Just One Year by Gayle Forman
Posted by Caitie F on October 11, 2013
Summary from pub:
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. . . .
Just One Day was one of my favorite books of last year. I adore Gayle Forman and will read every book she ever writes. So when I found out there was a book from Willem’s perspective, I was thrilled. I gave this one a 4 instead of a 5, but really it is a 4.5.
Yep, you read that right, it is a YA romance from the male perspective. I thought Willem was interesting, so I know I wanted to see his side of things and what happened to him over that year. Did Allyson change he life in a ways that seem unfathomable was just one day? Will it still be at all swoon-worthy coming from a guy? Well, to see what happened to him, you have to read it, but it was still a great romance!
For Allyson, that one day changed her in ways she could never imagine and watching that change was pretty amazing. Willem’s change does not feel quite as dramatic, but it is written in a way that is captivating and realistic. I felt like he and his friends were real people in real situations. They were situations so far away from my own, but I have a feeling there are young adults that can relate. His journey was a little slower, a little more subtle than Allyson’s, but it is wonderful.
I loved watching his philosophy on life and how he traveled. He was searching for Allyson (who he still called Lulu because that is the only name he knew) and connecting with others as only he could. I would recommend re-reading Just One Day so you can appreciate the times their paths got so close.
The other great thing is Willem’s relationship with his mother. It showed how he became the person he is and allowed him to grow up and figure out what he wanted with his life. I love seeing families in books for this age group and this showed so much of who he really is as a person through his relationship with his family.
This was a wonderful companion novel about figuring out what you want and the impact one day can have on your whole life. I love that Allyson’s view of Willem wasn’t just in her head, which was something I was a little afraid might be the case.
I cannot wait to read Forman’s next book.