A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I StayOkay, I totally confess... I judged a character by the blurb. I was all ready to totally hate on Willem that I admit it took some doing to get me into the book. I read a couple of chapters slowly, but then just decided to read. I found myself not hating the guy, but I still admit I was still quite skeptical of his character. There was just so much we didn't know and that leads to very easy conclusions. The author uses this for Allyson's character growth so I found it an interesting twist.
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.
Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!
It's also a book surrounded by Shakespeare. Much of her life is compared through his plays and it becomes intertwined with her story as well. Not just the romance aspect, but the natural growth Allyson goes through to find out who she is without her parents dictating every aspect of her life. She forces herself to find out who she is and meets some real interesting characters along the way. Dee, her bestie in college is my fave character. He is hilarious and also a complex character for being a secondary character. He loves to play with masks that people try to judge him by and only Allyson is the first one to truly see who he is and he sees Allyson even though she is quite closed to him at first. (PS... no love triangle)
I enjoyed Allyson's growth. She also explores the possibilities that jumping to conclusions without sufficient information is quite easy to accomplish. In fact, the theme of masks and simple conclusions abound in this novel as well as happy accidents.
In the end we get a HEA but not necessarily the one we are seeking. I suspected that would be the case, but it also ends in a way I want to know more. I was upset with not knowing more until I realized that Willem's book comes out later. Oh yea... I want to know his story. He is way too mysterious for me in this book and I really want to know what went on with him as well as finding out what happens to both even if it is a few years later. I became invested in these characters so I must know!
I give this book 4 stars. It's a good coming of age new adult type of book. I enjoyed the Shakespeare analogies as well as the adventure Allyson becomes brave enough to undertake. I recommend the book to those that enjoy contemporary new adult (older YA)... and Shakespeare. :)