Parents' Guide to

Just One Day

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Mature romance explores love, travel, and self-discovery.

Just One Day Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

One of the Best Romance Novels Ever!!

This Book is yet another amazing novel by Gayle Forman. This book has has some steamy Sex scenes and kissing. There is some innuendo and Sexual comments like lulu mentions wanting all of her boyfriend and there is licking during sexual conduct. Violence is not anything big but there is a scene of nuns harassing Muslim women and lulu throws a heavy book and a bottle at the men. Swearing is mild but there is stuff like "ass" and some uses of "Sh-t" but that is it.

This title has:

Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (4):

Author Gayle Forman Forman has created in Allyson's story the kind of intense 24-hour romance that quickens pulses. Forman has already impressed readers with a moving novel about the difference a day makes, so it's no surprise she's taken the idea and inserted strangers instead of estranged exes as she did in Where She Went. This is a truly transformative coming-of-age tale that will inspire young women to take the Shakespearean line "to thine own self be true" to heart. By allowing Willem to rename her Lulu (he never learns her real name that night), Allyson starts off acting like a more adventurous spirit but slowly comes to realize she is capable of so much more than meeting her parents' straight-A, pre-med, Ivy League expectations.

The "Just One Day" part of the book provides that heady feeling of falling madly and deeply for Willem, who is both edgy and safe, worldly and idealistic, mysterious and open. Every "good girl" secretly wonders what it's like to surrender to the unknown, and Forman touchingly conveys how even the smallest of moments is actually a monumental step in Allyson's one-day metamorphosis. Once the story shifts to the "Just One Year" section, Forman delves into Allyson's depression, confusion, and alienation with an authenticity that's heartbreaking. Various supporting characters add humor and depth -- like Allyson's best college friend Dee, who as a gay, black scholarship kid knows exactly what it means to play different parts for different people. Best of all, the writing never fails to express the excitement of discovering parts of yourself that you never thought existed. By the final line, you won't be able to wait to read the companion book, Just One Year, which is told from Willem's point of view.

Book Details

  • Author: Gayle Forman
  • Genre: Contemporary Fiction
  • Topics: Adventures, Trains
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Penguin Group
  • Publication date: January 8, 2013
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 17
  • Number of pages: 320
  • Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate