If you are looking for a LEVEL 2 fix though, check out my recap of last night's LEVEL 2 US launch party over at the Lucky 13s blog.
When I heard that Gayle Forman had a new book coming out, and that it featured travel, I knew I had to read it. After all, I loved IF I STAY and I love traveling.
JUST ONE DAY definitely captures the serendipitous nature of travel and the way it broadens your horizons. Straitlaced Allyson follows her packaged tour through Europe to a T, until she meets Willem and he convinces her to go with him to Paris. She adopts an alter ego (LuLu) and is the most carefree she's ever been in her life ... until Willem disappears.
I do have to warn you that once Allyson returns to the US and starts college, she's irritatingly mopey -- but it does have a narrative point, trust me. The ending of this one will have you screaming "why isn't the second book out already?". Aggh! I cannot wait!
And now, let's hear from Gayle!
I was in India, and I was sick, the kind of sick you often get in India that has you running for toilets or corners to barf in and crying for your mother even though you are 31 years old.
I hadn’t eaten in days and I was getting woozy. My husband convinced me to try to find something I could keep down. We climbed the to the top of the fort in the desert city of Jaisalmer and stumbled upon this restaurant called July 8. That was our friend Diane’s birthday. Indians are big on auspicious signs, so, taking a page from the local rulebook, we decided to go in.
It was empty. And hot. I ordered ginger tea because ginger is supposed to be good for nausea. But when it arrived, the smell of it made my stomach somersault. I pushed it away. Rama, the restaurant’s owner, chided me: ìDon’t you like my tea?î When I explained about my bad stomach, she turned serious. ìGinger will heat you up. You need something to cool your tummy.î
Over the next several days, Rama fed me various foods depending on my symptoms and then we spent the better part of the mornings talking, about life, love, 8th days, heartbreak and hope. July 8th may have been one day of significance but the 8th of the month seemed to be important in my life: lots of important birthdays and anniversaries, and one very tragic day. I wound up pouring my heart out to Rama, and she to me. Her various concoctions healed my stomach, but our talks went a long way to healing my broken heart [maybe link back to Buddy and Scott and escape blog post?].
Would I have ventured into her restaurant if it was called something else? Would I have met someone else who would have had the same profound effect on me? I’m not sure. It’s one of those mysteries of travel. Of life, too, really.
Start reading JUST ONE DAY right now!
Want to see more of Gayle Forman’s amazing traveling? Penguin Teen is posting one picture a day on tumblr for a whole YEAR!
Fri, 1/18 Ticket to Anywhere