Start by marking “Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)” as Want to Read: 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. 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. From the New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay Allyson Healey's life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her.
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Only this time, he rubs it against my birthmark, hard, as if trying to scrub it off. He licks his thumb again and reaches across the table for my wrist, where he missed the tiniest smudge of Nutella. This time he wipes it- me- clean. It always comes off. It is poignant. It is emotional.
When he finally kisses my mouth, everything goes oddly quiet, like the moment of silence between lightening and thunder. One Mississippi. Two Mississippi.
Three Mississippi. Four Mississippi.
Five Mississippi. We kiss again. The next kiss is the kind that breaks open the sky. It steals my breath and gives it back. So, you have read the above summary and you know that this is only the beginning of the story.
After an amazing day and night together, Allyson wakes up alone. Willem is gone without a goodbye.
The carefree Allyson, who had slipped into an alter ego that Willem named Lulu after silent film star Louise Brooks who Allyson reminds him of, is instantly thrown into a tailspin and all the former self doubt and questions rush back in. Allyson, lost and distraught, slinks back to America with her tail tucked between her legs.
And there is. Allyson returns home, enters college and reverts back to her old life.
At this point in the story the pace slows down as Allyson, in the grips of a deep depression, muddles through her days and nights at college. Allyson lost so much more that day in Paris. She lost an identity.
She lost the chance to become the person she inwardly longs to be. I have a full life. How can I be this empty? Because of one day?
Because of one guy? Was what she experienced over the course of that day one sided, or did Willem feel it too? The remainder of the story is Allyson readying herself both physically and mentally for her return to Paris.
And as Allyson finally begins to let people in, she rediscovers hope and trust. I was absolutely fist pumping and cheering Allyson on as she made that return trip to Paris.
It is powerful and it is authentic. It may be just an every day story, something ordinary that could happen to anyone, but it is made extraordinary by the talented story telling of Gayle Forman. I wish that I could have read a book like this when I was just starting out. Guys, trust me. This book is not to be missed. I read a touring ARC that I had to mail after one week.
The story follows Allyson and Willem. After watching Willem perform a live action Shakespeare re-enactment and meeting him on the train to London the next day, Allyson, who's from America, decides to abandon her mate and go to Paris with Willem.
Sounds like a perfect romance right? They fall in love then try to navigate a relationship across continents? Instead, after spending their one day together, Willem disappears, leaving Allyson alone as she then tries to deal with her life once again, complete with an overbearing mother, college and friends, and all the while thinking back to Willem in her search for closure.
The first hundred pages, set in Paris, I found beautiful and romantic.
I wish that I could experience this beautiful city and I am now determined to visit. The romance made you fall in love with the book and Allyson and how she was while with Willem. The journey we follow with Allyson however, in the second half of the novel, I found to be intense.
The feelings and emotions which are conveyed by Forman makes you almost feel like you are Allyson with the overbearing mother suffering from empty nest syndrome and forcing you into the medical profession.