Just One Year (Just One Day #2) by Gayle Forman
Other Books Reviewed in This Series: Just One Day
Publication Date: October 10, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Target Audience: Young Adult
Keywords: Falling in Love, Traveling the World, Lost Love, Theater and Acting
Format Read: ARC borrowed from Lena at Addicted 2 Novels
Summary: After a day spent with Allyson (also known as Lulu), Willem is on the search for her. Their chance encounter has changed his life, and he desperately wants to find her.
After finishing Just One Day, I couldn’t help but feel this sense of wonderment. The places Willem and Allyson visited. Their adventures… and even their misadventures. It left me yearning to travel more. And then there was that ending. Let’s just be honest and say that it shocked us all. Was Willem the boy we had fallen in love with? Who was this boy? And why, oh, why must Gayle Forman torture us and make us wait to find out what happened?
Just One Year is told from Willem’s perspective this go-around. With all of my hesitations about his character, I was left feeling pretty unsure about wanting to know him better. I needed Allyson to give him a good one-two-punch and knock some major sense into him. Willem’s story begins the day he and Allyson are separated — oh, you know, the day that our hearts all swooned and we wanted to break into buildings with boys we met the day before. He recalls moments with Lulu (the only name he ever knew her by) and we get to see what he was thinking and feeling as they spent their day together. (Le sigh.)
Most important to me were the details of WHY he left her alone, stranded, what happened, and how he spent his year. Was Willem searching for Lulu like she was searching for him? We’re led to believe he’s a bit of a playboy, but is it true? Does he pine for her (maybe a little less melodramatically), or does he just move on with his life?
Just One Day was about Allyson’s growth and transformation, just as much as Just One Year is about Willem’s maturity and coming to terms with the loss of his father and peace-making with his mother. He and his mom aren’t on good terms after the death of his father. He’s become lost, a wanderer. Above all else, I love that Forman doesn’t just focus on the reunion of Willem and Allyson (though heck yes that’s the top reason I was breezing through the pages). Willem’s story is a journey, quite literally the majority of the time as he traipses around the globe … one that will have you glued to the pages.
Without fail, Forman’s writing continues to be top-notch. She beautifully enters the mind of a young male who can sometimes be easily distracted and quickly discouraged. She impeccably describes each of the locations Willem ventures to and will, without doubt, make you wish you could hop on the next flight out from your local airport.