Posted May 13, 2013 by in Amazing Books

24/7: Seven Novels That Take Place in a Single Day

A lot can happen in twenty-four hours, and novels that take place in a single day make good use of every minute. In these novels, a single day can change a life. Each offers a fast-paced, poignant look at the rapidly-changing lives we live. Most of these are young adult novels, capturing the unlimited possibilities and romantic opportunities of youth.

novels that take place in a single day

1. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Two teens, broken-hearted and emotionally scarred, share a crazy night on the music scene in New York City. They discover themselves and each other as they search for a good time. The story is told in alternating points of view between Nick and Norah, and David Levithan’s writing truly shines here in his voice for Nick. This book is fun, sexy, and intensely emotional.

novels that take place in a single day

2. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

They met before boarding a plane from New York to London. Hadley is attending her father’s marriage to his second wife, and she does not want to go. Oliver is returning to London for some unspecified family business. They talk for the whole flight, only to part ways in the airport and return to their lives. But there was something magical in that flight, will the fates align to bring these two together again?

3. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Ed and Lucy embark on an all-night hunt for The Shadow, an elusive Melbourne graffiti artist. Ed and Lucy share narration of the story as they meet a “colorful” cast of characters. Lucy wants to meet The Shadow because she’s convinced he’s amazing and will never hurt her. Ed is a dyslexic high school dropout with a story to tell. Cath Crowley’s lyrical writing is bound to impress and melt even the coldest pebble of a heart.

novels that take place in a single day

4. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Okay, so including this book on the list is a little bit of a stretch. Before I Fall is about repeating the same day over and over. So technically it’s the same 24 hour period. It’s a little bit Groundhog’s Day and a little bit Mean Girls. Samantha Kingston is a pretty mean, very popular girl who happens to die in a tragic accident one night at a party. She is forced to relive the day until she figures out how to do it right. But what will be her ultimate fate?

5. Where She Went by Gayle Foreman

The emotional sequel to If I Stay, Where She Went is a whirl-wind rekindling of a high school romance. Three years after ending their relationship, Adam and Mia meet again in New York City. He’s a rock star, she’s a student at Juilliard, and both were left grieving after a terrible car accident. So many emotions are packed into one night: grief, depression, guilt, tenderness, hope, and love.

novels that take place in a single day

6. Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

In this romantic comedy, three stories by three different authors tell the story of a train stuck in the North Carolina mountains during a Christmas Eve blizzard. Not just any train — a train full of cheerleaders. The action centers around the local Waffle House and a Starbucks. Love is found, kisses are shared, and Twister is played (yes, at the Waffle House).

7. The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

Amber escapes to the beach to escape her life and be alone. But then she meets Cade. She and Cade share an adventure filled day with no fear and no regrets. Amber is trying escape her complicated life, but she realize there is more to Cade than meets the eye. If everyone lived a day like this at least once in a lifetime, I think we’d all be a little happier.

Seven novels, seven days. So many variations on living and loving life to the fullest! All of these are relatively short, so I challenge readers to pick one and read it over a single day (I read Let It Snow on Christmas Eve, and it was charming!). What is your favorite novel or movie that takes place in a single day? What was your most novel-worthy day of your life?

24/7: Seven Novels That Take Place in a Single Day 5.00/5 (100.00%) 2 votes


Former middle school teacher and school librarian, current doctoral student in education. Reader of all things young adult. I'm particularly fond of dystopian societies, sassy female protagonists, and clever dialogue. I can often be found asleep with a book on my face.