One word to sum up the books – beautiful
I think everything is happening all the time, but if you don’t put yourself in the path of it, you miss it
I’ve decided to review these two books together as they are so heavily connected.
Just One Day tells the story of Allyson, an American good girl who is touring around Europe with a big group of teens. On her last day in England she meets Willem, a handsome Dutch guy who is part of a Shakespeare theatre group. But as it is her last day she doesn’t see any hope.
One the train back to London to go home she runs into Willem again and decides to go on an adventure to Paris together where she finds herself falling head over heels for Willem. As the title says, they spend just one day together after which Willem seems to have disappeared suddenly. Allyson goes back to America and starts her life at college, but finds herself constantly distracted by the thought of Willem. For an entire year she searches for Willem, until at last she does find him in Holland.
Just One Year tells the same story but from Willem’s perspective. Meeting Allyson, searching for her and finally finding her.
I absolutely adored these books.
I found that Just One Day was a little slow moving once Allyson returned to America but you have to read deeper into the context as this isn’t just a love story. It’s about the personal development of a main character who goes from feeling like she simple exists to actually living. She learns to speak her mind and stand up for herself towards her parents and follow her own desires. She works hard for her own dreams and goals and attains them by doing so. She works her ass off to get to Paris and continue looking for Willem, against her parents’ wishes.
Just One Year on the other hand was a much faster moving book, there was less character development but a lot more adventure and excitement as Willem travels the world to find Allyson. We finally get an inside into Willem’s character which we really missed in Just One Day as Willem seemed to be a very vague character.
Overall these books inspired me and filled me with wanderlust. The stories of travelling to a strange city with a stranger or alone were so good and inviting they made me want to go and work so I can travel the world. The books also inspired me to write an annual bucket list as there is a character in the book, Wren, who makes a very good point about bucket lists and getting things done:
“Why are you making a bucket list, then?”
“Because if you wait until you’re really dying, it’s too late.”
I realised that, even though I’m only 20, I’ve been in Wales for four months I haven’t really made the effort to travel to the beautiful places here in Wales. As I’m not really in a position to travel the world at the moment I have decided to travel around Wales instead in the remainder of the months I have left here to explore the beautiful and magical places. These books really highlight that you need to put yourself out there to experience things in life.
Another concept in the book that I absolutely loved was the fact that accidents leave to an adventure, of course in the books one of these accidents actually leads to a negative experience but mostly it highlights that when you just say yes, or go somewhere randomly you always end up experiencing things and learning something new. It makes you want to say yes to more things in life.
Make sure to read these if you get the chance, and don’t give up to quick, it is well worth it in the end.
Love Mallory x