My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Actual Rating 4.5 stars
Summary: 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.Characters:
Allison: Allison is a really relatable character. She's always done what's she's been told and done it without complaining. But, inside is a totally new girl waiting to come out, and Willem is the guy to break her free.
Willem: So, just as the book title says, the audience only gets to know Willem for one day. I don't think that I really got to know Willem too well. Right off the bat, Willem comes off as a total playboy. Yes, he did have his sweet moments and could be witty, but he still remains a stranger with a possibly drama-filled past? Well, he did still manage to get me interested in his back story with his charm. Needless to say, I'm excited for Just One Year. I think I'll come to love him, like I did with Adam from If I Stay. I thought he was a sweet guy in it, but I didn't really know him. Once he told his story in Where She Went, I absolutely fell in love with him!
Plot: The plot was not what I was expecting. I thought there would be more of a focus on the romance, but they literally only spent one day together. The book was really about her becoming herself and not pretending to be what others wanted her to be. The phrase on the back of the book sums this book up perfectly. It said something like "While looking for him, she found herself." I will admit that the part of the book right after the one day got a little boring. However, her travels of self-discovery were actually really inspiring for teenage girls. At least they were for me. I know I feel like I have to live up to expectations constantly, and this book made me want to go on my own trip throughout Europe to learn about myself. I really admire the courage and determination Allison has to decide to travel by herself.
Plot issues: Something that I can say from experience: Allison being able to pick up enough French to get around France is total bologna. With one summer intro class under her belt, she's able to speak a pretty good deal. When I went to France this summer, it felt like everything I had learned disappeared. I had known 3 times as much French as Allison, but she's able to find out what she needs.
Also, how she manages to track Willem down seems too unrealistic. Trying to track down someone whose last name you don't know seems a little bit harder than this makes it out to be.
Would I recommend this to a friend? Yes, this a really cute book. I love the aspects of European travel, but I truly enjoyed reading about Allison's transformation. I can't wait to read more about Willem in the next book. This one leaves on such a cliffhanger that really won't be answered until the final book of the series if the next is the same timeline as Just One Day.
We saw Gayle on tour!
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