2 stars for a Gayle Forman book you say?
Sooo.......this was an expected disappointment.
But then I still secretly hoped that I would like this since while I'm not Forman's biggest fan, her novels are still tolerable.Just One Day
reminded me of the movie Before Sunrise
where two strangers go on this whirlwind tour in Paris and Vienna respectively for one day and fall in love. Before Sunrise
Now, while I wasn't gaga for the movie, I liked it a lot better than Just One Day
mostly due to the fact that the relationship between the male and female characters felt more organic and developed. That's not to say that the romance here is instalove, but I just didn't connect and fall head over heels for the pairing.
[EDIT 30/3] Now that I think about it, it's one of those disguised instaloves where the girl and the guy don't fall head over heels with each other immediately but periodically have these 'sparks' and the supposed deep emotional interactions and conversations (but really, they lead to very little development and leaves the reader unattached) and then finally! They declare their love or in this case make out and have sex. and because it's taken them so long to get to action, you don't really think it's instalove but really, it is.
Our girl Allison meets Willem at an underground Shakespeare performance in London. Willem gives Allison the nickname Lulu (because she reminded him of the movie star Louise Brookes) and she takes it, wanting to step out of her comfort zone and be bold and rebellious.
While she broods over the fact that she didn't get to visit Paris, Willem suggests that she can take the train from London to Paris in just two short hours. Since Allison doesn't know Paris and can't speak any french, Willem decides to show her around for just one day.
And then the romantic adventure begins, though really, I can't remember a single exciting thing that(that's supposed to make me fall in love with their love) they did in Paris even though I just read it a few hours ago.
I think that's the fundamental problem I had with this book. I couldn't connect with Allison or the feelings she had with Willem and why he changed her because later in the book, Allison makes choices that she never would have made had she not met him and I think I would've understood her decisions better had I known how/why Willem changed her.
As a character, I felt Allison's growth and when she stood up to her Mother, I was like hell to the yes! But again, the processes of her finding her identity could've been explored more, such as her Shakespeare classes and her friendship with Dee.
If you were counting on Willem to be this enigmatic/charismatic/funny/charming/cute foreign love interest like Étienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss
, well too bad cos you ain't getting any.
I'm still looking forward to Just One Year
though, seeing as I want to see how it would work out between Willem and Allison as one year passes by and if they're feelings are as strong as the day they had in Paris. Something I don't believe in