Breia Brissey
January 11, 2013 AT 03:00 PM EST

Just three days ago, Gayle Forman’s newest YA novel, Just One Day, hit shelves. In honor of the book’s release, Penguin Teen is hosting a 24-hour read-a-thon on Twitter. Starting today at 5 p.m. ET to tomorrow at 5 p.m., fans are encouraged to read the book and Tweet about their progress with the hashtag #JustOneDay. Then from 7–8 p.m., Forman will participate in a chat and answer questions about Just One Day and the upcoming sequel, Just Another Year. After the jump, Forman teases the special promotion and offers up a juicy casting tidbit about the film adaptation of her book, If I Stay

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What’s been the reaction to Just One Day so far? 

GAYLE FORMAN: I’ve heard from readers on Twitter for the most part. They seem pretty into it. And strangely, they’re pretty emotional about it. I was a little surprised by that. If I Stay and Where She Went, I understand where you might get your Kleenex out. I understand it’s kind of an emotional story, but I don’t expect to make you cry on this one! [Laughs] But people have been telling me, “Oh, the cliff-hanger!” and “Oh, the crying!” So it’s been pretty gratifying. A lot of people are reading it in just one day, which I enjoy—although they should wait until tomorrow!

Speaking of, where did the idea for a 24-hour read-a-thon come from? 

There were so many things that I wanted to do thinking about what can happen in a day. And it sounds gimmicky because the title is Just One Day, but really it’s about the fact that the book questions how much in your life can change in just one day. Originally I had this brilliant—I thought—idea that we would give away the book for free to various e-reader devices for just a day. You could download the book for free, and then it would disappear in 24 hours. I thought that the technology existed because when you check out library books they show up and disappear. But apparently it doesn’t exist for this kind of thing…. Also I wanted a way to make it a communal experience. Travel is such a big thing about the book, and one of the things about travel is that you come together with these random people who you’ve never met before and have this communal experience.

At the end of the 24-hour period you’re participating in an author chat. Will you follow along with the read-a-thon Tweets prior to that? 

I’m going to try to stay off because [if people are] hating it or having a problem with something, I don’t want them to feel like they can’t say it because I’m there monitoring. So I’m going to stay out of it. Penguin has all these fantastic moderators from different blogs that are going to be there keeping things going.

NEXT: Forman talks about the film adaptation of If I Stay

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