Alysson has just graduated high school, and before starting her carefully planned college life she goes on a teen tour to Europe with her best friend Melanie. On one of the last days of the tour, when she is glad she can finally go home again, she meets Willem. Willem is a Dutch guy who is travelling the world on his own. He invites Alysson, who he calls Lulu, to come to Paris with him. Alysson decides to come with him and they spend a day in Paris together. The first half of this book is about these 24 hours that will change Alysson’s life, and the other half is about the year after that.
What I liked about the book
First of all, I love that the first half of this book is set in Paris. I am in love with everything French and I want to go on exchange to Paris as well. So that was a big plus for me. Another thing I really like is the fact that Willem is Dutch, and I am Dutch as well. There are some Dutch words in there which I recognized, and some typical Dutch things like a broodje hagelslag en some random words. So the setting of this book is really my cup of tea!
The character development in this book was great as well. The book starts of with Alysson being a very introvert girl whose mother had planned out her future for her. But as the story goes along, she meets different people who have an influence on her. Of course there is Willem who changes her in a way, but there are also other characters that somehow have an influence on Allyson’s life. The changes that Alysson were very realistic and it was not like she changed in one in Paris. The second half of the book, the year after the day in Paris, describes how she gradually changes to a more secure person and develops her own will.
The relationship development was also something I loved about this book. I expected that this book would be about to people that meet each other and fall in love at first sight. But that was not true. As Alysson and Willem spend their day together in Paris, they gradually start to like each other more. Of course, Alysson was attracted to Willem when she first saw him, but she didn’t fall in love with him instantly. Their interaction and conversations when they are in Paris really show how Alysson and Willem get to know each other and how Alysson gradually falls in love with Willem. Although that happens in one day, it doesn’t feel like it is happening too fast. It is perfect.
One last thing that I love about this book is its message. This book is about self-development, and I felt that I was learning about myself alongside Alysson. This book shows so many valuable lessons, such as it is possible to change your life, if you work hard enough you can achieve a lot more than you think, and it shows how important traveling is for developing yourself.
What I didn’t like about the book
Is there anything to be disliked about this book? The book really captivated me and I was only able to put it down when I really had to. When I finished it, it left me with such a happy feeling and I felt completely satisfied. Though when I rethink the plot line, I realize that there are some holes and that the climax is a little unrealistic. But that’s the only thing that I can think of and I didn’t even bother me while reading. On the contrary: I loved it, and I can’t wait to start the sequel Just One Year, which will tell the story from Willem’s point of view!
Would I recommend this book?
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that loves to read contemporary novels. It is such a great story with beautiful characters and relationships and there is so much to be learned from this book. And even if you’re not a big fan of contemporary books, or if you’re scared away because of the thought that this is a love story, I’d still recommend this book. This book is so much more than a love story! So all in all, I think everyone should read this book and I also think that everyone would enjoy it.
“Part of me knows one more day won’t do anything except postpone the heartbreak. But another part of me believes differently. We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day.”
“Sometimes the best way to find out what you’re supposed to do is by doing the thing you’re not supposed to do.”
“He showed me how to get lost, and then I showed myself how to get found.”