Description as on Goodreads.com)
I LIKE Just One Day Because,
…I like Forman’s writing. It’s easy breezy yet reasonably descriptive. I liked the pacing and the characters. I may not support what Allyson and Willem do in the book but I like them as individuals. Allyson is sweet and naïve and Willem is a doorway to a whimsical world that Allyson might step into only once in this lifetime. Willem is a rebellious free-bird who wants every single day of his life to be different from the last. I do not really root for the couple but surely would have liked them under different circumstances.
I Do NOT Like Just One Day Because,
…I hate the plot. I read somewhere that the book is about ‘self-realisation’ but I did not see much of that happening in the book. Instead, I could only find dejection, insecurity and heartbreak in abundance. These feeling may be stepping stones to self-realisation but it was not apparent in Allyson’s case. I believe there is more to the story as it is a part of a duology and matters will become clear in the second book. But I don’t think I want to read the second book because the first was enough to test my patience.
…I am totally against this impromptu ‘trip’ with a complete ‘stranger’ in a ‘foreign’ land. You see those three words (trip, stranger, foreign) in one sentence give me jitters. Parents teach even their toddlers to never befriend a stranger for tonnes of reasons. And here we have a teenage girl on a foreign trip agreeing to tour another foreign place with a COMPLETE STRANGER just because he is extremely attractive and is probably the first guy to have shown interest in her instead of her super-hot friend. C’mon girl, how stupid can you be? You may have had a very protected upbringing and may not be aware of the evils prevailing in our society but that is no reason to act so stupidly. I accept the lamest book tropes and enjoy reading silliest of romantic lines but I detest something this irresponsible as I feel some innocent young girl reading this book might be tempted to try it out.
Final View: I like Gayle Forman’s writing but I do not like the story of this book. Even the hard-core romantic in me does not find this tale remotely exciting.