Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Review: Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Just One Year by Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile 
Publication date: October 10th 2013
My rating: 4.5 stars 


The heartrending conclusion—from Willem’s POV—to the romantic duet of novels that began with Allyson’s story in 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 Year had been a book I’d been eagerly anticipating after devouring Just One Day earlier in the year. Allyson was a character whose story had slowly ripped my heart to shreds and thrown it about like pieces of confetti. The way things had ended I needed to know what would happen next, but most of all I needed to know Willem’s story.

Willem was a character who I adored in Just One Day, but he had left me wanting more. He held back a lot of the time in truly admitting his feelings and then when something serious was about to go down he would try to shut everything down. I needed more from this guy, I needed to know why he was the way he was, what he was actually thinking and feeling and what actually happened that night. Once again Gayle Forman delivered a beautiful story which resulted in my heart breaking all over again. Honestly I’m barely able to function after reading a book by Forman and this was the case once again after reading Just One Year.

Willem’s year without Allyson was just as painful to watch as it had been with Allyson, I normally don’t have many favourite reads by male mc’s, but this is the second time Forman has won me over with a brilliant story from a male mc, (my first was Where She went told from Adam). I found myself being caught up in Willem’s life from the very first page. There was so much going on, with his feelings of confusion, sadness, loss and especially his vulnerability, that I felt that I was experiencing every single emotion with him on his incredible journey. Highlight to view spoiler! I was glad to find out that he hadn’t given up on Allyson either, the way he had left and the things Allyson had to go through had me doubting his character and sincerity, but from this story you just discover Willem’s just a really confused and lonely character that often doesn’t make the best decisions when it comes down to it. But with Just One Year I’m glad that Willem decided to do things differently, he actually took the risk to do things he wouldn’t do, go back and deal with people in the past and do things right.

Willem in my eyes was just a lost person who needed someone to keep him centred and on track. It was heart breaking to realise that this person had been Allyson. His need and longing for her was so paramount and at times it did seem that things would never be okay for him. But I’m glad that there were people in places that he least expected to be that could help him out, also help him without him even realising they were. Willem’s story was an absolute incredible one; I adored learning about his back story, it was such a sad but also beautiful story which influenced a lot of the decisions he made in this book. And with just like Allyson I thoroughly enjoyed going on this incredible journey of discovery with Willem from Mexico, to Mumbai to Amsterdam. The gorgeous settings just made me love this story even more. I love being able to visit so many gorgeous locations through a book, but actually visiting these places were an integral part to building Willem’s character. From each place he was able to take something away which made him the character that he became in the end of the book.

Fans of Just One Day will not be disappointed with Just One Year. Forman once again delivers a beautiful story full with longing, loss and beautiful relationships. I thought that nothing could top Just One Day, but now after going along Willem’s journey I’m not so sure. Just One Year will leave you feeling raw, with a huge lump in your throat and also if your heart is about to burst, but most of all happy.

I could go on endless journeys with Willem and Allyson and never get tired, their story is such a poignant one that I will always remember for years to come.



31 comments:

  1. Oh, this makes me so happy! I'm planning on reading Just One Day next week and knowing that it's companion is also a success is just wonderful. Mu previous Gayle Forman experience wasn't that good, so I'm really hoping it's much better this time around. Great review, Jasprit!

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  2. YAY! I can't wait to read this and it feels like only yesterday that I read JOD! So, so glad you loved it :DDD

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  3. I've never read anything by Gayle Forman despite having seen a lot of great reviews for her books, so I think I'll have to have a look next time I'm at the library. Thanks for the lovely review!

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  4. MAJOR FLAIL COMING RIIIIIGHT UP! I love love loved the first one- all of Gayle's books for the matter and I saw so many early negative thoughts so I kinda freaked but then I read your review and I IZ AT PEACE AGAIN.

    Lovely review, Jasprit! <33

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  5. Oh, I cannot wait to read Willem's story! Really looking forward to this one. :)

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  6. Eep, I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Jasprit! I loved it even more than JOD and Willem's PoV really was just so heartfelt and true. As you mentioned, he was in so much PAIN, and we really felt that. I can't wait for my finished copy to arrive so I can highlight all my favorite passages and re-read these books! Wonderful review, dear!(:

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  7. Oh I'm so happy you enjoyed this one. Also I totally agree with you Forman really knows how to do male POV's. I love it in Were She Went and I hope I'll enjoy it too! It seems to me that this book is full of feelings and I love that. Great review Jasprit :)

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  8. This might come as a surprise to you, but I haven't read anything by Gayle Forman even though I'm a huge contemporary fan. I've heard so many positive things about this series and I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this sequel as much as the first book, Jasprit. Willem sounds like a deep and complex character I would adore. I can't wait to get to these 2 books!
    Fabulous review, Jasprit!

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    1. :O Nick you need to get onto books by Forman asap! She is the best at contemporary! You will not regret a thing!!!

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  9. I only skimmed your review because I'm so desperate to read this one but -- wow -- I love reading male characters by Gayle Foreman. It's amazing how she gets into a guy's head and puts it on the page.

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  10. Sounds like it does not disappoint. I don't remember a lot abotu the firs,t but know I liekd it

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  11. I can't wait to read both books, Jasprit. I was told to wait until this book's release so I will not be encumbered with the desperate wanting. Lol. I'm glad this one lived up to your expectations and then some.

    Great review, as always!

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  12. I still gotta read the first book in the series (It's on my shelf) but the sequel is pretty awesome as well so I should really start this series. Thanks for the review :)

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  13. I'm about to read the first book. Thanks for the lovely review!!.

    -Dannielle

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  14. I just skimmed your review Jasprit, but I'm so glad to see this book was every bit as good as the first one for you. Love it when that happens, especially when the second book focuses on a well-established character for the first. I've heard lots of talk about Willem, so he's definitely someone I want to meet, and given I've read nothing by Gayle Forman, I really need to pick this series up already!

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  15. Aw, amazing review. So glad you loved it :D I have not read book one yet, but I want to. Though I am worried, cause I don't tend to like it when the couple is a part for a long time :\ But ohh. It sounds so good. And Willem sounds amazing. Thank you for sharing your awesome review :)

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  16. Great review! You're making me even more anxious for it, LOL.

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  17. OK. WHY IS EVERYONE REVIEWING BOOKS TODAY THAT I CAN'T READDDDDD????? *types with frustration* It's making me very, very, VERY sad, fyi. I will get to Just One Day when I pick it from my random paper slip jar, but until I read both of these lovely titles, I refuse to read any reviews. I'm glad you loved it though :) x

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  18. I'm waiting for my book to arrive, so I will not read your review now, I will not...I...not? Damn!!! fhfhgfhdgfhg...:/

    Ugh, I can't wait to read this!:D

    Glass @ Way Too Hot Books

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  19. I need to read this series. I have heard nothing but great things and I hate that I am last on the bandwagon!

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  20. I think this might be my least favorite of Forman's books, but, like you, I really love Willem. I didn't start to get into the book until after CanCun--I think because I was having some Unreliable Narrator issues.

    Also: Did you notice the mention of Adam from If I Stay/Where She Went?

    Kate @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. It did take me some time to get into this story too, compared to when I read Just One Day. But no I didn't notice the Adam mention! I must have been so caught up with Willem! :(

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  21. I've actually yet to read anything by Ms. Forman, but I've heard that this series is done well. I remember how much you enjoyed the first, and that definitely made a strong case for me trying it...I'm sorry it took you a bit longer to get into it, but I'm glad it worked out well in the end. Lovely review!

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  22. Wow! I love how passionate this review is. I really need to read this, and all of Foreman's books. Willem's and Allyson's journeys seem very engaging.
    Great review, Jasprit!

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  23. lovely!
    I need to read just one day still, but I WILL! Glad you loved it.

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  24. Gayle Forman is the master at writing realistic and AMAZING guys. I don't know how she does it again and again. I was so nervous for this one as well, but like you, I was able to connect so well to Willam. I agree, the fact that he didn't give up on Allyson was really powerful. Although he approaches his search for her differently, it speaks so much to who he is, and I love that they don't meet again until they're both in a stronger, happier place. But the catalyst for that change was the one magical day. Great review.

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  25. Woohoo! So, so happy that it doesn't disappoint and that she hits the mark with a male MC. Very relieved. I can't convey the excitement I have. Love the review!

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  26. I still haven't read anything by Forman as of yet - I think I'll have to rectify this - I bought Just One Day a while ago and I'm so happy that the sequel sounds just as excellent. I think I'll have to get this when it's released tomorrow. Thanks for sharing!

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  27. Eeeeeep. Me and my reading buddy are excited to read this. And I can't wait to spoil her with your review :3

    Jules of Jules Bookshelf

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  28. Gayle Forman became one of my favorite authors when I read If I Stay + Where She Went! I fell in love with Adam *_* and the story!

    Just One Day was equally good, and I really can't wait to read this too!
    I'm sure I'll be amazed!! :)

    Beatrix @ Way Too Hot Books

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  29. I loved that Willem put in just as much effort in finding Allyson as she did for him and I loved seeing their stories sync up! I loved reading Willem's journey but didn't connect with him the same way that I did Allyson so I do prefer Just One Day that little bit more! Lovely review Jasprit - I'm so glad you loved this one!

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