Recent Reads: Just One Year


Back when I was still actively pursuing my 52/52 challenge, I read Gayle Forman’s Just One Day. Honestly, it was only the 3rd book so I was still all about it. Not that I’m not anymore…I’m just not going to torture myself over it and enjoy reading no matter how long it takes me.

After I finished Just One Day, I preordered Just One Year. Which, by the way, was back in February. And it didn’t come out until Oct. 10.
It’s been sitting there, in my Amazon orders, just waiting to make it’s way to me. By the way, I absolutely love preordering books from Amazon (or DVDs, but it’s mostly books for me). They arrive the day the item comes out, especially if you have prime, and it’s awesome to have something to look forward to. And, as a bonus, if the price goes down after you’ve preordered it, you’ll get the lowest price. If it goes up, you still pay whatever you initially preordered it at. OKAY TO THE BOOK.

Much like Gayle Forman’s books If I Stay and Where She Went, this book is the companion to Just One Day. As with the others, the first was told by the female character, in this case Allyson, and the second is told from the male perspective, Willem de Ruiter here.
The book starts with Willem waking up in a hospital in France. He is concussed, so he is having a hard time remembering what exactly led him there, but he quickly realizes that he has left behind Allyson…or as he remembers her, Lulu. He is dreadfully sick, though, and has a difficult time making it back to where he last saw her…not that it matters. She is gone.
The book takes place over the year following that fateful day, and we learn so much about Willem. Why he chooses to drift from place to place and person to person instead of rooting himself. His travels and the people he meets along the way. And, of course, his attempt to find Lulu, whether he does it knowingly or not. As with Just One Day, we end up following Willem on a journey of self-discovery.

I really enjoyed this book…possibly even more than Just One Day. I think it would’ve been smart of me to re-read Day because I didn’t remember all that had happened. But I’m glad I didn’t, because it was recounted slowly through Willem’s memories. Though there is an air of romance to the book, Willem doesn’t do as much brooding over the loss of “Lulu”, rather he tries to find himself and a place to call home.

If you like books about travel, romance, and timing, these books are for you.

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