Review: Just One Year by Gayle Forman

January 17, 2014 Book 4

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Series: Just One Day, #2
Publisher: Dutton Children’s
Publication Date: October 10th 2013
Source: Provided by Publisher via Netgalley
Goodreads Summary: Just One Day. Just One Year. Just One Read.

Before you find out how their story ends, remember how it began….

When he opens his eyes, Willem doesn’t know where in the world he is—Prague or Dubrovnik or back in Amsterdam. All he knows is that he is once again alone, and that he needs to find a girl named Lulu. They shared one magical day in Paris, and something about that day—that girl—makes Willem wonder if they aren’t fated to be together. He travels all over the world, from Mexico to India, hoping to reconnect with her. But as months go by and Lulu remains elusive, Willem starts to question if the hand of fate is as strong as he’d thought. . . .

The romantic, emotional companion to Just One Day, this is a story of the choices we make and the accidents that happen—and the happiness we can find when the two intersect.

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“Accident-how I found her. Accident-how I lost her. You have to give the universe credit, the way it evens things out like that.”
-Just One Year by Gayle Forman

While in Just One Day we see Allyson’s journey towards self-discovery, in Just One Year we get to see Willem’s own journey to self-discovery.

At first I was really disappointed in this, because I thought that this book was going to be a continuation as to what happened to Allyson and Willem, but this changes quickly as we get to see Willem’s version of why he disappeared.

In Just One Day I came to hate Willem because I thought he was a douche for breaking Allyson’s heart. But there’s so much more to Willem than what meets the eye.

Other than a wonderful actor, he’s also a boy grieving the death of his father,  wondering how to bridge the distance between his mother, and ultimately a boy just… lost. This book not only provided us with Willem’s insight, but it also presented us with a magnificent story arc.

Willem travels the world trying to locate Lulu. He goes to Paris, Utrecht, Mexico, and even India trying to find her. But only with a nickname to go on, there’s no way to find her. Yet, Willem keeps trying and trying even when he keeps failing.

“There’s a difference between losing something you knew you had and losing something you discovered you had. One is a disappointment. The other feels like losing a piece of yourself. “
-Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Along the way Willem also meets and *cough* acquaints himself with some girls. I’ve got to admit that it really hurt me to see him with other girls. I couldn’t wrap around my head the fact that even if he was looking for Lulu, he was sleeping with some girls on the side. But I do understand it. There was almost no possibility for him to find her, but still.

This book was so frustrating! Willem and Allyson would be so close to each other, but because the universe is such a bitch, they would never cross paths. You don’t know how much I raged over this! Why couldn’t the universe give them a break? One little break?

Nevertheless, if they had found each other sooner, they wouldn’t be who they are today.

Also, this book was so heartbreaking! Not because of Willem & Allyson’s love story, but because of Willem’s story. Willem’s relationship with his mother is strained. Completely strained. Willem feels unloved and unwanted, and his mother just doesn’t know how to express her feelings for him. I could feel Willem’s despair. I could feel him wanting to change, wanting to be closer to her, but had no idea how to do so. Their relationship definitely went full circle. His character growth was even more impressive than Allyson’s in Just One Year.

Overall this book is definitely the best way to close both Allyson and Willem’s stories. Now I’m not sure which duology I loved more: If I Stay, or this one!

Rating: 4.5 stars

it was amazing

Author: Website | Twitter

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I'm Marianne. Professional Fangirl, part-time Blogger. Full-time college student. GIFs are a natural part of my posts, so be warned. I LOVE reading, so definitely feel free to discuss books with me. Opinions are welcome.
  • First off, that GIF! It totally expresses how I felt, too. Although the book didn’t give us more Willem and Allyson together, it was totally worth the read. I keep wishing for a novella as a continuation of their story. That would be really awesome!

    • Oh gosh yes! A novella continuation would be great! I’d also love to see more of Allyson’s friend, Melanie (I think that’s her name! XD). And yes, that GIF made me laugh so much.

  • Love the review. Will definitely check out this series. 🙂

  • aww sounds very deep and emotional, I still need to get my hands on book 1.