Just One Day by Gayle Foreman
Allyson Healy has been micromanaged by her parents for as long as she can remember. Even on this, her graduation gift of a European tour with her best friend, her mother has sent packing lists and is even willing to call her on her friend’s cell phone if Allyson doesn’t stay sufficiently in touch. When she and Melanie decide to take a chance and see a “guerilla Will” performance of Shakespeare in the park instead of attending the planned Hamlet performance in London, she happens upon a handsome Dutchman named Willem. When the girls run into him again next day on the train, Allyson surprises herself and Mel by taking him up on his offer to spend “just one day in Paris with him. While that one day was full of glorious adventures and near disasters, when Willem disappears from the communal artists’ squat they spent the night in, Allyson is devastated. Although she returns to the U.S. and begins college as planned, she can’t become the “Happy College Student” everyone is expecting, and becomes more and more depressed. It’s only when she meets the outlandish and brilliant Dee in a Shakespeare class that Allyson begins realizing that her life is full of options that she gets to choose, not her roommates, her parents, or even the school.
I liked this book a great deal; Gayle Foreman’s books have never disappointed me. I recommend this title to teens looking for a love story, a book and a young person learning to make their own decisions or someone interested in a missing person mystery.
Just One Day is the first in a duet of novels. Willem’s story, Just One Year, is due out in the fall of 2013.