Author: Gayle Forman
Published: January 8th 2013 by Dutton Juvenile
Source: Around The World Tours
Description: 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.
I Give This ...
Well she's done it again! Gayle Forman has a gift for contemporary teen fiction. She has the uncanny ability to write stories that people across generations can identify with.
I was immediately drawn to Allyson. She's the good girl who never gets in trouble, gets good grades, and generally seems to have life planned out. But, she's the product of obsessive parenting and feels like she's never gotten a say in anything she has ever done. A spur of the moment trip to Paris and the events that happen in one day leave her questioning her own desires. And I understood so much of what she was going through. I loved watching her see the joy in doing something so impromptu. I lived through those beginning moments of falling in love, even when you don't believe in love at first sight. I was heartbroken right along with her when she realized he was gone. And I seriously understood every moment of her depression and soul searching over the next year.
I was completely unsure of Willem. We see him through Allyson's eyes, and as much as she's falling for him, she's also expecting the worst. But, he kept doing these little gestures that seemed so real and heartfelt. The connection was there, I was sure of it. When he was gone the next morning, I thought I knew what had happened. I can't wait to get Willem's story to see it for myself!
The added touch of Shakespeare was really just a bonus for me. I'm a Shakespeare fan and thought it was perfect backdrop for this story. The author did a fantastic job of weaving it in.
I can't say enough good things about it. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, and didn't carry the same punch for me as If I Stay. But, it was beautifully told. And as I said before....I can't wait for Just One Year!