I received this book from Penguin a few months back, and honestly forgot about it. But then I saw last week that there was going to be a readathon, so I finished up what I was reading and picked this up. I'm a big fan of Gayle's and was really excited to read it. Her If I Stay & Where She Went are probably two of the best contemporary young adult romance books out there. If you haven't read them, well get to it.
One thing that intrigued me about this book was the idea of falling in love with someone in a day. Love at first sight. Does it happen? Is it ridiculous to say you love someone when you really don't know them? Well Allyson finds out when she meets a Dutch actor in London who is performing with an underground Shakespeare group. He's a mystery and Allyson is smitten. What surprises Allyson and her friend, is that she's willing to travel to Paris with Willem on a whim.
As they make their way around Paris, Allyson (who Willem calls Lulu), she finds out that Willem is more complex than originally thought. He knows people, mostly women, that he's been intimate with, but is off on his own. He's an enigma. As each person break through the tough skin of walls, they both become entranced with each other. Until it culminates in making love in an abandoned warehouse. When Lulu wakes up the next morning, Willem is gone and her world crashes around her.
Once back stateside, and a freshman in college, Allyson struggles. She struggles to understand why Willem would leave her with no note. Struggles to appease her parents who try to rule her life with an iron fist. And most importantly she struggles in college. But depression hits, she loses her best friend to NYC and that life. Her friend at college may or may not be a fantastic actor who can be anyone he wants to be. A real-life chameleon.
However, Allyson can't let Willem out of her head. She gets a job to earn enough money to find out where Willem is and what happened that one day. As she gets closer to the truth, she realizes that everything may not be as it seems and perhaps, his leaving wasn't something that he wanted.
A beautiful story of want and longing and first love and hopes and dreams. Doing what is right for you and following your own path.
I literally inhaled this book because I really had no clue where it was going. But once I got there, it was marvelous.
There will be a companion piece to this one, Just One Year, which will tell us Willem's side of the story. And the way that Just One Day ended, I cannot wait! I've read that it's June sometime. Highly recommend for fans of Forman, Dessen, Eckeles and Echols.