Friday, March 15, 2013

Believing in Accidents

"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 Forman, Just One Day


Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile, 368 pages
Publication Date: January 8th, 2013
Source: Borrowed then bought :)

Goodreads Description

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

My Thoughts

Um...this usually isn't normal for me...to be at a loss for words...but I'm a little apprehensive to even begin writing down my thoughts in fear I will 1. Start crying 2. Keep typing and never stop or 3. Become so engrossed in this book again that I will start from the beginning and read it all over again. Seriously. You guys, this book...THIS BOOK. WOW. I just...I can't. I don't know where to even start talking about the epicness that is this book. So I had a feeling it was going to be good, great even. I loved If I Stay and Where She Went ever so much and was hearing great thing about Gayle Forman's newest novel but oh my gosh, I was not prepared for this.

Ok, I'm a firm believer in book karma...or accidents if you will :). I feel that certain books will find you at certain times and have an impact on your life that you never thought they could. The Birthmarked series is one example for me. The Fault in Our Stars another. This book found me when I needed it. I will talk quickly about myself then move on to the words. So I went to Europe last year, want nothing more than to go back. Unlike Allyson, I had the Trip of a Lifetime. So I'm in the middle of semi figuring out how to go back because, LIKE Allyson I would have to forge on ahead with this one travelling solo. Scary thought, eh? So as I'm still contemplating if I should even try to solidify going...here comes Just One Day. It was like the Almighty was speaking through this book, I swear. I get it. I was so nervous about going the first time that I HAD to adopt a mantra like Allyson did. You can't wait for life to happen to you, you have to go out and grab it. The words of this book spoke to me helped make my decision. Thank you, Gayle Forman for writing such amazing and beautiful words to help me in my real life.

Onto the words. Before the book even begins we are met with one of my favorite Shakespeare lines of all time. 'All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts...' This is from As You Like It. This is the most perfect quote to open up this novel with. And so true in all respects to life. We all put on different hats depending on the situation. We all are different and tweaked variations of ourselves and if you deny yourself this truth you are lying to yourself. I just love the honesty of admitting that we are so many different people encompassed in one single body. Brilliant.

So Allyson and Willem meet by chance...or accident...and as the description will tell you they share just one day in Paris. She connects with him in a way she never thought possible and tells him things she would have never dared tell anyone else. She feels herself falling for him and she thinks he is feeling the same way. Thus the question is asked: Can you fall in love in just one day? Can you be in love in just one day? There is a difference, you know. Allyson ends up waking up on Day 2 and Willem is gone. Confused and hurt she eventually makes it back home and onto college. At college she is miserable. She is lost and confused and just out of sorts. I felt so. much. pain for her. I could just feel my heart constricting with your loneliness and longing. After making some New Year's Resolutions...and I cannot tell you anymore without giving away plot points.

So I'll try my best to talk about the periphery. Going into this book I knew solely the details of the description of the book. After she wakes up I had NO idea where this book would take me. It is so amazing to be reading a book you have no idea where things will go. I feel like you always have some sort of clue as to what could or might happen...not here. I really was clueless as to where the story would lead us. Loved this. And it leads us to so many amazing places. What I loved most about the plot was at face value this book looks like it will be only about Allyson and Willem and their relationship. Pump the breaks, girlfriend, there is SO much more. I love when you think books are going to be one thing and they just smack you in the face with surprise amazingness. 

Without giving anything away Allyson makes two friends who I LOVE. The first is at college and this character is AMAZING! So Shakespearean in his identities but so in tune with who he is. I just adore this character. He brought so much understanding to the book and helped the reader see how much of a person lies beyond the surface. There is one particular scene that involves said character's mother that had me bawling. So many feelings. SPEAKING of crying, another friend Allyson meets somewhere else (sorry, best I could do) and tells her story of how she got to where she was, again, had me in absolute tears. Legit crying again as I type this thinking about it. Ugh, Gayle you make me an emotional mess but I absolutely love you for it. Anways. This character just makes you so appreciative of things. I don't know how else to explain it. Her characterization is just beautiful and I wish we got to know more of her...maybe in the next book!?

And I can't short Allyson. Her transformation is one of my favorites in literature. She is such a juxtaposition of things I love her! Timid but strong. Shy but courageous. She grows so much and I found myself remembering the same thoughts she had before traveling and trying to embark on her own journey. I cannot wait to see where the rest of her journey takes her in Just One Year...is it October yet?

Finally, the writing. Again, I was writing down page numbers and quotes because I would really like to wallpaper my room with the writings of Gayle Forman. Her and Tahereh Mafi are two of the most beautiful writers with the most fantastic prose I have EVER come across. So anyways. This book had me both laughing and crying, cliche I know but it is true. The scene with the bartender trying to say Rochester and the initial spelling had me legit cackling out loud. So funny! And more serious than that, the writing makes you feel. You feel Allyson's emotions. Her pain. Her joy. Her love. Her fear. Her everything. I really cannot say anything remotely intelligent to describe just how amazing the writing of this book is. Forman's writing makes you feel things. It makes you feel alive. It makes you feel present. I just love love love it. 

Alright I think I've rambled enough and now I'm gonna start a countdown until Just One Year and add another 10 quotes below that were my favorites :) If you haven't read this book...please go do so. You won't regret it. 

Favorite Quotes

"This time, it clicks. It's like  my ear attunes to the weird language and I'm sucked fully into the story, the same way I am when I watch a movie, so that I feel it. When Orsino pines for the cool Olivia, I feel that pang in my gut from all the times I've crushed on guys I was invisible to. And when Viola mourns her brother, I feel her loneliness."

“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.”

“...being Lulu, it made me realize that all my life I've been living in a small, square room, with no windows and no doors. And I was fine. I was happy, even. I thought. Then someone came along and showed me there was a door in the room. One that I'd never even seen before. Then he opened it for me. Held my hand as I walked through it. And for one perfect day, I was on the other side. I was somewhere else. Someone else. And then he was gone, and I was thrown back into my little room. And now, no matter what I do, I can't seem to find that door.” 

"In a field of carefully cultivated weirdness, he's a wildflower, or maybe a weed."

"And at this point, I really have no right to be surprised by people's capacity for kindness and generosity, but still, I am. I'm floored every time.” 

“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.” 


“C'est courageux d'aller dans l'inconnu': It is courageous to go into territory unknown.” 


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


“Or maybe it's not a miracle. Maybe this is just life. When you open yourself up to it. When you put yourself in the path of it. When you say yes.” 


6 comments:

  1. Gayle Foreman is amazing, she is such a wonderful writer, she can take a story that should be just a typical YA story and turn it into so much more. This really is about way more than just Allyson and Willem's relationship.

    "Ok, I'm a firm believer in book karma...or accidents if you will :). I feel that certain books will find you at certain times and have an impact on your life that you never thought they could." I love this!! I would definitely take that is a sign to go back to Europe on your own. That would be an amazing experience, and if Allyson can do it so can you.

    This is an all around wonderful review. Everything is spot on.

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  2. You know, normally I probably wouldn't have read this entire review (It's long and I've read the book aka I'M LAZY), but I love the way you described it. You captured so many aspects about how beautiful this book is. This might sound strange, but you're kind of making me love it even more than I originally did? I still have some major problems with Willem, but hopefully those will be resolved in Just One Year.

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  3. Your review and all those quotes reminded me that even though I didn't fall in love with this story like I did with Forman's other books, her writing is just fantastic. Great review!

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  4. I agree with "THIS BOOK. WOW." That's all I thought both times I read this haha. I love what you wrote about book karma (and smiled when you mentioned the accidents) because it was sort of the same for me. I can relate to Allyson so well, and definitely because she has a "dark moment" in the book. (Basically the start of college.) That's kind of where I'm at right now, so it meant a lot to me to read her experience and progress. I also love love love Dee! That thing he said about trying on different identities? Perfect! And I also had no idea what to expect from this story. I'd heard it wasn't as much about the romance as I thought it would be, but still I was Not. Prepared. Wonderful review <3

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  5. That was a GORGEOUS review! I loved this book so, so much and reading your review made me want to read it all over again. I'm with you - I loved Allyson's stages of change and transformation. I totally pined over an "exboyfriend" (we dated for two weeks)for way longer than any person probably should have to I TOTALLY get how yes, Just One Day really can make a difference in your emotions and feelings so strongly!

    Again, great review. Looking forward to reading many more! :)

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  6. I so need to read this book, it's staring me down all accusingly from my shelf as we speak... I LOVED and got my heart ripped to shreds by both If I Stay and Where She Went! It sounds like Just One Day is just the kind of book I'll need a free day for to just get lost in :)
    Oh, and when you come to Holland we can try and find a Willem for you ;)

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