― Gayle Forman, Just One Day
Author: Gayle Forman
Publication Date: 2013
1. Disappointment. Ok, so I’ve heard nothing but AMAZING things about this series, and I really liked If I Stay (and I loved Where She Went) so I was hoping for the same kind of deal with this series. The Just One Day series is set up like the If I Stay series in that one book is told from the girl’s perspective, while the other is told from the guy’s. That’s really where the similarities end. (Although, in Just One Year, Willem is listing to Adam Wilde’s CD. I love that.)
2. Blame the characters. I really connected to Allyson. Just One Day is told from Allyson’s point of view, and that was awesome. Until it wasn’t. I don’t want to kill the plot for any of you who haven’t read it, but I will say that there are some missed communications and a lot of anger and heartbreak in the second half of the book. When it came time to read Just One Year, I hated Willem. So reading from his perspective was not fun. I just didn’t care about the agony he was going through. Until I did.
3. Needless to say, this series was a roller coaster. But not the fun kind. The kind you wish you weren’t on. I alternated between loving the characters (during the first part of Just One Day when their romance was blossoming and swoon-worthy) to hating Willem and the way Allyson was reacting to everything back to loving them both and hoping for them to get back together.
4. So why is it 3 stars? Honestly, there was a lot to like in this book, besides the frustrations I had with the plot and characters. The writing, of course, was excellent. The character development was also wonderful. It was inspiring to watch both characters fall to the depths of despair, then find themselves and rise above the sadness to really grow into the people they were meant to be. Plus, the millions of references to Shakespeare really pulled at me.
Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the plot lines, the writing and character growth really saved this book for me.