Series: Just One Day #1
Published by: Dutton Juvenile on January 8, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Buy on Amazon • Goodreads
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.
You and I got off on the wrong foot. I didn’t like how you were complaining about your parents’ graduation gift to you: a trip through Europe. You kept complaining about the trip, and the touristy things you were doing.. and it made you seem a bit selfish. I understand that there are sometimes places you don’t want to go, or trips you don’t want to take.. believe me, I’ve been there. But I still didn’t like the way you came across. (And how dare your mother buy you a nice new watch for graduation as well.)
I’m glad you enjoyed the first part of your trip to Paris with Willem. It was a bit sketchy and irresponsible for you to hop on a train with some guy you didn’t even know (and let him buy your ticket), but whatever. I’ll let that go. I’m glad you didn’t get sold into sex slavery, even if I wasn’t crazy about you as a person at this point.
Anyway, back to my point…
It seems like you had a decent time in Paris. I personally think you trip sounded a bit boring. I too have spent “just one day” in Paris and I had a blast. Maybe it’s stuck up of me to say, but I think my day was better than yours. You went to Paris and did… nothing. You went on a canal ride and slept in the park. I guess that’s cool. I get that you’re not into touristy things, but I still find it a bit silly that you didn’t have a more proper look around Paris. Sure the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower are “things tourists do”, but they’re interesting and fun for a reason.
I totally couldn’t relate to you falling for Willem though. What did you see in him? The fact that he wouldn’t really tell you anything about himself? Does that make him mysteriously sexy or something? I totally didn’t see that. I didn’t find him charming or funny, which are two key things I’d look for first. I never liked him.. he never made me fall for him. So when you started thinking about loving him after just one day, I rolled my eyes. I’m sorry, maybe that’s rude, but I couldn’t help it. There was at least one eye roll.
I don’t care how strong your connection is or how many “moments” you have.. you’re not going to love a guy after a day.
But, what really got on my nerves was how you acted AFTER this one day. You were pathetic. I was actually embarrassed for you. If I were you, I would have written off this Paris adventure as a bad day and forgotten about it.. but instead, you let this one day (which ended horribly) completely own you. It consumed your life. You were depressed, boring, weak, and kept thinking about Willem—oh Willem! Why? Why does he dominate your thoughts? He wasn’t that special. The only thing I really learned about him was that he was a player who talked to a lot of girls (and possibly did more with a lot of said girls). So why did you let him take over your life? Why did you refuse to make friends or see guys or have fun? Why did you sleep over 10 hours a night and mope around all year?
Things did pick up when you finally got on your feet. I liked it when you got your ass kicked into gear and you started to shape up your life. I like that you kind of said “screw you” to expectations and changed up your college classes—that was a good move. But, I still found it pathetic how you were determined to find Willem again. I just can’t relate this at all. I tried to understand why you were so desperate to find him. I guess I get that the “not knowing” part would be frustrating.. but still.. Why is Willem so special? I keep thinking back to that. Why is he so deserving of all this attention? I didn’t like him enough to be able to relate to your determination here.
When you went traveling again, I liked that. I thought your travels were more interesting this time around. I liked some of the people you met (like Wren—was that her name? I kind of forget). But, just when I thought the ending might follow through with a learning experience or something on self-exploration, it View Spoiler » [all came back to Willem. I guess I should have expected that, given that this is a romance book so obviously the romance is going to dominate it.. but I hated how you were so close to saying “screw him” and moving on with your life, and then you went crawling back to him. I was mad at you for doing that, probably because I spent most of the book despising Willem. I’m sure there’s some kind of explanation and he’s probably not as bad of a guy as the book led me to believe.. but it doesn’t change the fact that I still never fell for him, and that I found it pathetic how you sobbed over him for a year after only knowing him for one day. « Hide Spoiler]
You did learn a lot this year and you have come a long way. I’m proud of you for finally following your own path and your own dreams, and I think it’s pretty cool and brave that you went traveling around Europe on your own. But Willem… really? I do not like him. Maybe you’re even relieved to hear that because it means I won’t try to steal him from you (he’s all yours..). I just still can’t understand why you’re so obsessed with him. It left me with a severe lack of connection and understanding. But mostly I hated your reaction to him and how you let him (and that one day) completely dominate a year of your life. Maybe I just have a hard time believing that you can spend an entire year thinking about just one day over and over again. If I were your friends, I would be annoyed with you constantly obsessing over this “trip to Paris” and “this guy you met once”.
But for your sake, I do hope that Willem isn’t really a cheating player.
All the best,