Series Review: Just One Day Series by Gayle Forman

“Part of me knows one more day won’t do anything except postpone the heartbreak. But another part of me believes differently. 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.” 
― Gayle FormanJust One Day
Series Title: Just One Day
Books in Series: Just One Day and Just One Year
Author: Gayle Forman
Publication Date: 2013
Genres: YA Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Goodreads Rating: 4.05 Stars 
My Rating: Stars

A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know. The first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story is Just One Year.

The series is written so that in Just One Day Allyson shows her point of view for the day her and Willem met and the year following that fateful day. In Just One Year, we see Willem’s point of view for the year following the day they met up until they meet again.

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. 

“Sometimes the best way to find out what you’re supposed to do is by doing the thing you’re not supposed to do.” 

“And that’s when I understand that I have been stained. Whether I’m still in love with him, whether he was ever in love with me, and no matter who he’s in love with now, Willem changed my life. He showed me how to get lost, and then I showed myself how to get found.” 

“I think everything is happening all the time, but if you don’t put yourself in the path of it, you miss it.” 

“Traveling’s not something you’re good at. It’s something you do. Like breathing. You can’t work too much at it, or it feels like work. You have to surrender yourself to the chaos. To the accidents.” 

2 thoughts on “Series Review: Just One Day Series by Gayle Forman

  1. I am the complete opposite of you with Gayle Forman's books. I wasn't a huge fan of If I Stay – it was 3 star for me – but I ADORED Just One Day. I still haven't read Just One Year though.


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