Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Review: Just One Year

Title: Just One Year (Just One Day #2)
Author: Gayle Forman
Expected publication: October 10th 2013 by Dutton Children's
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review

"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."

First line: "It's the dream I always have: I'm on a plane, high above the clouds."

Thoughts: I swear, there is nothing like that feeling you get after reading a truly exceptional novel. JUST ONE YEAR is everything I hoped for and believe me when I say I had high hopes for this novel. This book will have you questioning fate, how things just fall into place, and the other side to every story.

First off, if you couldn't tell from the summary, JUST ONE YEAR is Willem's story. One of the biggest cliffhangers in JUST ONE DAY has to be what in the world happened to Willem. Where did he go? Why wasn't he there to meet Ally-Lu? Was that blasphemous teacher-tour guide right? Are all men truly scum? Well, JUST ONE YEAR will answer all of these questions and much more. This novel is basically a puzzle waiting to be solved. While you know the general ending, you still have to figure out how he got there.

I have to mention how spectacular Willem's journey truly is. Willem's tale, much like Ally-Lu's, involves travelling and self-discovery. His story, in my personal opinion, is much darker than Allyson's. Though they're both attempting to figure out who they are and where they'll end up, Willem is also dealing with the loss of a loved one and trying to reconnect with those he let go along the way. You get to experience him recapping his thoughts on his journey with Lulu and how he felt about her. He most definitely had me swooning all over the place. Not even gravity could hold me down. If I ever questioned Willem's motives before, I stopped after reading JUST ONE YEAR. I may not know how I feel about hagelslag, but what I do know is that I truly adore Willem. Even after finishing this novel, I'm still remembering certain scenes and wanting to reread them over and over again. Needless to say, this is a book you'll rush to finish, and then reread just so you can experience it just one more time.

Overall, I believe fans of JUST ONE DAY will fall in love with JUST ONE YEAR as easily as I did. Dare I say this is possibly my new favorite book by Gayle Forman? My only complaint is even though I cherished the ending and believe it to be well-rounded, I couldn't help but want more. I didn't want the story to end but alas, everything must come to an end. With all this said and done, I highly recommend JUST ONE YEAR to all fans of contemporary YA and good books in general. If you haven't yet, get your hands on this book as soon as possible. You'll regret it if you don't.


5 Stars

Favorite Quotes:

“Sometimes fate or life or whatever you want to call it, leaves a door a little open and you walk through it. But sometimes it locks the door and you have to find the key, or pick the lock, or knock the damn thing down. And sometimes, it doesn’t even show you the door, and you have to build it yourself. But if you keep waiting for the doors to be opened for you... I think you’ll have a hard time finding single happiness,let alone that double portion.”

“I’ve since come to understand that the universe operates on the same general equilibrium theory as markets.It never gives you something without making you pay for it somehow.”

“Loving someone is such an inherently dangerous act. And yet, love, that’s where safety lives.”


  1. Well, this definitely looks good
    I read If I stay and Where She Went and they were definitely great
    I hope this will be the same
    Your reader,

  2. I adore the authors duets of books. Great review

  3. I'm sure I'll love this just as much as Just One Day. I haven't been disappointed by Gayle's books yet. Great review Lena!

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  4. I want to read this book so badly. I am huge Gayle Forman fan.:)

  5. I am waiting for my turn with this novel from the library. Loved the first book pretty well. So glad you enjoyed it. Looking forward to it so much more now.

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  6. I have this one coming up on my TBR, and I will admit it makes me nervous. I've been anticipating this one excitedly for months, and I'm so scared it won't live up to MY expectations! But because you loved it, I'm inclined to think that I will too -- and so, I will definitely keep you posted on how that works out. Glad you loved Just One Year!

  7. Because this is a companion to Just One Day, we know what is going to happen. The brilliance of the book is that we don't know *why* things happened they way they did so we are compelled to read. The characters were like magnets for me, pulling me in, and I'm still not able to let go. I want a third book!

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  8. I went into this novel expecting a romance like I got in Forman's other duology (If I Stay/Where She Went), but I ended up with so much more than that. This is a novel about love, yes, but it's also a novel about finding yourself. It's a novel with a very honest, if not shiny, depiction of college/new adult life. It has a wonderful cast of supporting characters. And by the end I bet you'll be rooting for Allyson & Willem just as hard as I was.

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