Just One Year by Gayle Forman (eProof) - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoilt for you.
Twenty-four hours can change your life . . .
Allyson and Willem share one magical day together in Paris, before chance rips them apart.
The romantic, emotional companion to Just One Day, this is a story of the choices we make and the accidents life throws at us.
But is one day enough to find your fate? From Goodreads
After finishing Just One Day, I was so eager to read Just One Year! Just One Day was so beautiful and inspiring, I was sure I was going to get more of the same from Just One Year, Willem's book. What I got was not what I expected, but just as wonderful!
Just One Year covers the year after Willem met Lulu (Allyson) in Paris. When he is attacked by skinheads and hospitalised, he is late to return to Lulu at the artist squat, and when he does return, concussed and confused but desperate to find her, she has gone. As time goes by, Willem discovers he cannot forget or move past that one beautiful day with Lulu, and as he travels from Paris to Holland, Mexico to India, he realises she has changed his life.
As it's from his point of view, we get to know Willem a whole lot better in Just One Year, and I was surprised at who I came to know. Apart from a few glimpses of things he was hiding, Willem seemed to free-spirited, not a care in the world, floating where ever the wind blew him and loving life. In actual fact, Willem is grieving. Bram, his father, died three years ago, and after flunking out of school, he ran from his troubles by going from one country to the next. The reason Willem was to return to Holland rather than go to Paris with Allyson? Because his mother, Yael, was selling the houseboat that was his home, and as she was in India, she needed him to sign the forms. He was to go home, to finalise the sale of the place he grew up, where all his memories of his father are. It doesn't help that his relationship with Yael is pretty non-existent. When Bram died, she locked herself away with her grief for three weeks before moving to India, leaving 18-year-old Willem to deal with his own grief alone. Willem is lost and hurting, and constantly running from pain.
But Lulu has changed him. In her way, she showed him what it's like to have someone around who cares, and her way of looking at things, so opposed to his, changed his way of thinking. She opened his eyes, without realising it, to what life is really about, what his life has been missing. And he wants that back. To the point that he searches for her, too - just like she did. And although he doesn't find her until she finds him, he finds her in other things; Shakespeare, acting, purpose, life.
There are near-misses, there are moments of pure beauty when Willem thinks about her and what a difference a day can make, what can happen in a day, and how much he loves her. With wonderful stories from the past about his parents and his grandfather, with the wonderful people he meets along the way, Just One Year is such a fantastic book! Beautiful, romantic, but quite different from Just One Day, because Allyson and Willem are two very different people. I really cannot express how much I love these two books. The world needs more real, affecting romance like this.
Thank you to RHCP via NetGalley for the eProof.
Published: 15th October 2013
Publisher: Definitions, RHCP
Gayle Forman's Website
My other reviews from the series:
Just One Day (Just One Day Book 1)