Just One Yearby Gayle Forman
Series: Just One Day #2
Published on October 10, 2013 by Dutton Children's
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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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.
I read the first installment of this series, Just One Day, quite a few years ago now and I tried to read this one right after, but for some reason I could not get into it. I had always wanted to finish this duology but never got around to it. A few weeks ago, I went to the library for the first time in forever and saw Just One Year on the shelf so I decided to grab it. I’m really glad I waited to read this. It felt like I was learning about the characters all over again. It was a different experience than I would have had reading this right after the first one.
While I really liked Just One Year, there were some things that I didn’t enjoy. To me, even though I read Just One Day so long ago, it felt like the same book. I understand that that was kind of the point, I just felt like the voices of Allison and Willem were very similar.
I also didn’t really like how Willem moped around the entire book because he couldn’t find her. Like he went to Mexico to look for her, but had no idea where she was staying. He set himself up to fail and then couldn’t understand why he was depressed. I don’t know, it just kind of bugged me.
Other than that though, I enjoyed the writing and being able to experience the world with Willem. I also connected with him a lot when he found his love for theater renewed. Two years ago that was me. I started out with an understudy role and now I’m about to be one of the leads in a play in November. So I definitely connected with Willem on that level. I also really loved his friends. They seemed to really care about him and want him to be happy, even if it meant doing research for days, or traveling across the world in search of some girl who’s name you don’t even know.
I do recommend this duology to those that love contemporaries. It’s unique while keeping in tune with normal contemporary themes and that’s what I love about it.