Jan 17, 2014

Book Review: Just One Year - Gayle Forman

Title: Just One Year (Just One Day #2)
Author: Gayle Forman
Release Date: October 10th 2013
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought
The heartrending conclusion—from Willem’s POV—to the romantic duet of novels that began with Allyson’s story in Just One Day.
After spending an amazing day and night together in Paris, Just One Year is Willem’s story, picking up where Just One Day ended. 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.
(Slight spoilers for book one.)

I really think that if you've read Just One Day, then it's just impossible to not want to read this companion novel. I mean, the curiosity! Don't you want to know what in heaven's name happened to Willem de Ruiter after that one fateful day in Paris? Because I sure did. 

And I knew it.

We all got from the first book that Willem is the kind of guy who can't stay long in one place because he has a thing against attachments. He's got an entire United Nations of girls waving their flags at him, right? Well, in this book, we solve the mystery that is him. And I certainly am glad to know that he didn't give up, that he actually looked for Allyson even before she started looking for him. It was really amazing to see how their single day together changed the both of them, but especially with Willem because his playboy ways made me think that he just forgot about her and moved on to his next country and next girl.

Gayle Forman's writing in here is still the same beautiful one that made it so easy to breeze through this duology. Just One Year captivated me but, somehow, it didn't have the same emotional zing as Just One Day, and that's probably because I related more with Allyson than with Willem. My situation is more similar to hers, but I sympathized with how lost he felt. This book also had me pondering more about all sorts of things.
Nothing happens without intention, Willem. Nothing. This theory of yours - life is ruled by accidents - isn't that just one huge excuse for passivity?

It was frustrating how he and Allyson got so close during their search for each other. Like, they got within a hundred feet of each other without them both knowing! Theirs was definitely not a small world. Anyway, thanks to Willem's trust fund and wanderlust, there was more traveling to be had in this book. I admired how brave he was, intentionally getting lost in foreign land and exploring it, but it was also sad because it showed how alone he was. Or, rather, how alone he felt.

Overall, I didn't enjoy Just One Year more than Just One Day, but it was still one emotional read. When I finished reading it, I just sighed because I was glad it's done, not because I hated it that I was happy to finally get it over with, but because I was so happy that Willem finally found his home. Now can I ask for some kind of epilogue?

Maybe he was overwhelmed, like I am overwhelmed, by that mysterious intersection where love meets luck, where fate meets will.



  1. It might be possible that I liked this one even more than Just One Day. My parents and relatives would always say that Gayle's books are all love stories, but JOD and JOY prove otherwise, as for me they are more of a maturation self discovery type, and not JUST a love story. And that's Gayle's greatest strength, the way she molds her characters and makes them grow and develop throughout the story.

    Great review! :)

    -Kimi of Geeky Chiquitas

  2. I've never read a Gayle Forman book! They just don't seem to be for me. I'm glad that this book was a great follow-up to Just One Day! I'm sure if I read that one, I'd want to read this one as well. Sounds like the first one ended in a bit of cliffhanger, in terms of William. I wouldn't want to be left hanging! :D Anyway, I'm glad you liked this one! And that line you shared is FABULOUS. Like, I love it. It's beautiful!

    Fantastic review!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!


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