Review: Just One Year – Gayle Forman

Review: Just One Year – Gayle FormanJust One Year by Gayle Forman
Series: Just One Day #2
Published by Speak
Published: September 30, 2014
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
four-stars

The compelling companion title to the much-lauded  Just One Day  follows Willem's transformative journey toward self-discovery and true love, by the author of  If I Stay.

Picking up where  Just One Day  ended, Just One Year  tells Willem's side of the story. After spending an amazing day and night with Allyson in Paris that ends in separation, Willem and Allyson are both searching for one another. His story of their year of quiet longing and near misses is a perfect counterpoint to Allyson’s own as Willem undergoes a transformative journey, questioning his path, finding love, and ultimately, redefining himself.

Let me start by saying how excited I was when a friend got an advanced copy of this and let me borrow it before she even read it. She is totally awesome. I’ve been dying to read this book since I finished Just One Day back in January and it didn’t disappoint…for the most part. Although I didn’t love it as much as Just One Day, I really enjoyed Willem’s story which turned out to be a year of growth and changes.

Just One Year is the companion to Just One Day. I say companion because although it has the exact same characters and revolves around the same circumstances I didn’t find it to be a sequel. It was more a story on its own. It was Willem’s story. When we left our couple in Just One Day we never really got to know what happened to Willem and why he disappeared and what had happened to him. It was all a blank slate and Just One Year clears it all up. We get to see what Willem has been up to in the year since he and “Lulu” had parted. What obstacles he faced, what trials were thrown at him, how much he grew as a person. We find out if he was looking for “Lulu” or if he didn’t care as much. We really get to know him.

You know, I liked Willem a lot in Just One Day. What we knew of him it was good stuff. But it was surface stuff for the most part. Sure we knew his thoughts on love and family, but I didn’t feel we really go to know him. Well that all changed in this book and I liked Willem even more as I watched him truly become a man and not be stuck in that man/boy stage. When we first met him he was kind of a lost soul and “Lulu” grounded him, touched him in a way that would forever change him, and in the year they were apart, he was changed. From the first page to the last Willem changed and I loved being able to clearly see that transformation. We as the reader really got to be a part of it which isn’t always the case.

I know, this review is all very vague, but that’s because I don’t want to give away the wonderfulness of the book. Like I said, to me, it wasn’t as good as the 1st book, and I have my reasons for that that I can’t share without giving away some of the plot, but it really was a great journey. I didn’t want to throw in the towel at any point. I wanted to know everything I could and that is because of Forman’s style of writing which pulls you in. She has a knack for writing character stories whether it is Mia and Adam from If I Stay/Where She Went or Willem and LuLu from the Just One Day Series. You become a part of the journey and that is definitely what happened in Just One Year. I would definitely recommend it. It’s a great period and exclamation point on a great two-part story.

 

You may also like

3 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.