Just One Year
By: Gayle Forman
Published by: Dutton Children's
Release date: Oct. 10, 2013
Genre: YA contemporary
Just One Year is one of the sequels of 2013 that I have most anticipated. As much as I loved Forman’s first duo, Just One Day was my favorite of her books- so my calendar has been marked for Just One Year’s release for ages. Though I didn’t quite get exactly what I was looking for in an ending, this was a lovely, enjoyable read.
Just One Year begins when Willem wakes up disoriented in the hospital, following an early-morning attack by the skinheads who he and Allyson had dealt with in the first book. By the time Willem’s head clears enough for him to realize that he’s failed to return for Allyson, she is long gone, having returned to her tour group in London and a connecting flight home.
In book 1, Willem seems to be a boy who is in complete control of his free-spirited wanderer’s life. In book 2, we see that Willem is struggling- with having missed his connection with Allyson, as well as so many other aspects of his life. He needs Allyson’s honesty and stability, two attributes he’s been sorely missing in the important relationships in his life. Two attributes he’s missed in himself. For the first time in a long while, he is no longer able to move on to the next destination, leaving his troubles behind.
The settings in this book are epically beautiful, rich in both touristy pleasantries and earthy day-to-day life. We get grand tours of Holland, Mexico and India, as well as a few other stops along the way. Willem seems both at home and unsettled everywhere he travels, and others notice that he is searching for a lost part of himself.
Gayle Forman is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the craft of writing YA contemporary. She is superbly skilled at crafting believable character voices, people who demonstrate great strength despite their vulnerability. I adore Forman’s characters. I can’t wait to see meet whoever she creates in her next project.
Before you find out how their story ends, remember how it began....
Just One Day. Just One Year. Just One Read.
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.