Book Reviews: Just One Day Duet and a Little Something Extra

My coworker saw that I was reading Where She Went, she suggested some other Gayle Forman titles. I was a little hesitant because I didn’t just love the previous two books, but after reading a description, I went for it.

Just One Day

Alison has always been a good girl. She doesn’t stray far from the line. While in Stratford-upon-Avon on a graduation gift European tour, she starts to break her rules. When Willem offers to escort her to Paris for just one day before she goes home, she jumps at the chance. Their day is extraordinary, seeing more than the typical tourist sights, wandering, getting lost and even into a little bit of trouble. But the two never discuss much of their personal lives, not even their last names. In fact, Willem only knows Alison by the nickname he gave her: Lulu. So when the two are separated after their exhilarating day, the door seems closed. Alison heads off to college wondering about so much and feeling stuck, depressed, and unable to move forward with the life she had perfectly planned. With the help of William Shakespeare and some new friends, she re-discovers her sense of adventure and decides to make things happen, whether those things bring her closure or not. I enjoyed this book. There were moments when I was really frustrated with Alison and her attitude, but also moments when I remember how hard that first year of college felt and could relate with her. I also really enjoyed the travel in the story, and the adventure that comes with not having a plan. There is also a sense of mystery in this story that was lacking in the If I Stay series. 3.5/5

Just One Year

Again, Forman writes the second book from the male’s perspective. Willem was escaping something when he got swept away with Lulu. Just postponing one more day would not hurt. But apparently, it hurt quite a lot. Willem returns to Amsterdam, his home. But his home is dramatically altered and has been for two years. He finds his friends again, and tries to resume life. But he just can’t get Lulu out of his mind. A girl has never entranced him like that. He’s never had a problem with the ladies. Willem spends that year looking for his Lulu, no small feat without her real name. Not only is he dealing with the loss of Lulu, but also the shift in his family. When Willem exhausts everything he can think of, he starts to be productive again, with the help of William Shakespeare. Again, I thought this story was better than the first in the duet. Willem is dealing with some very real griefs and hurts. There is also a fair amount of travel in this book, going all the way to India and back. And again, resolution is just so nice, so I have to give more points to the end of the story than the beginning. 4/5

Just One Night

This novella concludes the series, with not just Alison and Willem’s perspectives, but all the other players as well, their friends and family who helped them cope and search for each other. And we also get to find out what they both think they will do now that they have found each other with only just one night left. 4/5

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