by Gayle Forman
A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay
When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines. (*from goodreads)
I am so biased when it comes to this particular author because she won me over with her If I stay and Where she went books. But, I will be so fair in reviewing this that i would contain myself and won't shout screams for this entire review. I'll try. :)
Honestly, I get rid of this Forman's book for awhile because the last time I read her 2 last books, my heart was broken and mended. Either or And, my heart can contain one tragedy series at a time. :) Her writing style fits everything about life, love and especially lost. Her characters are well built that once you found yourself reading about their lowest times, some of your sympathetic tears will come after. The pace will alternately be so slow when she's trying to just let a girl character make her over analysis and dramas(heh) and be so fast on some times when scenes is getting real good. Then when things feels like they continue to conclude real smooth, it gets better and just cut out at the end(but it ended so well anyway). It's still the journey that I encountered that made me click that 4 and a half stars.
I can feel the chemistry of the couples of the books of Forman too, which are amazingly all well-flawed. This book has Willem in it and at first I thought he's a typical boy wanderer who does adventures everywhere. I thought I could had been guessed the ending, him, taking Lulu to Paris and sweep her off her feet. But, it goes beyond that. I think some revelations will be on the next book but the mystery side of him will really intrigue me and will make me cry every night 'til October(?). Exaggeration aside, aren't you intrigued too? I mean, come on, the playboy side, the parents, the not-so-much-subtle things happened that morning, the phone numbers of the girls(or are those really numbers?), the French girl, and all others are some of the things makes up most of his personality which we can further fathom in the next book. That, i can't wait.
Allyson got some demons too but I sensed some courageous acts from her, that I can't help but root for her. Her way of thinking, her bravery, her kindness was written all over the book that I knew she just needed to be brought into a terrible moment of her life just so she can be better. Dee, the gay friend, I must say is a simple stereotype. But you can't go wrong with a homo, and Paris, and Shakespeare.
Paris, and all of Europe makes most of the settings in this book and one particular time, I planned to be lost too in a foreign land. I found myself calculating my funds too *smiles*. Take a train, be lost somewhere and learn French. The idea of it is as broad as Allyson's journey. Though, sometimes I can't picture some of them. It's a disadvantage I think if one haven't seen them, with in this case, yours truly. Some descriptions are so simple and enumerated that a simple reader can't make from her air castles. I, sometimes just felt only the heat of the sun in some scenes with her, walking down the street. Maybe, that was why I can't give that full 5th star. :(
I simple love all the characters, even Celine'. Even Allyson's mom. Maybe because, it 's not them who call the shots. This book comprises accidents and miracles and timing. I already thought of the couple's scenario and eventhough that just one day felt so unreal and blissful, the reality after the trip is to break them apart. Because I would be so pissed if it ended with that day and forever just after a flick of Forman's fingers. I appreciate that much. Besides, the second book will be published and is happening soon. :)
If you happen to read a novel before this, read this anyway. It might make you differentiate the two. And maybe make this a favorite.