Magan: Just One Year by Gayle Forman

sequel to Just One Day by Gayle FormanJust 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
Pages: 336
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.

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10 thoughts on “Magan: Just One Year by Gayle Forman

  1. Lucy @ The Reading Date says:

    Yay so glad you loved this one! Like you, I was feeling iffy about Willem after Just One Day but it was so satisfying to get to know his story in this book. And yes, these 2 books do give me a travel itch.
    I want more of Willem and Allyson’s story but I know that’s not Forman’s style 🙂 Fab review!

  2. Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit says:

    Wonderful review – I’m so glad to hear everyone talking about the journey that Willem takes more than just the romance.

    I do wish I hadn’t found out that Willem’s father died in your review, but I’m guessing we find that out pretty quickly and it’s not a big spoiler?

    I’m so excited about this book – I’m basically salivating every time anyone talks about it. I had a very personal relationship with Just One Day, really hoping that Just One Year provides that to me, too.

    • Magan says:

      Hey Tiff! Thanks so much! I don’t think I’ve ruined anything by sharing that Willem’s father has passed away. It’s mentioned in Just One Day, briefly, and it’s not a pivotal point of Just One Year. Moreso, the focus is on reconnecting with his mother after his father’s death separates them. I hope you do, indeed, love JOY when you read it! Thanks for the comments everyone!

  3. Marathon @ Paranormal Indulgence says:

    I’ve been so reluctant to give this series a go. Mainly because I was unsure if our happy couple was actually going to have a happy ending. But what has me convinced to start it is the obvious growth BOTH characters experience, and yes, the idea of reading their reunion has me excited as well.

  4. Bookworm1858 says:

    I was really frustrated with Allyson in JOD because of her infatuation with Willem, who I thought was unworthy of her. I am curious if I will reconsider my impression of that book by reading JOY.

  5. Hannah @ So Obsessed With says:

    Oh this book! You already know how much I loved it (and you, for passing it along to me). I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about Willem, and I decided to re-read Just One Day before diving into this one. I’m so glad I did that because it was wonderful to read the two back-to-back! I loved the way the stories complemented each other so well. Gosh! I can’t wait to write my review. Either way, you did a lovely job of highlighting just what’s so special about this book!

  6. Ellice says:

    I haven’t read any Gayle Forman books yet. I own If I Stay, Where She Went, AND Just One Day, so you can tell that I’m pretty confident that I will like her books 🙂 This review makes me even more excited to experience her writing!!

  7. Jess @ Gone with the Words says:

    I loved this book A LOT. I thought Willem’s journey was beautiful in its own way, just like Allyson’s was for her. I was also a little worried on what his year was like but I was not disappointed on all the feels. It was perfect. 😀 Great review, Magan!

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