Just One Night
Author: Gayle Forman
Series: Just One Day, #2.5
Page Count: 40
Publisher: Viking Children’s Books
Original Publication Date: 2014
Genre(s): Young adult, Romance, Novella
Willem and Allyson had one magical day in Paris together in Just One Day before being losing each other for a long, tumultuous year. In that year, both characters find themselves before they can find each other. Allyson’s journey continues in the first book, while Willem’s story is told in Just One Year. Now, in Just One Night, we get the story after the end of both novels: Willem and Allyson’s reunion.
Don’t authors know how to leave some things up to readers’ imaginations, anymore? Did we really need a 40-page novella about the after? I mean, yeah, of course we as readers want to see that magical moment when two lovers reunite and all the ends are tied up and everyone lives happily ever after. But I feel like we don’t really need that spelled out for us, ya know? I feel like ending the story right there—Willem and Allyson kissing after a whole year apart—is perfect. It leaves everything after that up to the reader’s interpretation. I found Just One Year unnecessary, but I firmly believe Just One Night is even more unnecessary.
The novella is told in third-person POV, so we get all of both Willem’s and Allyson’s thoughts. It gets crazy busy with all the reminiscing on both sides. To be honest, most of this story is just that: reminders about the events and characters from the first two books. So, not only do we get the extended ending that we all could have just as easily imagined, but we also get a rundown of everything that happened in the other books that most fans probably remembered, anyway… I found it especially annoying in 2019 having just read the previous two books back-to-back, almost. Also, the writing was lackluster. The voices sounded…off. The story was rushed. It’s just a tacked-on extended ending that shouldn’t have been.
I’m not sure how else to say it: this book was unnecessary. I didn’t need it, I didn’t want it, but now it’s over. Phew.