Thursday, October 10, 2013

Review: Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Just One Year by Gayle Forman 
Series: Just One Day, #2
Published: October 10th, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Children’s
336 pages (ARC)
Genre: Contemporary young adult
Acquired this book: Won an ARC from Razorbill Canada’s Twitter 
Warning: May contain spoilers
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{Read my review of 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.

Just One Day is one of those books that has the potential to change the way you look at the world. It was beautiful, thought-provoking, and bittersweet, and for me it's one of those must-read books that I recommend - loudly and often - to anyone who listens. Just One Year is another one of those books, but I loved it even more than Just One Day. Willem's story is powerful and emotional, and while I wasn't sure how I'd enjoy reading a story from his POV, I was hooked from the first page.

I spent a lot of Just One Day being pretty angry with Willem. I liked him well enough, but to be honest I didn’t get the appeal of him. I mean, I suppose part of me did - his free-spiritedness, and the fact he was adventurous and seemed fearless. But he also seemed like a major player with a girl in every port. He seemed to go through women and then move on, leaving a trail of broken hearts across the world. It was easy to assume that Allyson was just another of those girls. You had to wonder if Willem ever thought of her after that day in Paris; did he wonder what happened to her? Did he try to track her down? So even though I ended up loving Just One Day, I was a bit wary going into Just One Year. 

But oh. My. God. This book. I want to cry right now just writing this review. Just One Year was one of the most beautiful books I’ve read in a long time. It was poignant and profound; it broke my heart and pieced it back together. Where I shrugged Willem aside in Just One Day, I ended up adoring him in Just One Year. He was such a deep character, so full of intelligence and heart, and he was brave in so many ways.

Wherever Willem was, I felt like I was right there with him. Whatever he felt, I felt - every emotion, every thought, every bit of anguish and happiness and confusion and triumph came across with crystal clarity. He learned so much over the course of that year, about life and love and family and what really matters. Throughout his journey, I laughed, I cried, and I cheered him on, wanting so badly for him to not only get the lessons life was throwing at him, but to excel and be happy.

This is one of those rare books that get better with each page. I was so immersed in Willem’s story, the whole world just faded away. I honestly can’t remember the last time that happened, but it’s such an amazing feeling. Just One Year was more than I could have hoped for. Willem’s journey is so much more than just a physical one; it’s a journey of the mind, heart, and soul. His story is one that burrows into your heart and mind and holds on tight, and I know it’ll stay with me for a very long time.

"It was just one day and it’s been just one year. But maybe one day is enough. Maybe one hour is enough. Maybe time has nothing at all to do with it." 
~taken from the ARC of Just One Year by Gayle Forman~

Have you read Just One Day and Just One Year? What did you think? If you haven't read them, do they sound like something you'd be interested in? What do you think of companion novels told from the male's POV?


  1. OMG. And of course, I JUST got a coupon from B&N for 20% off a book... so NOW I MUST get my hands on this one.

  2. I'm actually in the middle of reading Just One Day and now I really want to read Just One Year, almost as soon as I finish Just One Day. The story is poignant, passionate, and so incredibly emotional and beautiful. It gives so many feels. I almost wanted to cry while reading your review, it was so gorgeously written. :)


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