Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Just One Year by Gayle Forman
Published: October 10, 2013
Dutton Juvenile
323 (Hardcover)
Just One Day #2
My Rating:
4 of 5 stars

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.

Just One Year is certainly not a book for someone looking for contemporary fluff. It may not have been as engaging as the first book, but it packs the same, if not more, emotional punch.

At first, it was slightly disappointing to read that this book did not pick up right where Just One Day left off. Instead it's Willem's year long journey to find the mysterious Lulu, who he knows next to nothing about, yet he fell in love with her that day in Paris. Surprisingly, I never had a problem with the relationship between Willem and Lulu (Allyson). My major problem with this book was that it was very difficult to get into. The beginning was slow and almost uninteresting because I wasn't emotionally invested in Willem until about halfway through the book. That's when I started to really enjoy it.

There's so much more to Willem and his past than I initially thought. I loved how both Allyson and Willem's lives were changed by just meeting each other accidentally. In a day both of them managed to start to change the other in good ways. At times it was hard to keep track of all the names of the people Willem knew, but by the end it grew easier to remember who the major players in his life were. I really enjoyed all the scenes of Willem acting, especially when he played Orlando.

The only complains that I had were that it was very slow paced and it ended rather abruptly. I believe it ends at the same place that Just One Day does, but I'm not entirely sure. Other than that, the book was very good. Gayle Forman's writing is fantastic and all of her books have the most realistic characters.

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