Oh man oh man oh man. Here we are again.
You may have seen me freaking out recently about Just One Day. The rare good kind of freaking out. It scraped – just barely – into my all time favorites list. I screamed about it in my July/August wrap-up. But mainly this book gets hella name checking on this blog because of the main character, whose name’s spelling I actually genuinely forget. Not a good sign.
Update: It’s Allyson. Ridiculous spelling and I refuse to apologize for not knowing it off the dome.
Anyway. I mentioned her in my Sunshine Blogger post because she’s #relatable. I promise to put her face on a coin when I was crowned Ruler of Books. She has made it into the illustrious ranks of my i-love-these-characters shelf.
She’s great. But unfortunately, as we all have learned, all good things must come to an end. Or at least must come to an end when they’re books and you’re me, because I like so few books that me liking more than one book in a series would be a tru statistical anomaly.
But why keep talking in generalities when you can watch me fall from sanity in real time?
Just One Day Review
I THINK THIS IS THE BEST CONTEMPORARY OF ALL TIME AND IF YOU DISAGREE WITH ME EVEN SLIGHTLY I MIGHT CRY A LITTLE BIT AND IT WILL BE SO, SO UNCOMFORTABLE FOR US BOTH SO YOU SHOULD PROBABLY JUST AGREE.
I genuinely love this book. I have for four years now, but like. A lot has changed in that time. Perhaps most significantly, I had braces four years ago. That doesn’t have anything to do with why my feelings on this book would have changed, but I believe it had the most significant impact on my evolving personality.
But also four years ago, I was a lil thing. I mean, I was still very tall then, but lil emotionally. Much nicer. I liked every book I read. (I know. It’s insane to imagine.)
So the fact that I reread this 2-3 times during a period when I did not reread Any Books is not enough for me to be confident that I would still like this book. Because I have very little in common with fifteen-year-old me. I’ve straight up one-starred at least 3 books I gave 5 stars in 2015. THAT’S TWO YEARS AGO.
But four years passed, I full on changed as a person, but GUESS WHAT STAYED THE SAME.
If you guessed “my love for this book,” YOU’RE TODAY’S WINNER.
We follow Allyson, who at the beginning of this book is hashtag enveloped in an extremely overcontrolled tour of Europe called Teen Tours! (Totally rockin’ name.) She is with her friend Mel who is hotter than her, which is pretty classic. But then a Very Attractive boy (man, I guess) comes up and is more into Allyson!!!! Also very classic.
But what is (unfortunately) not very classic and what makes me love this book so freakin much is Allyson’s character arc. I can only describe it in one way, and that way is EXTRAORDINARILY LIT.
Allyson is very play-by-the-rules. She does not like to take risks. Her life is therefore very boring. However, when Hottie McDottie Many-Language-Speaking Backpacking Boy-Man (Willem, somewhat of a babe) invites them to a Shakespearean street show he’s in, she’s like, ya ok. Even though that means lying and stuff!! Stuff she doesn’t do!! Wild.
So she goes and sees it, it’s all dandy, he throws a coin at her (more romantic than it sounds, supposedly), and that’s that.
EXCEPT IT’S NOT! This full-on worldly total babe is on her train to London. And GUESS THE F*CK WHAT. They go to spend a day in Paris together.
I’m going to say that again.
Whaaaat. That would already be a pretty good book. I love me some v simplistic cheesy romances set in Paris. (See: Anna and the French Kiss.)
And this part of the book, where they’re bein’ all romancey in Paris, is definitely fab. But it makes up, like, a third of the whole thing.
IT’S THE REMAINING TWO THIRDS THAT MAKE THE BOOK FOR ME.
When Allyson wakes up in Paris, Willem’s gone. Which sucks. And then she spends the rest of the book wondering what happened to the Paris-version of her, who’s like, open to adventure and says yes and is up for anything. And then she goes the f*ck for it baby!!! She tries to ~find herself~!!!!
IT’S NOT JUST A PARIS ROMANCE. IT’S 33% PARIS ROMANCE, 67% AMAZING CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. I.E., IDEAL.
I’m honestly sorry about all the caps lock. I’M VERY ENTHUSIASTIC.
So. Maybe this book isn’t perfect but I’m not open to the idea that it isn’t. Because this book is pretty goddamn inspiring to me. I don’t want to be cheesy or heartfelt or emotionally honest because that’s profoundly off-brand for me and also generally unpleasant, but I can be kiiiiind of non-risk taking and rule-following sometimes…but most of the best times of my life have been when I wasn’t being that way.
(i.e., have happened when I was drunk.)
(JUST KIDDING! Kind of.)
Anyway, I’M JUST TRYING TO SAY THIS BOOK IS MOTIVATIONAL AND #REAL.
I’m highkey cringing myself so it must be well past end-this-review o’clock.
I will finish by saying: Willem is pretty hot in this book and all, and that’s a nice bonus, but what is really cool about this book is Allyson.
Bottom line: if you don’t like this book you’re wrong; Allyson is my daughter; let’s all go get drunk in Paris and land some Willems.
Just One Year Review
THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS.
Of couuuuuurse. Of course this would happen to me. I reread Just One Day, and I’m all confident and pleased because 2017-me loves a book that 2014-me loved. And I’m all, guess what else 2014-ish-me loved? The sequel. This is gonna be great.
Well, guess what, world? It wasn’t great. It was, in fact, garbage.
You’d think I’d expect this by now, but I am STUPID and I NEVER DO.
So this book takes place over the same span of time that the first one covers, except this book, instead of being empowering and interesting and filled with amazing character development, is boring and repetitive and lovey-dovey and actually contains the biggest character downgrade I have ever experienced in my young and bitter life.
Willem is mildly hot in the first book. He is mysterious and poetic and whatnot. He speaks a lot of languages and is tall and has great hair and creates metaphors for love using wrist-Nutella. What’s not to love? Or, more accurately, what’s not to feel neutral toward.
Willem is the narrator of this book, and he is the worst ever.
He is boring. He is obsessive in a way that has very little positive impact on himself. He mopes around and manipulates girls into loving him (ha ha, the reader is supposed to say! How stupid of that girl for not realizing he’s in love with another girl, who this one doesn’t know exists! Lol! It’s almost like he’s f*cking her and living in her home and all around making her think they’re in an exclusive relationship). He is very sh*tty to his friends. He travels around to a few places, but with none of the visceral descriptions the first book has.
What I am trying to say is it is all very bad.
And then the ending is sh*tty and inconclusive and has no payoff, which is why the ebook Just One Night had to exist. And the fact that this book made that glorified pamphlet of foot fetishizing have to come into creation is reason enough to one star it.
I don’t want to talk about this anymore.
Bottom line: Please pretend this book does not exist. It’s for your own good.
Just One Night Review
This was…oh man.
I’d write more of a review of this but I think the previous five words sum it up preeeeettttttttyyyyyy well.
We did that.
You’ve seen me insane, and you’ve seen me sane (or as close to sane as I ever get), but isn’t it fun to watch me make the transition between the two? Like an unsettling, unasked for, unpleasant behind the scenes.