Just One Year by Gayle Forman | BOOK REVIEW

Just One Year by Gayle Forman
Publisher/Year: Dutton Juvenile October 10th 2013
Genre: Contemporary
Series: Duology, this is Book 2.
Other Books From Author: Just One Day (Book 1), If I Stay, Where She Went, Sisters in Sanity

Amazon| Goodreads | @gayleforman |

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.

I still don’t get it. 

Not sure if you remember, but I very much LOVED Just One Day, and it’s possibly the Best Contemporary Alicia’s Read 2013. By logical reasoning and deductions, and by the laudatory reviews for anything Gayle Forman, Just One Year is going to be freaking brilliant, right?

NO. This book is a different story. Not literally, since we’re back to the same year when Allyson and Willem are apart, except this time in Willem’s POV. Hate to break it to you, Willem, but I don’t like your voice. Maybe Allyson’s perspective was biased, but Willem in Just One Day was dreamy and mysterious and who wouldn’t want to get in his head?! I was so excited to dive into this book, until… until… I was reading Just One Year to GET THROUGH it, to get over Willem’s droning travelogue and FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS after the ending(!!!) of Just One Day. 322 pages later, we finally reach the last page... [Highlight to view spoiler] AND NOTHING. HAPPENS. IT HONESTLY JUST SHOWS THEM TOGETHER FOR ONE SECOND MORE THAN JUST ONE DAY. SERIOUSLY. SHE ENTERS THE APARTMENT. AND THEN HE KISSES HER. AND THAT’S NOT EVEN DESCRIBED IN A SWOONTASTIC WAY. THEY DON’T EVEN SPEAK. IT JUST FREAKING ENDS. WHAT THE HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLL. I READ THIS BOOK TO SEE THEM TOGETHER. AND THAT DOESN’T EVEN HAPPEN. SCREW EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOW?!?! HOW did Gayle Forman think it was a good idea to end the book this way? In her defense, she wrote a post on book endings and dealing with expectations that I completely understand but… no… I would take back every minute spent on this book if I could.

I tried. I tried to appreciate Willem’s life: his family, his friends, his flings(?), his travel tales. He’s feeling hurt, he needs to nurse his physical and emotional wounds, he wants to find “Lulu” (Allyson)… but there was too much gripe and nothing gets done. For Allyson, while she misses Willem, while she misses that one day in Paris, she GETS A GRIP ON HER LIFE. Hers was a timeless coming-of-age tale that will touch any heart.

Willem, on the other hand, lost my interest 50 pages in.

Gayle Forman’s writing will always be Gayle Forman’s writing– beautiful, poetic, and seeps right into the cracks in your heart– but I was so bored by Willem’s brain and the lack of plot that I was in no mood to appreciate them. I didn’t believe my friends when they warned me of this book, so I dove right in with my HUGE EXPECTATIONS and now, I can’t imagine a greater disappointment.

What did you think!


10 thoughts on “Just One Year by Gayle Forman | BOOK REVIEW

  1. Ouch! Oh no, I’m so sorry that you didn’t enjoy this one :( I know so many people had complaints about this one :/ I’ve not read it, but I wonder if Cat has… but all the same, I do hope a better novel comes your way! :D

    • It’s definitely not high up on my recommendations list! JUST ONE DAY IS JUST ONE PERFECTION AND YOU HAVE TO ASDFGHJKL READ IT PLEASE =D I heard mixed reviews for this one, depending on how much you enjoy Willem’s perspective…

  2. Haven’t read anything by this author but I am sorry to hear that this book disappoint you.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    You have a great blog and I will follow you from now on.


    • Gayle Forman and Stephanie Perkins are my go-to contemporary authors, HIGHLY RECOMMEND *most* books by them =D Just One Year is a disappointing exception, I’d say read Just One Day and just keep it at that haha. Thank you for visiting!

  3. I felt the same way with the sequel to If I Stay. I was pretty sure that Just One Year would be Willem’s side and cover from being separated from Allyson and when she finds him again. I didn’t think I would get closure. It didn’t occur to me that all the mystery and romance of Willem would be ruined, but if the story is from his viewpoint, he isn’t at all mysterious to himself. I know he looked for her. I know he was happy to see her at the end of Just One Day. I think I’ll content myself with that and skip this one. Thanks for the heads up. I’m sorry you didn’t get what you were hoping for with this book.

    • LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUR COMMENT. It’s pretty much all I felt for a good portion of Just One Year. Willem isn’t all that hot and mysterious when we get into his head, it’s a bubble burst =/ That ending drove me CRA-ZY!! NOT EXPECTING THAT AT ALL. I AM ALL RAGE WHEN I THINK OF IT UGHHHHHH. Thank you for visiting!

  4. Gah, that’s such a terrible feeling, to be so excited for a sequel and then have your hopes dashed… D: I really want to read Just One Day, still, but now I’ve seen a few negative reviews for Just One Year and I think I’ll probably skip that one. :( Really unfortunate, especially since the character was so good in the first book!


      Like honestly, that’s the best contemporary I read in 2013– it’s got an amazing cast of characters, hot guys, love story, a touching coming-of-age life story, Shakespeare (!!) so many things that any human can relate to. Though now that I’ve read Just One Year, I wished Just One Day were a standalone *sigh* I’d say give Just One Day a go and leave it at that.

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