YA Book Club: Just One Day

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Today is a glorious day, for after far too long it is time for another installment in YA Book Club, hosted by Tracey Neithercott. This month’s selection was Just One Day by Gayle Forman. (Book cover links to Goodreads page.)

12842115I absolutely adored Just One Day, to the point where I stayed up until one in the morning to finish it – which is a feat I rarely accomplish anymore because I’m a Premature Old Person. Initially I read it in bits and pieces at work during lunch, but I realized quickly that bits and pieces wasn’t going to do Forman’s descriptions of England and Paris justice – she did such a great job creating settings that really came to life and made me so jealous of Allyson/Lulu’s adventures (and not just because she was running around with a cute Dutch boy, but that sure didn’t hurt).

It took a little while to get into what I felt was the meat of the story, but I didn’t mind because I was so busy enjoying the settings. But what I loved the most about this book was Allyson’s discovery of Lulu, her fearless alter-ego, during her one day in Paris with Willem, followed by the following year in which she struggled to find Lulu again – and realize that Lulu and Allyson are actually the same person. I think what struck me most was how honest Allyson’s struggles were – her struggle to figure out what she wants now that she has the power to decide is something a lot of us could probably relate to at that age, and I feel like this perfectly captures what the whole New Adult thing is about.

For me, the romance wasn’t nearly as important to the book as Allyson’s self-discovery, but I still loved it. I loved how Willem brought out the more fearless side of Allyson, and I spent the entire second part of the book rooting for them…although I can’t really go into it too much more because spoilers. Suffice to say, I can’t wait to read Willem’s side of the story.

Have you read Just One Day? Go join the discussion at Tracey’s blog!

Review: Broken at Love

Broken at Love (Whitman University, #1)Broken at Love by Lyla Payne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Full disclosure: this was only the second New Adult book I’ve read, like, ever. But I can tell you I will most certainly be reading many more after Broken at Love.

At first Broken at Love seems like just a fun read, and it is a really fun read. In fact, I read most of it in one sitting, staying up past my bedtime to finish it – one of the highest compliments a book can get from me. It had everything I love – pretty rich people, brooding (and hot) men, and enough drama to fuel a whole fleet of soap operas. But what really made me love it was the genuine chemistry Quinn and Emilie had – it didn’t feel forced at all, to the point where no matter how despicable some of the things Quinn did were, I was still rooting for them because separating them would just be cruel.

So. Originally, I gave the book 4 stars. But then I let myself sit on that, as I do before I write a review. And now here are the reasons I ultimately bumped it up to a 5:

First of all, Emilie’s confidence. One thing that has turned me off of romance novels is the fact that most of the women are delicate little virginal flowers who wait around for their One True Love and a whole host of other things that make me roll my eyes. Emilie, on the other hand, knows what she wants, she’s not ashamed of it, and she goes for it, even knowing there’s a good chance it’ll be a one time thing. In addition to that, even though she insists there’s something good in Quinn under all the angst and horrible things he’s done, she doesn’t try to turn him into something he’s not. If more romance heroines were like Emilie, I’d probably read more romance novels.

And Quinn. Ohh, Quinn. At the beginning of the story, he’s a really easy guy to hate. He actively does everything he can to reinforce that he is, in fact, a terrible person. But by the end of the story…you’ll love him. Not because he turns into a Prince Charming (yawn), but because – not unlike Sawyer from Lost – we come to realize that under that whole act Quinn puts on, there is a decent guy in there. Somewhere.

Also, have I mentioned how much I love Quinn and Emilie together? I did? Oh. Still do.

Broken at Love is available now. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy!

Thank you to the author for providing an ARC for review.

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