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.
I’m not going to be coy. I, adored this book.
I don’t think I’ve ever related more to a main character. People like to ask the question “What character do you feel like you relate to the most?”, and Allyson is me. Allyson is High School Freshman Me. The story follows the narrator Allyson, who’s always been this goody-goody, and she’s now on a overly-organized Summer trip in Europe that her parents got for her. Allyson had originally planned to watch Hamlet by the Royal Shakespeare Company, but she chances upon this “Road Shakespeare Production” thing of Twelfth Night. So she and her friend Melanie end up not watching Shakespeare on stage, but following the actors along the streets of London. IT IS REALLY REALLY COOL.
But what if Shakespeare– and Hamlet– were asking the wrong question? What if the real question is not whether to be, but how to be?
Then something happens to Allyson, something very out-of-the-ordinary, and she’s forced out of her dull routine life, into a whole new concept of herself. Just One Day is Allyson’s journey to live out of the cautious girl in her who’d never dare to cross the line set by plans and schedules. There is this transitional stage when she would feel uncomfortable in her own skin, unnerved by her unexpected behaviour, and at the same time, a RUSH OF ADRENALINE to be that YOLO girl who’d live with accidents. It was foreign, it was scary, and it was so relatable for me. Aww Allyson!! *HUGS*
“We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day.”
Just One Day is a life-changer. When I finished the book, I was in this haze and daze, a blur between fantasy and reality. But this isn’t fantasy. We are all Allysons– existing but not truly living, one huge empty life with a lot of decisions made on the basis of others’ expectations rather than our own wishes. I wish I had the power to force every person in the world to read this. It made me laugh, it made me cry ♥ My best friend, Sel, read this sitting in Kinokuniya Bookstore from 5-9pm without stop and cried so badly. YEAH. IT’S THAT KIND OF BOOK.
Oh how I love all the characters. I feel like I know each and every one of them, and I know so many in my life that’s like each and every one of them, so I was just replacing this book with my life. Even the minor characters are fab — Dee, Giant etc., they have the ability to make my emotions so vivid and alive. As for the love story, the Paris, the Willem… that’s something you’ll want to experience first-hand by yourself! All I can say is that the guy in question is adorable, hot, mysterious, wearing-a-mask-kind of love interest DONE RIGHT. The writing, the Shakespeare, the cultures, the French (!!!), everything, built Just One Day into a solid, introspective pile of goodness.
One word: Perfection!! Just One Day was my highly anticipated read of 2013, it surpassed all the expectations and more. I would highly recommend you go read it. You will want this. At least you won’t suffer the tortuous wait for the next book AHH CLIFFHANGER UEHFQ JUE AHLSFIW UEB POBAHWR NOOOOOOO
Have you read this? Did you have ALL THE FEELS like I did? :D