Review Detail

4.1 4
Young Adult Fiction 3513
Revealing
Overall rating
 
3.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
And I finally did it. It took me more than a year since I bought the book to actually read it. I didn’t want to. So much has changed in my life since I got this book and I hadn’t been able to read it. Didn’t feel like I could but part of moving on is facing small things, difficult things, that make every day a bit harder and that’s what I’m doing. I’m proud of me and that’s a wonderful feeling.

Now, boy, I did have such a hard time reading this book. I mean, I really enjoyed Forman’s storytelling, it’s beautiful, straight to the point, clear and full of meaning. But, there was this factor I couldn’t like and it took me 75% of the book to say “you know, you’re not that bad after all” and that was Allyson.

Not liking one of the MCs or the main MC and the one who’s telling the story, well, that’s a real deal breaker for me but I kept reading. I wasn’t going to give up and I’m glad I didn’t because, even though it took me a lot of time to like Allyson, I could relate to some things, feelings and situations and, in the end, I knew that reading this book was going to help me see things differently. And just like it happened to Allyson, I realized a great deal about myself.

First we have this girl named Allyson and her best friend Melanie and we’re told all about their trip to Europe. They’re starting college and this trip was a gift from Allyson’s parents. A lifetime experience. But, as the paragraphs go, we see how Allyson isn’t one to take risks. She lives her life as her parents dictate and she’s pretty much a pushover. Her friend Melanie is the wild one. The one who is adventurous and always tries to make Allyson to try new things. Their friendship was doomed from the beginning and it’s not because they’re different, no, it’s because what really kept them united was all the years they spent together.

Sometimes, when you know someone from a very long time, you just end up not knowing them at all. All these detail and precious information we gather when we’re getting to know someone, are somehow lost under the years. I think that’s what happened between the two of them. And going to different colleges just make that even clearer.

That doesn’t mean I liked Melanie, because I didn’t. I can’t like a person who’s always trying to do what they think is best for you whether you’re or not okay with it.

Friends are supposed to help you get through the bridge, not push you to the end and then say “you’re welcome”.

So, when Allyson meets Willem and she’s all enchanted and curious but cautious, yeah, I could see where that was coming from but I didn’t like so much how she went and decided to go to Paris with the guy she just met.
Sue me but I believe there are a lot of fucked up people in the world who can be whoever they want to be to get just what they want from people. But, let’s play along because I can somehow, maybe, yes forgive Allyson for that.
The whole day she spent with Willem was a really great day. They’re both quite different but they met halfway and they made it all work. She’s easy to jump to conclusions and he’s just so good at making people to stop and breathe. I had trouble with Allyson being so childish but her parents were so damn strict with her and all that control, well, I knew why she was the way she was. But as the day ends and shit happens, I didn’t know what to think.

Why did Willem leave?

Even if he didn’t feel the same way as Allyson, we got to know him as much as to consider him kind enough to not leave the girl alone in a strange city after they slept together.

So, who the fuck is Willem, then?

He’s this Dutch actor who believes that falling in love is not the same as being in love and that accidents, big or smalls, are what drive us to wherever we need to be.
He has a peculiar vision of the world and I can’t say I disagree with him. It all makes sense but still, he was, is, a great mystery. Why was he the way he was? Why was he so far from his home? Why didn’t he go back to Holland before? Is he running away?

Those same questions and more are the only thing Allyson can think. Oh, and the pain and misery she feels. The heartbreak. The feeling that she was more herself when she was with Willem for that one day than all these years.

I got she was mourning, not only for the way she’d been played but also for the Allyson she was when she was in Paris. The Allyson who was happy, carefree and real. But now she’s in college, being Pre-Med, no real friends and living a lie.

She’s utterly unhappy and it’s so painful to see I got annoyed rather quickly.
She was such a bitch. Not to people but to herself. She didn’t know how to handle things with her parents and she didn’t handle well what happened with Willem and now she’s alone in Boston and getting bad grades.

I know exactly how that feels like, so maybe that’s why I couldn’t stand the way she was coping with things and I had to remind myself that we all deal with our shit differently but she was just so stupid.

Why wasn’t she nicer to herself? She was really smart, she knew things were going to end at some point or she was going to end up living the life her parents wanted her to live. We know what we do, what we don’t and what we deserve and what we don’t so I think she just liked being like that so she didn’t have to make any decision.

I can’t be okay with that.

So, after a few breakdowns and family fights and arguments with Melanie, she started to see the fucking light and started to do shit by herself. Thank gods.

You know why I kept reading even though I didn’t like Allyson?
Because the book was really good. The changes, the people around Allyson, the situations, the feeling… All those things were exactly what she needed, what we needed to read because I think we can all relate to them. It’s a really general yet an important topic: finding yourself and be okay with it.

It’s never late to start over and do things just for you. It’s never late to wake up and be different, if you want. Or be a different version of yourself, a better version, a version that makes you happy. And because the book delivered that it’s why I liked it.

Allyson was getting better, making old/new friends, facing their parents, learning what she likes, what she doesn’t like and then, making decisions.
Going back to Paris was a good call and I got happy what she worked her ass off and managed to do it. I liked how she worked things with her mom without giving ground away and I loved when she went to places because she wanted to. That’s what I wanted for her since the very start. Searching for Willem and for answers, took Allyson to meet new people, things and parts of her she didn’t know and what a wonderful thing it was.

The end of the book were both predictable and shocking. Like, what happens before the end were unexpected but the main thing wasn’t. So I’m both happy and mad for the way the book ends.
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