Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki (Review)



Fifty years ago The Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society.

To punish the guilty, he created the Hole, a place where sinners are branded according to their sins. Sinners are forced to live a less than human existence in deplorable conditions, under the watchful eye of guards who are ready to kill anyone who steps out of line.

Now, LUST wraps around my neck like thick, blue fingers, threatening to choke the life out of me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit, and the Hole is my new home.

Constant darkness.

Brutal and savage violence.

Excruciating pain.

Everyday is a fight for survival.

But I won’t let them win.  I will not die in the hole.

I am more than my brand.  I’m a fighter.  My name is Lexi Hamilton and this is my story.

In a world where all accused of committing one of the seven deadly sins are thrown into the hole, no one is safe. Lexi Hamilton is innocent, but her pleas won’t save her.  She is condemned, then branded with a blue tattoo to symbolize her ‘lust’, and then thrown into the hole; a brutal, violent place with no rules and no escape.

Lexi happens to be assigned a full time guard in the hole who will remain with her for the duration of her day. Finding pleasure in torturing the sinners, guards are uncompromising, inhumane, and have no value of human life.  Lexi should be terrified by the constant presence of her guard, Cole, but when she sees the goodness within him, she cannot help falling for him-hard.

I find that YA book trends come in cycles, at one point it was all vampires, and now it is dystopians.  With the abundance of all of these dystopian books, I naturally grew tired of them, finding them repetitive or not fully solved within the generic trilogy style so many of them are published as.  Maybe it was the fact that I haven’t read any dystopians this year, but Branded felt like a breath of fresh air. This novel reminded me of why I was so obsessed with dystopian books at one point; it was fast-paced, had an intriguing premise, and a fantastic romance!

First thing I have to put our there is that Branded is not for the faint hearted.  It is gory, gritty, and has some gruesome scenes which made me put down the book for a few moments and try to un-think what just played out in my head.  Although I’m one of those people who really dislike violence, I didn’t mind it as much in this book, because the world was gruesome and gritty, therefore, their needed to be brutal violence.  Also, I think the savage scenes worked well because they fully launch you into this world and force you to recognize the cruelness in it.

We follow Lexi who is your typical strong female protagonist.  When the story first begins she is attempting to commit suicide, but when the government comes to put her in the hole she discovers that she does truly want to live, so she can fight back. Throughout the novel we receive flashbacks of Lexi’s past and what drove her to almost taking her life, and when we finally got the full picture I was quite horrified.  At the beginning of the novel especially, Lexi is a fragile, broken creature, so it was fantastic to witness her develop strength and courage.  Lexi is a fighter at heart, but she was kicked down so much she forgot that she could stand upright.

I absolutely loved Cole!  As a guard, he was the perfect forbidden love interest.  As he and Lexi’s relationship grew, we could see his conflicting emotions and his attempts to put distance between the two of them.  This truly showed that he did love Lexi, and from this point on I adored the development of his and Lexi’s relationship, although it kept me on edge because I was always worrying that someone was going to discover their relationship!

This is going to seem really random and irrelevant, but I had to mention Cole’s dog, Zeus, in this review.  Zeus is a goofy guard dog who is honestly the best literary pet ever.  I almost never laugh when reading books, but I heartily chuckled a few times in this book and it was because of Zeus, so I felt it was my duty to discuss his awesomeness!

As a dystopian book, there of course are fight sequences and rebellion against a cruel government.  This of course made the book a page flipper, but if you get as invested as I was, Lexi and Cole’s relationship is enough to keep the pages flipping.

Overall, I highly recommend Branded even if you are not a fan of dystopian books.  This book took me by surprise and kept me engaged the entire ride.  It is action packed and will take you on a roller coaster of emotions!


Blace Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick Book Review


Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her.  Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of  its two very handsome occupants, but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain.  As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her.  The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that took place on that very mountain-a discovery that may make her the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers.  His kindness is confusing Britt.  Is he an enemy or an ally?

Black Ice is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s irresistible romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the Tetons of Wyoming.  Falling in love should never be this dangerous…

Black Ice is Becca Fitzpatrick’s new young adult novel and I received a proof copy of it… it was AMAZING. Black Ice is the epitome of a page turner, it is easily the most suspenseful, mysterious book I have read this year!  Even if you didn’t love Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, hush Saga, I highly recommend picking this book up when it comes out because Becca’s writing has vastly improved and the plot was very enticing and thrilling! I started this book at night and I immediately regretted it, it spooked me out so much.  At one point a tree branch hit my window and I jumped up, convinced that I was about to be kidnapped.  Once I calmed down, I was up until 4 in the morning finishing the book, and even though I had work at 8 the next morning staying up that late was so worth it!

Black Ice follows Britt, and her and her best friend, Korbie, have planned a spring break trip to Korbie’s family home in the Tetons of Wyoming.  Britt has been training for this trip for months, but days before they are about to leave, Britt discovers that Korbie’s family is forcing Calvin, Britt’s ex-boyfriend and Korbie’s older brother to chaperone them on their trip.  Britt has just finally started to get over Calvin and is anxious for him to re-enter her life, but she promises that she will not let his presence destroy their trip.

On the day they leave for the mountains, they get caught in the middle of a snow storm and are forced to leave their car in the hopes of finding shelter.  When they come across a cabin the middle of the woods, they thought they finally had a break in good luck, but they were so wrong.  When they enter the cabin, they are met by two men, Mason and Shawn.  Mason attempts to convince Britt and Korbie to leave the house, but they refuse, and Britt soon finds a dead body in the house.  At this point, it is too late for them to escape and from here the story launches into an action packed, thrilling read as Britt is forced to guide Mason and Shawn through the treacherous terrain.  Britt doesn’t know why these men are fugitives but she is determined to unravel their characters while fighting for survival.

Becca Fitzpatrick wonderfully created Britt’s character.  She is realistic, dynamic, and she is not an annoying, weak female protagonist.  When in an arduous situation, she does not cower, but rather, she utilizes her intelligence and determination to attempt to reach safety.  Despite the hopelessness of her situation she never gives up or gives in to depression, she continues to fight as long as she can which was very admirable.

There was a surprising romance woven into the novel and I couldn’t get enough of it.  The romance was one of those fantastic survival romances, where the characters are not sure if they honestly love each other or they are just growing closer because there may not be a tomorrow.  It seemed as if the relationship was perfect for the two characters, and although they had two completely different backgrounds, their paths came together beautifully.

Overall I loved Black Ice, it is a book I can certainly see myself re-reading  in the future.  It is a nail-biting, on the edge of your seat read which has certainly proved to me Becca Fitzpatrick’s talent as an author.  I personally really liked her Hush, hush Saga, but Black Ice is in a league of its own.  I haven’t quite read anything like this book, so I loved its originality and uniqueness. Becca has crafted fantastic characters, a plot that will enchant all readers, and beautiful scenery to complete the package.  I highly recommend that everyone should read this book regardless of the genre you usually prefer, I think there is something in this book that everyone will love.  I can’t say enough good things about this book so please, when you get a chance, give this book a chance!

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian (Review)


Postcard-perfect Jar Island is the kind of place where nobody locks their doors at night, where parents can sleep easy, knowing their daughters are tucked away safe and sound in their beds.

But bad things can happen, even to good girls . . . and sometimes, the only way to make things right is to do something wrong.

Lillia used to trust boys, but not anymore. Not after what happened this summer. And she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her little sister from the same fate.

Kat is over the rumors, the insults, the cruel jokes made at her expense. It all goes back to one person–her ex-best friend. Someone needs to teach her a lesson, and, with Lillia and Mary behind her, Kat feels up to the task.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she’s not the same girl anymore. Now that she’s got friends who have her back, he’s going to be in big trouble.

Three very different girls who come together to make things right. Will they go too far?

I really enjoyed this book, it was chalk full of teen-drama, friendship, and romance.  To make it even better, it centers around the bittersweet revenge that three girls seek on people who have greatly wronged them or their loved ones.  Burn for Burn is certainly a page turner, once you start reading it you will find it very difficult to put down!  I read the whole 358 page book in one sitting and I still didn’t have enough of it!

Burn for Burn follows three girls: Lillia, Mary, and Kat who ultimately team up together to pursue revenge.  First, there is Lillia, who lives in the shadow of her best friend, Rennie. Lillia is very protective over her younger sister especially when it comes to guys taking advantage of her.  Then there is Kat who used to be best friends with Lillia and Rennie.  When Rennie started to choose Lillia over her, Kat and Rennie had a falling out, and since then Kat has been continually tormented by her.  By this point in Kat’s life, she no longer is going to stoically accept the torment, but rather she is going back after Rennie with a vengeance.  Lastly there is Mary, and she is returning from Jar Island after being bullied as a child by one of the popular boys, Reeve.  When she comes back to the island she is not the same girl she used to be and she wants to prove it.  These three girls’ paths intertwine and they are prepared to seek revenge on three individuals who so rightly deserve it.

Lillia was definitely my favorite character.  I loved how protective she was over her sister and that she was very loving, yet, at the same time I don’t think her reasons for wanting revenge were as worthy as the other girls.  I could understand Kat’s desires to get back at Rennie who is the classic mean girl, but Lillia’s situation wasn’t as life altering as the others.  When I started reading from Mary’s perspective I immediately knew that her case would be different; throughout most of the book we are waiting to hear what had happened to her, and when we learned I was certainly horrified. The experience explained why Mary was a little more psychologically damaged then the other girls, and so I definitely empathized more with Mary than with Kat and Lillia, although this doesn’t mean I necessarily liked Mary’s character more.

Even when I learned the truth about Mary and finally was able to understand all three girls’ cases of revenge, I got annoyed with them because it got to the point where their revenge was being taken to far.  They felt hurt and naturally wanted the others to suffer as well, but what they started doing to Reeve was way too extreme. At this point I desperately wanted the girls to rise above the teen drama and get over their revenge, and maybe end with them realizing that revenge will never heal their wounds, but they continued doing it.  They were playing with fire and it was only a matter of time until they got burned.

Something that really surprised me was that there is a slight supernatural and fantasy element woven into this story.  It is foreshadowed throughout the story, but I’m not sure that it really fits in.  I think Burn for Burn could have worked without it, but since I haven’t started reading the other books in the series, I guess I don’t know if it will become important.

Lastly I feel as though there wasn’t really a conclusion to the novel.  It was such a huge cliffhanger that I wished we got a little bit more of resolution.  Nonetheless I did really enjoy reading Burn for Burn, and so if you like books that focus on revenge and teen drama then this book would be perfect for you!

Rebel Belle By Rachel Hawkins Book Review


Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara.  But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the serious weird.  She becomes a Paladin, one of the ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect:  David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person.  But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him- and discovers that David’s fate could very well destroy the Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from best seller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.

This book was amazing! I thought it was going to be very cheesy because of the cover, but I was happily surprised.  While I adored this book and found it very entertaining, I honestly don’t even know which genre I would place it in:  it reads like a contemporary, it is very action packed, and contains fantasy elements.  I was reading the acknowledgements in the book, and Rachel Hawkins described it as Legally Blonde meets the Terminator, and I can’t think of a more perfect way to put it!

Rebel Belle has an extremely unique premise.  Harper Price arrives at homecoming with best friend, Bee, and both of their boyfriends. Harper has to appear perfect for what she thinks will be the perfect night, and thus when she discovers that she forgot to apply lip gloss she immediately absconds to the girls bathroom.  When in the bathroom, the janitor comes in with a huge gash across his stomach and locks himself with Harper in the bathroom.  To make things even weirder the janitor kisses Harper, and then when her history teacher storms into the bathroom holding a sword, Harper is suddenly able to expertly fight and then kill him. Harper comes to discover that the janitor transferred his powers of being a Paladin onto her, and now it is her duty to willingly lay down her life for a certain charge.  But when she discovers that David Stark, her nemesis is the person she is forced to protect, her life gets even more complicated than it already is.

At first Harper is the classic girl who wants to do everything.  She is SGA president, head cheerleader, homecoming queen, and has the perfect boyfriend.  Originally I didn’t like Harper because it was annoying that she thought she could balance out everything in her life also with becoming a Paladin, but she grew on me and I learned to appreciate her dedication.  Not only is Harper perserverant but she is so hilarious!  I had so much fun reading from her perspective; for example, right after she discovers her powers she states that she has the lamest origin story because while other superheroes have amazing stories of how they got their powers, she was just kissed by a janitor.  Another thing I found really entertaining about Harper was that she was the queen of bad excuses.  In one instance she threw a pen at another girl’s head, and when the teacher saw her, she said that she put too much lotion on her hand and then she was writing really fast and the pen flew out of her hand and hit the other girl!

When we met Ryan I liked him, but I loved David.  Ryan is the cliche nice guy, but nice is all he is, I didn’t think there was much depth or uniqueness to his character.  Therefore, when we met David, who screams originality, I loved him.  David is snarky, quirky, and he appears to hate Harper! It was hilarious reading Harper and David’s banter; they even try to use the words that each of them once beat the other with in a spelling bee as much as possible just to annoy the other person.  Despite Harper and David’s attempts to ignore the sparks flying between them, they continue to grow closer and closer, and their hatred for one another slowly begins shattering.

Not only was the relationship between Harper and David presented well, but Rachel Hawkin’s portrayal of friendship was crafted beautifully.  In most paranormal type books, the person in a group of friends who is exposed to the paranormalcy about 90% of the time leaves behind his or her friends, but this is not the case in Rebel Belle.  Even though Harper did become a Paladin, she refuses to give up her friendship with Bee.  Like all friends, Bee and Harper did fight, but this was realistic and it reinforced their friendship in the end because even though Harper’s life takes her on a series of peaks and valleys, Bee rides along with her the entire way.

Lastly, the ending was INSANE! After I finished the book I was like “NO THIS CAN’T BE A STAND ALONE BOOK, I NEED MORE THAN THIS”, and so I was relieved when I saw that this is just the first in a new series.  I will be anxiously waiting for the next book to come out because I am so interested to see how the cliffhanger is going to play out in the next book and how certain situations are going to cause friendships to be either rekindled or broken.

Overall I really enjoyed this book! If you are looking for a light hearted, action packed read this is perfect for you!  After reading The Impossible Knife of Memory, I needed a light and fluffy read and Rebel Belle was perfect for that.  On the other hand, if you are looking for a thought provoking book with deep messages and symbolism, then this is probably not the book for you.  But, nevertheless I found it really entertaining and would recommend it to anyone who asked me!


The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson Book Review


For the past five years, Haley Kincain and her father, Andy, have been on the road, trying to outrun the memories that haunt them both.  They moved back to Andy’s hometown to try a “normal” life, but the horrors he saw in the war threaten to destroy their lives.  Haley watches, helpless, as her father turns to drugs and alcohol to silence his demons.  And then her own past creeps up, and everything falls apart.

How do you keep your father alive when death is stalking him?  What are you supposed to do when your parent stops acting like an adult?  And what happens if a sweet guy who can make you laugh barges his way into your world and for the first time, you find yourself thinking about the future?

Timely, compelling, surprising-this is Laurie Halse Anderson at her best.

I have a small confession to make… I have never read a Laurie Halse Anderson book before, and I am smacking my hand on my forehead right now for waiting this long.  While I love my cutesy contemporaries, I also really love when books discuss darker subjects, because it adds a certain layer of depth to the novel.  This review will be spoiler free and from now on I have decided to keep my reviews spoiler free unless the book is one of the last books in a series or unless there is one plot twist which changes the whole story.

The Impossible Knife of Memory follows Haley, a seventeen year old girl who has traveled cross country with her father, Andy, a war veteran, in their attempt to silence their inner demons.  Although Andy has turned to drugs and alcohol to escape his pain, he decides to be a ‘responsible’ father, and settles down at his hometown to give Haley the chance to finish her senior year in high school and apply to colleges.  Haley loved her life on the road because it enabled her to narrowly forsake her memories, therefore, when she settles in town and is not constantly moving, the shadows get darker and seem to be slowly suffocating her.  Despite Haley’s attempts to remain an outsider, she meets Finn, and when he pushes himself into her life, she cannot help but fall victim to the glimpses of hope that encapsulate a promising future.

It was heart shattering reading about Haley and Andy’s destructive relationship.  While they both unconditionally love each other, their relationship turns dangerous because they stand over life’s edge: waiting to fall, but wanting to fly.  Haley is doing her best to keep her father afloat, but how can she help him when the quicksand is rising, and the sand particles are scratching her throat preventing her shrieks from escaping her chest. When she returns home from school every day she does not think about homework or boys like most teenage girls, but rather, she fears that she will find her dad dead, or in a drunken state which makes her wonder if physically living truly means being alive.  Throughout Haley’s experiences Laurie Halse Anderson includes Andy’s memories of the  War, and I most strongly commend Anderson for this because of her brutal realism of PTSD.  Andy’s situation causes Haley to adopt a cynical view on life, however, I did not condemn this as a hamartia like in other literary characters because I could see where her dark views were coming from.

As illustrated by Haley and Andy’s relationship, this book often drifts into a dreary and sometimes depressing mood, thus Finn in my opinion was very necessary to bring light to the enveloping darkness.  However, I did not immediately love Finn, I actually thought he was really creepy and possessed stalker-ish qualities.  For example on his and Haley’s first date, he didn’t even ask Haley out, he just showed up at the football stadium that Haley was writing a news report on for the school paper (which he also made her do), and then he basically forced himself upon her.  As the story developed I did grow to love him because even though he was going through his own struggles at home he did for the most part remain steady for Haley and even stuck it out through her darker moments.

As breifly mentioned above, Haley is not the only teenager in her group of friends who faces family issues.  Her best friend Gracie’s life is being shredded by her parents’ divorce and constant fighting, and Finn’s family is unraveling because his parents continue financially supporting his older sister who abuses substanence.  Haley’s only friend with a relatively normal life is Gracie’s boyfriend, all of the others were enduring tramatic experiences.  Thus, on one hand I commend Laurie Halse Anderson for divulging all of the struggles and problems that some teenagers must face, but on the other hand I almost feel like she was trying to pack too much into this story.

Overall I really enjoyed this book beacuse of its  realism;  PTSD is not hidden under a curtain or distorted by a fog, it is illustrated in its purest and most untouched form, and I LOVED it.  I recommend it to EVERYONE and give it 5 out of 5 stars!

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Book Review


“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”  

So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s witty comedy of manners- one of the most popular novels of all time- that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues.  

This book has been on sitting on my bookshelf for what seems like forever, therefore, I finally decided to pick it up, and I absolutely loved it! Although this is a classic, it wasn’t that difficult to follow and it was not overly verbose, so if you are afraid that it is going to be a classic like Dickens, don’t worry because it is probably easier to understand than you think! For this review I have decided to keep it spoiler-free and while I will probably not be able to represent this novel with the eloquence it demands, hopefully I can convince you to read this book yourself and immerse yourself in Austen’s well crafted world!

When the story begins we meet Mr. and Mrs. Bennet a married couple with five daughters.  Mrs. Bennet has just become aware that a wealthy and eligible bachelor named Mr. Bingley has moved very near where they live.  Mrs. Bennet wants Mr. Bennet to go introduce himself to Mr. Bingley to ensure that Mr. Bingley will eventually meet one of his daughters, fall in love with her, and then marry her.  Shortly after, all of the Bennets go to a ball where they meet the famous Mr. Bingley.  However, Mr. Bingley is not alone, he comes with his best friend Mr. Darcy, and from here the enriching plot begins, and the readers witness all five daughters’ endeavors to attain happiness.

If you are thinking that this plot doesn’t sound action packed you are exactly right! There are certain plot developments which are intriguing, however, on the most part, this novel just follows Elizabeth Bennet and her journey.  Even though there are no enthralling plot twists, or on-the- edge-of-your-seat-reading-with-super-human-speed scenes, I still continued flipping the pages of the book with enthusiasm because of my amusement of the characters.  This is certainly a testament to Austen’s amazing writing ability and witty dialogue; from the first line of the story I was hooked, and this book held onto my attention for the whole journey.

Going off of that point the writing in this novel could not have been better.  It was descriptive, lush, and brilliant.  I also really enjoyed the satirical and sarcastic tone.  Reading this book was like having a conversation with a snarky person who keeps saying sassy comments in a deadpan voice while raising his or her eyebrow.  It is not that Austen hates her characters, but rather, she is amused by them and the trouble they cause, and she is not afraid to highlight their foibles.  Such as when she describes Mr. Collins, a foolish family relative of the Bennets, she directly states that his pompous behaviors are stupid.  In many of her descriptions of characters, or her dialogue, Austen’s mocking tone leaves this book a piece of comedic genius, which often left me with a goofy grin planted on my face.

Something I very much enjoyed was that there were not any purposeless characters in this novel, each character divulged a lesson or moral to be learned.  Although Kitty and Lydia, the youngest of the Bennet sisters greatly annoyed and frustrated me, I saw that there purpose was to add plot to the novel and also to show us the dangers of the mindset that any marriage brings happiness. Another important truth was displayed through my favorite character, Charlotte Lucas, a 27 year old young woman who commits a tragic yet acceptable action of marrying a man she does not particularly love because she knows he will provide for her. It is for this reason that I love Jane Austen.  Although everyone wants to fall madly in love Austen almost shoves it our faces that not everyone ends up with the person they are meant to be with and happily ever afters are not always plausible.  Austen illustrates that love is something most people have to earn, and that economic necessity and lust are often an even greater part of a marriage than love.

Finally, I want to discuss  Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, I am just going to come out and say it (prepare to gasp), but I did not like Elizabeth. I understand why everyone loves Elizabeth Bennet and I think she is a very strong female lead who stands by her beliefs, but she is very cruel to her family and she thinks way too highly of herself and her intelligence causing her to be blinded by her prejudices.  On the other hand,  I do love Mr. Darcy.  He suffers from the same pride and prejudices that  Elizabeth does, but he handles them better in my opinion because he spends most of this novel repairing the damage he caused at the beginning of the novel.

I thought Pride and Prejudice was simply going to be a book about Elizabeth’s courtship, and while it was, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was much more to this book.  Under Austen’s portrayal of society and class lies a satirical and cynical tone which I loved.  As long as all of Austen’s other books are as ironic as this one, I think she has found a new fan in me.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman Book Review


Allyson Healey’s life is exactly like her suitcase- packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her post graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invited 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.

I don’t know why it took me so long to pick up this book, it seemed like my perfect contemporary read; introverted girl + travel + romance! I would most definitely recommend this to EVERYONE. It took me just one day to read this book, making me laugh and cry along the journey, so as long as you are not afraid of all the feels, then it is a must read! Unlike all of my previous book reviews, I am going to keep this one spoiler free, and at the end I am going to share my favorite quotes!

The story follows Allyson, who is currently on an exhausting and overly planned European Tour. It is the last day of the tour, and she and her friend Melanie go see an Underground performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, where they meet Willem, a charming Dutch boy. Allyson feels the spark between her and Willem, therefore, she rebels against her cautious nature and absconds to Paris with him. Even though they are together for just one day, Allyson feels the spark grow into a fire between them.

I don’t think I have ever related more to a character than I do with Allyson. Similar to Allyson, I have always been the goody-goody who would rather stay inside watching a movie than going out to party. Even when Allyson is in Europe and can legally drink she chooses not to because she endeavors to stay out of trouble. Allyson is highly intelligent and kind, however she is very shy. This changes when she meets Willem who causes her to reinvent herself into “Lulu”, a person who is able to act boldly and be stained by life.

Although Allyson and Willem’s time together takes up a third of the story, they are only together for just one day. While following them on their journey I absolutely loved Gayle Forman’s presentation of Paris, it was so fabulous. Forman not only highlights the popular sights in Paris, but she illustrates the lesser known parts of France. So, if you are not able to go to Paris anytime soon, just read Just One Day because you will feel like you truly traveled to Paris and are completely immersed in the culture!

After what seems like a magical night with Willem, Allyson wakes up completely alone, stranded in Paris. I was really shocked that Willem left Allyson when it was only the first third of the book, because we know it is going to happen eventually, but the fact that it happened so soon enabled the plot to grow richer and more emotionally complex.

The year that follows Allyson after Willem leaves her is dark and dreary. However, when she wakes up from her stupor, she recognizes the necessity to change herself. With the help of some friends she forms, including Dee who was by far my favorite minor character, she begins to find herself once again. Although she still continues to think of Willem, Allyson begins to love her life, embracing the stains smudged on her visage.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to any who haven’t read it yet! Not only is Gayle Forman’s writing absolutely AMAZING, but the story will leave you desperate to read the companion novel Just One Year!

Favorite quotes

“Willem tsk-tsks. “ You Americans are so violent. I’m Dutch. The worst I will do is run her over with a bicycle”

“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”

“And the people we pretend at, they’re already in us. That’s why we pretend them in the first place”

“He showed myself how to get lost, and then I showed myself how to get found”