Here is a story for the romantic in you that touches on so many of the themes that make coming-of-age novels great. There’s a whirlwind romance in a foreign country, an opportunity to be someone else just for a day, and then heartbreak. And not just any kind of heartbreak. The kind with no closure, no certainty of any kind. Willem disappears while Allyson sleeps after they share one day in Paris.
And that’s just the beginning of the book.
I picked it up because I loved Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, and there was a lot to draw me in with Just One Day. Frankly, I love find-yourself-while-traveling novels, of which there are many in teen fiction. But this is less about the romance and the travel in this book than one might think. It’s more about what comes after. How do you come back from an experience like that? For Allyson, the question is whether she can still be who she was before. The girl who lived out her mother’s plans and followed every rule. It’s time to ask herself what she wants.
Recommended for readers of teen fiction who want to read a bittersweet story of self discovery. As a bonus, we are promised to finally get Willem’s side of the story in a companion novel to be released next year, Just One Year.
Check out last month’s Book Pick: Goliath
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