Biblio 411: Just One Year (Just One Day, #2)

Author: Gayle FormanReleased: August 20, 2013
Published by: Speak
Series: Just One Day #2
Read: October 2013
Reread: April 2016
The Hook: Wilem’s perspective!

Biblio 411: Just One Day

Oh, if I wasn’t in love with this series already, there would have been hearts in my eyes at the end of this one.

After reading what Allyson went through how can you not see what it was like for Willem?

“Did he really bail on Allyson?” (I didn’t think so, but then what caused him to disappear?!)

“Did he feel the way Allyson felt?”

“What did he do when Allyson arrived at the door?”

Summary: Willem’s story picks up the next morning of his and Lulu’s one day in Paris. And he wakes up in the hospital with a concussion. It’s the afternoon, he knows there’s something important he has to do but can’t remember what, until he does, and then he panics because he realizes he’s not with Lulu. He doesn’t want to miss her, he scrambles to get out of the hospital, and when he desperately runs back to the loft they shared she’s gone. Of course she’s gone. But he doesn’t give up hope just yet. Her stuff is back at Celine’s, maybe he can find something that could tell him about Lulu, like her real name for starters. She didn’t come back to get her stuff, there’s hope, except when he goes through her stuff nothing reveals who she is or where she’s from. And that’s when it kicks in. The feeling of loss. The sadness. The missed opportunity.

And then we see Willem’s journey. We see just how much that one day with Lulu made a difference in his life. He tries to forget her at first. He hooks up with an old girlfriend which doesn’t work for him. When his friends see how different Willem seems they finally get him to tell them what’s wrong and they all pitch in to help him find his Lulu. First with Jacques and then with Cancun. We see his relationship with his mom, his friends, with himself. And then we see him accepting that it maybe wasn’t meant to be.


Well, you already know how much I love this duology. I mean, there’s something about this story that resonated with me. I’m thinking it’s all the talk about destiny and fate and love and hope . . . and all that jazz. The way Forman continues Allyson and Willem’s story in this next installment is done so well. To see what that day meant to him and how their souls seem to fit with each other. Willem’s journey isn’t as smooth as Allyson’s (okay, maybe smooth isn’t the right word because I don’t think her journey was smooth either. Straight-forward maybe? Yeah, that sounds better), as straight-forward as Allyson’s was. I mean, remember, he’s been on the road for a while now, been on his own for a while now. He has his own challenges to face and seeing how Lulu influences his decisions, even when he doesn’t realize it, it’s exciting to read.

And then you have all the good quotes like the ones I previewed last week:

It’s a really good story.

As far as characters go, I love Willem, of course. I love seeing how he evolves after spending that day with Lulu. And I love Broodje! I swear, if I could ever have a best friend I want them to be like Broodje. He’s there for Willem through just about everything. He cares about his friend and wants to help him in anyway he can. Other characters I love seeing is Willem’s mom, Yael, and her relationship with her son.

It’s this:

Still, when she takes her hand away, I wish she hadn’t. And when she starts packing up with promises of things we will do when she has a day off, I’m wishing I had told her about the skinheads, about Paris, about Lulu. Except even if I’d tried, I wouldn’t have known how. My mother and I, we both speak Dutch and english. But we never could speak the same language.

To this:

“I wondered if he thought I should ask you to come back here.” She pauses. “To live with me.”

“You want me to come back to India?”

“If you want to. You might act here. It seemed to go well for you. And we could find a bigger flat. Something big enough for both of us. But Daniel thought I should hold off. He thought you seemed to have found something.”

“I haven’t found anything. And you might’ve asked me?” It comes out so bitter.

She must hear it, too. But her voice stays soft. “I am asking you, Willem.”

And I realize she is. After all this time. Tears well up in my eyes. I’m grateful, in that small moment for the thousands of kilometers that separate us.

“How soon could I come?” I ask.

There’s a pause. Then she gives the answer I need: “As soon as you want.”

And the story tracks back to Shakespeare, which I thought was very clever. Willem’s story doesn’t really start with Shakespeare, but there are mentions of it here and there since that was the connection between Lulu and Willem, but that’s about it really, until you get to just before the One Day segment of the book.

The connections in Willem’s story and Allyson’s story is done so well. You see the “almost” moments throughout the story (you’ll see what I mean). And I really love the way the book needs. I really do. It seemed the perfect ending for this story.

So, if you can’t already tell, I’d recommend this book to anyone looking to find a story about an epic romance, an adventure, and the maybe-it’s-fate-maybe-not type of questions and answers.


Table Talk: Two Stories in One Season

Okay, so do you remember that blog post I wrote around two weeks ago. This one here >> Table Talk: A Beauty, A Year, and a Day Zero. It seriously was a fangirl week for me. So much good news in the entertainment industry. So much.

Well, the day after I wrote that post, I kid you not–the next day!, Kresley Cole announced that not only would Day Zero, an Arcana Chronicles novella, would be released on August 1st, but this fandom would be receiving the next installment in the series only fifteen days later! So not a month or two after the novella is released and hopefully can tie us over until fall, but fifteen days! I cannot tell you just how anxious I am.

See here (posted to her FB page):

You would not believe the cliffhanger book three, Dead of Winter, left us with! I mean, seriously. It was . . . I must have gone disbelief, anger, shock, disbelief again, a little bit of joy, and then back to anger. Disbelief because the book ended so abruptly. Anger that the book ended so abruptly. Shock because the ending hinted at a new Arcana getting some more screen time. Disbelief, again, that the story ended so abruptly. A little bit of joy because my favorite character came to the rescue. And back at anger because the book ended so abruptly and I would have to wait a whole year to find out


And so I am super excited that we don’t have to wait long. I am nervous that this one will end on another whopper of a cliffhanger, but I will press on to the end because this series is that good.

So, let the countdown begin!

Biblio 411: Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)


Author: Gayle Forman
Released: August 20, 2013
Published by: Speak
Read: October 2013
Reread: April 2016
The Hook: The dust jacket. Not the cover, but the small little . . . hook on the inside of the cover. You know what I’m talking about.

That little hook read:

When sheltered American good girl Allyson first encounters laid-back Dutch actor Willem at an underground performance of Twelfth Night, there’s an undeniable spark. So when fate brings them together a second time, Allyson takes an uncharacteristic leap, changes course, and follows Willem to Paris. After just one day together, the spark bursts into a flame . . . until Allyson wakes up after a whirlwind day shocked to discover that Willem is gone.

A life upended in one day turns into a year of self-discovery as Allyson embarks on a journey to break free from a lifetime of limits in order to find her true passions, and maybe even a true love.

Okay, so after typing that out, it could be the pull of Shakespeare, because I truly love anything Shakespeare. But I think it was everything about that hook.

“How sheltered is this Allyson?”

“What say this about true love?”

“Is it really love?”

“Why a second meeting? Why not the first?”

Seriously, I have to see how Shakespeare plays into all this.


So, I’m not sure if a summary is needed with that hook, but . . .  yeah, let me go ahead anyway. Allyson is on one of those summer school programs where they take you on a 1-2 week trip to Europe. Allyson’s best friend is kind of the wild side and is always nagging her about her “good girl” status. Allyson just likes to follow the rules. That all changes when she’s intrigued by a flyer saying “Guerrilla Will” and a small flirtation by this boy who seems to pick up on Allyson’s thoughts about Shakespeare and starving artists and such. She ditches Hamlet by the Royal Shakespeare Company to catch Twelfth Night outdoors at the Canal Basin, dragging her best friend with her.

The play ends. The magic dissipates. Allyson and best friend go back to their hotel to pack for their trip back home.

Fate intervenes. On the train back to London, she ends up seeing that boy again. They strike up a conversation about hagelslag. She learns his name is Willem, he ends up calling her Lulu, and when the train stops in London they are about to part ways, again, when Allyson mentions her disappointment in missing Paris. Willem encourages her to just go. Of course, Allyson can’t possibly imagine breaking the rules, the good girl who likes to follow the rules. But it’s Paris. And she missed it. And it’s fate. They weren’t suppose to have this second meeting. And yet they did. And with Willem volunteering to show her Paris, Allyson decides to break the rules again. They take the next train to Paris, with Allyson begging her best friend to cover for her, for just one day.

And the magic is back. Lulu and Willem have a very memorable time Paris. Filled with truths they couldn’t share with anyone else. With stories they don’t share with anyone else. Creating memories that no one else will understand. And they have one magical night. Then the sunrises. Willem is gone. Lulu is alone. The magic dissipates. And the rest of the year begins. College. Life. And memories of the magic of just one day.

And it’s a rough time for Allyson … for Lulu. After experience Paris with someone who seemed to be on the same frequency as her. Someone who sees under Allyson the Good Girl. Someone who sees Lulu, the dreamer, the adventurer. She was allowed to be something she never thought she could. College is rough. She meets a new best friend, Dee. Her other best friend just … well, they drifted apart. This best friend, Dee, asks her a question that gets her thinking differently about that one day. And suddenly . . .  a what if?


We all know that story. A one-night stand gone badly. In this case, badly in a foreign country with someone who is practically stranger. And as easy as it is to just leave it at that and call the story a bad egg or call foul and cough it up to another unrealistic story about first loves, or true loves, or whatever kind of loves, it struck me in a different way.

I mean, why do we read? Why do I read? I read to take a break from reality. So if the fictional story I’m reading just so happens to mention true love or first loves or whatever kind of loves and it seems to take place in the course of a few hours, then so be it. It’s a story, not a memoir. And I’m a skeptic when it comes to those kinds of loves. Or maybe love period. But I am a skeptic. But only for me. Only for my perspective. That doesn’t mean I can’t believe it for others.  So, if this fictional story is about those kinds of love, so be it.

And, boy, how I love this story. The summary I supplied doesn’t go into Allyson’s journey after Paris, but it’s a rough one. But it Ms. Forman did a great job building this story. The day in Paris. The life after Paris. Allyson. Her journey. She paced it well. And I love how it ended.

I can relate to Allyson. I know what it’s like to try and live by the rules. I don’t like to venture too far from rules because, well, I don’t like conflicts. So, I can relate to Allyson. And I can see why she ran away to Paris with a stranger. I may have done the same thing. Not carelessly, of course. And I don’t think Allyson was careless about it either.

And while we don’t get a good feel of whether Willem is a jerk or not, he doesn’t hurt her. He just . . .  disappears. So, what happened? We can’t know for sure, but it doesn’t change the fact that he was no where to be found. I can understand that pain that Allyson felt. The embarrassment. Ms. Forman does a good job capturing that feeling, these moments, dotted throughout Allyson’s journey.

While the story doesn’t get into the details of sex, it is implied so just a heads up for anyone who wants to steer clear of this. But I highly recommend it if that doesn’t bother you too much because it is a good story.

And what I absolutely love about this story is this:

Allyson: “Not everything tracks back to Shakespeare.”

Dee: “Yes it does. Did you ever think what might’ve happened if they weren’t so damn impatient? If maybe Romeo had stopped for a second and gotten a doctor, or waited for Juliet to wake up? Not jumped to conclusions and gone and poisoned himself thinking she was dead when she was just sleeping?”

I love it. Because I asked the same thing with my first read through of Romeo and Juliet. And then:

I enumerate all the examples of him being a player, beginning with the fact that he picked up a random girl on a train and, an hour later, invited her to Paris for the day.

“Normal people don’t do that,” I say.

“Who said anything about normal? And maybe you weren’t random. Maybe you were something to him too.”

Because it’s a story. About first loves and true loves and whatever kind of loves. And Shakespeare. And possibilities. And, because it’s a story about first loves and true loves and whatever kind of loves.

We interrupt this program …

… to inform you that I am binge reading The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater.

I am only on book one, The Raven Boys, but this is my second sitting and I’m already less than a hundred pages from the ending.

And that would be an okay enough pause for me to review Scorpion, Season 2, except that my past self knew my future self too well. Well enough to have ordered all the books in the series from the library in a way that they all arrived in a timely manner. I picked up Book 2, The Dream Theives, and I already had Book 3, Blue Lily, Lily Blue. The minor snag is the final book. The Raven King has arrived, but the library couldn’t find it. These things happen so I’m not worried, yet, but I do hope they find it tomorrow. With the three day weekend in front of me I am sure I’ll be flying through these books.

But, since my past self knew my future self well enough, TV has been pushed aside for a binge read.

And I will be sure to tell you about every single book if I can slow myself down enough to review them!