October 3, 2013

Latest Read: Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Here are the basics ...
Just One Year (Just One Day, #2) by Gayle Forman
Publication date: Oct. 10, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: ARC given to me by Michelle (Thanks!)

Summary: 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. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The good: Truth be told, I had Just One Year for three weeks before I finally read it. This coming from the girl who after reading Just One Day thought the idea of waiting six whole months for the companion novel would be torture. But there was something so magical about Just One Day. It was about so much more than the chance day in Paris Allyson and Willem spent together. It was about taking chances, discovering who you are, fate, love and everything in between. I connected with Allyson completely. So when it ended with her on Willem's front step seeing him for the first time - I knew what I wanted to happen. I wanted to believe Willem and what they shared was real. That he was real. But what if Just One Year didn't give me that?

I have to admit, I had it in my mind that the story would pick up right where we left off. So I was a bit surprised when the book started off on a much different moment - Willem waking up in a hospital the morning after his day with Allyson (who I keep wanting to call Lulu). All the blanks are filled in for us as we learn Willem's side of the past year. The longing, his own search for her and like Allyson, a search for himself and the person he wants to be. His character was a bit of a mystery to me before and here, all the layers are peeled back to reveal who he really is and how much Allyson affected him. Maybe it's not this way for everyone but sometimes when I'm missing a person, I wonder if the person is missing me just as much (or at all). And when I read Just One Day, I thought that - is Willem going through the same emotions as Allyson is right now? I felt this joy as I read just how much her feelings were reciprocated. And I saw that Willem was exactly the guy I had hoped he would be.

One of the things I admire most about Gayle Forman's writing is how she can make her characters and stories feel so real. Willem came alive to me through her words. She gave him this unique, teenage boy voice. He fumbles along the way. He's scared of what Allyson and everything that's happened since then means to him. He's rethinking why he'c constantly traveling, his relationship with his mother, what he really wants in life. I wanted him to figure that all out just as much as I wanted him to find Allyson. It was a wonderful journey to be on and I couldn't put the book down once I started.

(No) reservations: None at all!

Do I recommend?: I highly, highly recommend this book! If you're already read Just One Day, buy this book the day it comes out. If you haven't, then buy both books and read back-to-back. You won't regret it.

Happy reading!

4 comments:

  1. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS TO BE RELEASED I CRY ACTUAL TEARS BECAUSE I NEED WILLEM'S STORY :(((( At the same time I'm so excited because I just have to wait a few more days. <3 While I never doubted that this was going to be amazing, I'm so so so glad you loved and enjoyed it, Rachel! Reading your thoughts about Just One Year was lovely! Fab review! :)

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  2. I loved this book! I was just as wonderful as Just One Day. It made me so happy. :)

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  3. It's been a while since I read Just One Day and I can't really remember most of it, but AHHHH JUST ONE YEAR SOUNDS AMAZING :D I agree - I love Gayle Forman's writing, and the way her words breathe life into her characters and the way she writes emotion is incredible. I'm glad you enjoyed this! Great review :)

    Chri @ Fathomless

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  4. I just seriously adored this book so much! I'm so, so glad that you loved this book too :) I can't wait to have a hard copy on my shelves!

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