Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Book Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Title: Just One Day
Author: Gayle FormanPublisher: PuffinSummary: Allyson Healey's life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life.
A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know.

Review: I should know that whenever I have a Gayle Forman book that I've added to my TBR that I should read it immediately. After reading If I Stay and its companion novel Where She Went a few years ago I fell in love with Gayle Forman's writing. She has a wonderful writing style and I just adore the way that she  narrates, and she has such unique stories to tell... it just sucks me in so completely. The stories that she writes while they generally deal with a vast audience of emotions they deal in personal growth so much.

So well over a year after being on my list to read I finally picked up Just One Day and you guys, for me this one had ALL the feels. I've read mixed reviews: people that loved it, people that hated it. Those bloggers and reviewers who share similar tastes to my own like Ginger over at GReads! loved it. I'm so glad I finally read this. Enough about my ramblings about loving the book, let me tell you a little bit more about it.

Just One Day is a story about good-girl Allyson Healey who goes on a three-week European tour with her extrovert best friend. Allyson is the kind of girl that you don't have to worry about getting into unnecessary trouble. That is, until she meets European free-spirited Willem and he makes her an absurd offer: come to Paris with him for one day. Allyson makes a decision that is incredibly uncharacteristic for her and takes him up on his offer. This is a decision that changes Allyson's life. While I know that realistically this isn't the best move... a young girl going off with a man that she doesn't even know should send up a ton of red flags. But I loved both Allyson and completely against what my head was telling me, I loved Willem too. There was just something about him that melted my heart and kept me wondering about his past. He was a wanderer who seems to have been everywhere in Europe... and never seemingly goes home.

Part of my attraction to this book was the setting and I don't feel like the setting has been such a big part of the story for me since Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard or Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (which I will admit are two of my favorites EVER). And in a way, I think that I compare myself to Allyson in that I'd probably be that girl to go on the European tour and not wander off the beaten path. Unless there was someone, like Willem, to show me what Paris or Europe as a whole is really about. 

While reading this I laughed and I cried. I have to admit, I swooned just a little bit over Willem. I felt so many things while reading this. I haven't felt this involved in a story in a really, really long time. Contemporary NA at it's best. I cannot state this any more simply: go read this book now. It is, quite simply, one of my favorite books that I've read in 2014.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Miranda Monday's....Miranda's top five New York Films...

So today Miranda Monday's takes over Dark Readers..I am so proud to be a part of Team Bea and I am loving reading I'll Take New York, I started it a few days back and haven't had much time but loving it so far. I have my book boyfriend in Ed back yay!! anyway enough from me...over to Miranda...

New York has been the setting of so many amazing films it’s difficult to only choose five. But, for me, these are the five films that have inspired me most and kindled my love of the Big Apple…

You’ve Got Mail (1998) – Tom Hanks. Meg Ryan. Nora Ephron. Practically the holy trinity of romantic comedy, set in the City That Never Sleeps. It was this film that inspired me to start writing my first novel, Fairytale of New York. And here’s a fact that links this amazingly witty, feel-good movie with my first book: Kowalski’s is set one block up from the film location used for The Shop Around the Corner. This film made me fall in love with the Upper West Side of New York and led me to set my story there. So really, it’s all Nora Ephron’s fault that I’m an author…

When Harry Met Sally (1989) – from Meg Ryan’s famous faked orgasm scene in Katz’s Diner to Billy Crystal’s Harry running to find Sally before the ball drops in Time Square, this film is as much a love letter to New York as it is a tale about two people trying not to fall in love with each other. A perfect movie and perfect story in a perfect location.

Serendipity (2001) – John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale trust fate to bring them back together after meeting in New York at Christmas. In I’ll Take New York there is an unapologetic nod to this brilliant romantic comedy, as Bea has always wanted to skate on Central Park’s Wollman Rink after ‘too many hours spent watching Serendipity to make me love the idea’.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947 and 1994) – I really can’t choose between the classic original film and the feel-good Nineties’ remake, so I’m naming both as wonderful films. Christmas in New York is famous the world over and features in so many films, television programmes, books and music that whether you’ve experienced the season in the city or not, it feels familiar. The Santa ringing his bell on the corner opposite Otis Greene’s apartment is my nod to this film.

Definitely, Maybe (2008) – When I pictured Jake Steinmann in his new apartment, surrounded by unpacked boxes and facing an ominous brown envelope from his estranged wife’s lawyer, I was inevitably reminded of Ryan Reynolds as Will Hayes, trying to make sense of his disastrous history of relationships for his eleven year-old daughter (Abigail Breslin). New York through the decades provides the backdrop to this bitter-sweet story and April’s (Isla Fisher) apartment in Brooklyn inspired Bea’s apartment in I’ll Take New York.

Thank you Miranda...and keep checking with TeamBea on Twitter for more info...