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Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary

Release Date: 1/8/2013

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About the Book: For her graduation, Allyson is spending part of the summer on a tour of Europe. The tour has been just OK, but nothing life changing. Until Allyson meets Willem at a performance of Twelfth Night. The two decide to be spontaneous and spend a day together in Paris. Over the next year, Allyson comes to term with her memorable day in Paris and how her life has changed because of her experiences.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I had heard so much about this book billed as a romance. And yes, there are certainly romantic elements, but this is more a story of Allyson coming of age and growing into adulthood. With all the talk about "new adult" as a genre, I could see Just One Day falling into that category.

Just One Day is a story of a girl after high school and trying to figure out where she fits. All her life Allyson has had things mapped out for her, followed her mother's plan, and been a good friend and making everyone happy. While she does meet Willem and has a romantic day in Paris, her experience is more about her living her own life for once. She's not following what others think she should do but instead doing what she wants to do. As Allyson heads to college and starts making her own decisions, she breaks out of the shell she's living in and discovers what path she would like to follow. She begins to grow as a person and becomes stronger and more confident in herself. It's a true coming into your own novel for the post high school/early college set.

I really appreciated Allyson's story because I could relate to her journey and I think anyone who has spent time on their own will find themselves in Allyson. She's in a place that many readers have faced-or will face-and her journey gives hope that we can grow and change.

The side characters in this novel are well done. I have to say I couldn't stand Allyson's mother. I found her very overbearing and I was glad to see Allyson break away from her parents-especially from her mother's plans for her. I also liked how there was a storyline involving Allyson's best friend, Mel, and how college was changing her as well. Allyson and Mel are in that strange, tricky place of growing up and finding yourself in different places and having to decide if their friendship will survive these changes or not.

As a romance, I wasn't wowed by this novel. I didn't think there wasn't a sweep me off my feet swooning love story.For me, this story was much more about Allyson growing up and coming into her own person, finding herself and discovering just who she wants to be. As a coming of age novel, I really liked it and I loved going along with Allyson on that journey to becoming an adult.

Audiobook Note: I listened to the book on audio and the narrator did a great job with Allyson's growth as she grows from passive to more confident and taking charge of her future.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from audiobook I purchased from

Book PairingsAmy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


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About Me

Hello! My name is Sarah and I am a Youth Services Manager who works with kids, tweens and teens. I love being asked about great books to read! I started my blog in 2008 as a way to keep track of what I've been reading and to use a reference tool for reader's advisory and it's grown into much more than I could have ever anticipated. In addition to book reviews, I also enjoy posting audiobook reviews, booklists and my adventures in being a librarian. 2017 Library Journal Mover and Shaker Committees: 2021 Newbery Committee 2018 Odyssey Committee 2016 Caldecott Award 2013 Michael L. Printz Committee- Fabulous Films Committee I have also served on the Cybils, Missouri State Library Association Readers Selection Lists, and as an Audies judge. Presentations :  I have offered various presentations at local, state and national libraries and conferences. Topics have included:  What's New in Children's & Teen Literature Engaging Teens in Reader's Advisory Gee