Just One Year (Just One Day #2) by Gayle Forman
Published: January 01, 2013
Source/Edition: Bought at Walmart, Paperback
Summary provided by Goodreads:
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.
“There’s a difference between losing something you knew you had and losing something you discovered you had. One is a disappointment. The other feels like losing a piece of yourself.”
It’s been a while since I read the first book in this duology. It might have been a year and I think that was the main reason why I didn’t give this a 5 star rating. Maybe I should have read the first book again but alas, I did not. I enjoyed this book but it was like how I enjoyed Just One Day. I really loved Just One Day but I felt a little disconnected to Willem here. Maybe it was harder for me to step into his shoes when it was like being at home with Allyson. Either way, Gayle Forman’s writing is astounding. I always enjoyed her writing style and I love the many impactful messages that she sneaks into her books.
Just like with the previous installment, Just One Year is a story of love and self discovery. I know that I despise insta-love but how these two books are written, it didn’t feel that way. They didn’t admit to being in love the first time they met. I think that slowly coming to that realization gave it a different feel. What I love about these books is that we get to see how they both tried to find each other and along the way they ended up on a journey to finding their true selves. Reading Willem’s side of the story really helps put the missing pieces together. When he disappeared the next day in Just One Day, I didn’t want to believe that he just treated Allyson the same way he did others. But it’s great to finally know the truth. I also enjoyed seeing how stories and situations connected to the ones I read in Just One Day. For example, we know why Celine didn’t tell Allyson the entire true or what happened to the letter that she sent.
I think a big problem with not having read the two books back to back was that I didn’t remember details from the first book. It was problematic to me because things I would have been excited for in Willem’s point of view, such as the letter, fell flat for me because I didn’t even remember that Allyson had sent one. I constantly found myself picking up my copy of Just One Day and looking through it to find where Allyson was and what she did to find Willem. It wasn’t that big of a problem but it did slow me down. The last thing that I love about these books was that in losing each other, they found, not only themselves, but new companions and mended relationships. I love how they were in polar sides of the world yet found themselves in similar situations. I love how they both repaired relationships with their mothers. I love that we found out more to Bram’s and Yael’s story. I thought it was all so mushy and cute!
“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.”