Just One Day Tour Stop: Paris, France

Y’all, I am beyond thrilled to be hosting GAYLE FORMAN today for one of the super awesome super amazing Just One Day tour stops. OH MY GOODNESS. Like, this is big. It’s like hosting Elvis on the blog. Or you know another of my idols. Gayle’s books have a magical way of making me feel ALL of the things – from body-wracking sobs – what up If I Stay to face cracking grins hey Where She Went how you doing to empathy and hope and swoons and a severe case of wanderlust, oh hi there Just One Day. It’s my absolute pleasure to host Gayle today.

Just One Day cover

Welcome to the JUST ONE DAY blog tour! We all know one of Gayle’s talents lies in writing the swooniest books possible, but she’s also a world traveler! Many of her experiences inspired scenes in JUST ONE DAY (and JUST ONE YEAR, out next fall!). Each day along the tour there will be a new photo from Gayle’s travels, along with the story behind the photo written by Gayle!

Paris, France

Shakespeare And Co Gayle Forman

This is a shot of my husband and one of our closest friends, Greg, outside Shakespeare and Company, the famous left-bank bookstore in Paris. When Nick and I traveled around the world, we spent the last six weeks in Europe. Greg and his wife, Diane, met us for ten freezing, amazing days in Paris.

I’ve always liked Paris but I’m not one of those people who went gaga over it (Amsterdam was the European city that stole my heart). Similarly, I’ve always liked Shakespeare well enough, but I was not one of those people who went around quoting him or even taking advantage of New York City’s summer Shakespeare in the Park series.

But books surprise you. If I Stay’s big surprise was the cello—I hadn’t known I was a fan until Mia arrived a classical musician. And Just One Day bestowed twin surprises: First Paris, then Shakespeare.

The seed for Just One Day came in a dream. I saw a guy and a girl in an abandoned building of sorts. I knew they’d just had an intense day together and I knew they were away from home. As the story unspooled in my half-wake state, I recognized they were in Paris—but not the Paris I knew, which back then was the Paris most tourists knew. Theirs was a slightly fringier, less postcard-y Paris, and when I traveled back to get to know that city, I fell in love, hard.

As for Shakespeare, when I started writing Just One Day, I wanted to place Allyson on her Teen Tour! in a very touristy spot, hence Stratford-upon-Avon. You don’t do Stratford-upon-Avon if you aren’t seeing some Shakespeare, so I put Allyson in line for Hamlet. Then the love interest—a Dutch boy I’d already named Willem—showed up and as Allyson and I checked him out, it turned out that he was an actor, acting in an underground Shakespearian production. So, suddenly Shakespeare was here to stay.

Which meant research. Which in this case meant going to plays. One of which was As You Like It, which I watched with my heart in throat, for the entire play because it was so romantic and immediate. When I sat down to read it afterwards, I was amazed at the richness of the work, how timeless and transcendent it was, but also how specific it was to the books I was writing. It spoke to themes of identity, love, trust, and it was crazy sexy and funny.

I am now officially in love with Shakespeare. And with Paris. Just like Allyson, I suppose.

Start reading JUST ONE DAY right now!

LIKE the JUST ONE DAY/JUST ONE YEAR Facebook page for all the latest news!

Want to see more of Gayle Forman’s amazing traveling? Penguin Teen is posting one picture a day on tumblr for a whole YEAR! [LINK:http://penguinteen.tumblr.com/tagged/gayle-forman-travels]

Travel with Gayle along the JUST ONE DAY tour!
Mon, 1/7 Mundie Moms
Tues, 1/8 The Story Siren
Wed, 1/9 Alice Marvels
Thurs, 1/10 Anna Reads
Fri, 1/11 Forever Young Adult

Mon, 1/14 Dear Author
Wed, 1/16 Night Owl Reviews
Thurs, 1/17 Presenting Lenore
Fri, 1/18 Ticket to Anywhere

Pretty much Gayle Forman is the best and I’m beyond excited to have hosted her. I love how Gayle fell in love with Shakespeare and how Paris came as a surprise. Let me know in the comments if you’ve found a love for something that just kind of manifests out of nowhere — whether it’s for As You Like It or for a touristy city!


gayle forman new

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. YAY! It’s true that the Paris described in Just One Day is not the ‘normal’ toursity Paris, but I recognized places in Paris all the same, from having been there several times myself, and I really appreciated that Allyson didn’t run around only to see the Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe! It made the experience seem more real in a way!

    I’m gonna follow this tour around now 🙂

    • Right? It was so cool that she got to explore – to me- a little known part of Paris. It definitely felt authentic.

      This blog tour is definitely worth following — I’ve checked out a few of the stops and they are all very interesting.

  2. Shakespeare & Company was AHMAZZZINGGGG. Words cannot express my love for that store. And this book!

  3. Nice! Paris is definitely on my list of places to visit…so many places to visit…AHHHHH this book is showing up at my house today!! Can’t wait!!

  4. Love seeing Shakespeare and Company-although I’ve never visited, my friend bought me a bag from there so it makes me smile 🙂

  5. One of the things I loved most about Just One Day was that you didn’t see the “Normal” Paris that we Americans think of as a tourists dream! You got to see real people and real life! It was fantastic!!

    I just cannot gush enough about how much I loved this one!

    • Right? I love when books that have travel as a main theme go off the beaten path — like Wanderlove did that too and like you said it’s so awesome to see real people and real life.

  6. I loved this! I WANT THIS BOOK. And I’m first on the holds list, but alas, my library system is slowwwww. I love Paris, which is why I know this book will be GOLD. I went there for a week in highschool and I really hope to go there again soon.

    • I’m jealous that you got to go to Paris for a week in high school. The most exotic place we ever went was Quebec.

      Anyways, I hope you LOVE Just One Day when you read it. 🙂

  7. Let’s all run away to Paris!

  8. I just finished reading this–and I love reading the story of how it started! Lovely guest post and anecdote.

    *whispers* And it IS kinda like hosting a rock star on your blog!

  9. I finished this the other day and, gosh, it was JUST WHAT I NEEDED! I loved the guest post. I hope to one day travel beyond my country. 🙂

    • Right? I read this after a jag of some not so great books and it was totally what the doctor ordered.

      I feel the same, although I’ve been to Canada, I’d like to go a little farther.

  10. Reading Just One Day and this post (and all the others) from Gayle just make me want to GET UP AND GO. I just want to travel and immerse myself in a new culture and experience!

    • Oh my god right? Like I would just love to walk out of where I am right now, hop on a plane and travel the world. But then the college loan thugs would bust my knee caps, so there is that. But seriously, how awesome to immerse yourself in all of the things — culture and experience.


  1. […] one time I got to host the most amazing Gayle Forman on the blog and managed not to make an ass of […]