By: Melanie | November 4, 2013 | (33) Comments

Review: Just One Year by Gayle FormanJust One Year by Gayle Forman
Series: Just One Day, #2
Publisher: Random House Australia
Release Date: November 1, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Pages: 323
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Just One Day. Just One Year. Just One Read.

Before you find out how their story ends, remember how it began....

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 was rather sad about this book. Not in the way I was saddened by Just One Day—where I had some serious case of sobbing my heart out about the smallest of things. No. I smothered in sadness as I had a lump of disappointment that grew and grew as I read further into Just One Year. Nonetheless, this is not to say that I hated Just One Year with all my heart and soul. Just…let down about the way Gayle Forman decided to write this novel—but not to say I didn’t like her writing.

“Love is not something you protect. It’s something you risk.”

Just One Year, does not pick up from where everyone was expected it to upon finishing Just One Day. No, Just One Year is a retelling of Just One Day in Willem’s point on view. His story of how the year rolled by without Lulu. He only knew Lulu for one day, and he can’t even remember Lulu’s real name—Allyson. We follow Willem and his accident, how it changed his path, how it took him away from his Lulu. Accidents are what create our paths, how they shape us. And how accidents brought Allyson and Willem together, and how accidents tore them apart.

I loved Adam from Where She Went; his voice was distinct, wrapped in pain. So I quite naturally expected Willem’s perspective to be just as touching and enthralling. Truth be told, it wasn’t as breath taking, yet still likeable. I always envisioned Willem to be a strong, loving man in Just One Year however I was rather disappointed (there’s that word again) to discover his wasn’t as hard as nails. But his flaws were not really pitiful. His actions sometimes were not really what I’d expected from him. Willem is a runner. Not the athletic way but he runs from difficulties. From problems. But I loved how he didn’t want to run from Lulu, he wanted to find her.

Despite my tiny vexation towards Willem’s character, the plot was my main issue. Nothing really happened. We learn about what really happened when Willem left Allyson’s side but I wasn’t truly convinced or buying the idea. It wasn’t until later where this theme of ‘accidents’ kept coming until I was sold. Yet that’s not the point. My point is that I was bored. I, like many others were anticipated Willem and Allyson’s after. What happened after Willem answered the door. But we didn’t get it until much much later. So as this monotonous plot drawled through, I became absolutely fed up. However I do appreciated how Gayle Forman leaves the end open ended–not too open ended so us readers can imagine how the story would continue. It wasn’t that I was utterly dissatisfied about how everything unravelled. I just wanted a little, teensy tiny bit more. Something to fill me up and make me fangirl about.

With the more than beautiful writing of Gayle Forman’s, we get to see Willem’s side of the story of this accidental day in Paris. Sure Willem was a little iffy for me and the plot I couldn’t care less about nevertheless I couldn’t help but love the writing and supporting characters. Also, fans of If I Stay will be over the moon to read about a certain character’s success that was mentioned in here.

~Thank you Random House Australia for sending me this copy!~

3.5 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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33 Responses to Review: Just One Year by Gayle Forman

  1. Amelia says:

    Beautiful quote, hun! I loved Just One Day- I cried at the smallest things as well! Such a great novel. Sorry to hear that this isn’t as amazing 🙁 Lovely review, Mel! 🙂

  2. Tanja says:

    Really? C’mon I though this one would continue where it all started. Damn, my expectations just lowered. I don’t like when the same story is told from different POVs just because I know the story. It’s a great thing you met the other character better but you can do that and move on with the story at the same time. Duh, I’ll have to read this one and see where I stand. Great review, Mel 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Blog Tour: Mission One of Auggie the Alien by Leah Spiegel and Megan SummersMy Profile

  3. So conflicting, right? Great writing but bad plot. Hate when that happens. These books sound a little too sad for me.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Review: Faking It by Cora CarmackMy Profile

  4. I have book one, and think I will stop there. Sometimes a sequel from the other’s pov works and feels fresh, but so many people feel exactly like you. It is hard when an author whose writing style you enjoy just doesn’t make the change work for you. Wonderful, thoughtful review:)
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Autumn in the Vineyard by Marina AdairMy Profile

  5. I’ve actually heard mixed things about this one. I always feel with books like this that it’s best for me to stop at book one, if only to preserve how well it worked for me. Lovely review, Melanie! 🙂

  6. That’s such a shame that this book didn’t work for you as much as the first book did, Melanie. That can happen sometimes and I understand from your review why you were so disappointed. To be honest, I probably would be too. I haven’t read the first book yet because there was so much hype around it, but I think I might give it a skip. I dislike open endings as much as I dislike cliffhangers.
    It’s sad that Willem wasn’t the kind of guy you thought he was.
    Still, I’m glad that you liked the writing enough despite the book boring you. Lovely review, Melanie.
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Review : Pawn by Aimee CarterMy Profile

  7. Oh no, I only read your first line and peeked at your rating, but your disappointment makes me so sad! I am fearful I’ll feel the same way, too, despite the more positive reviews I’ve seen. I’m dreading reading it.
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Sex & Violence tour stop + giveawayMy Profile

  8. I still need to read a book by this author. I have read nothing but good things about her work. Yours is the first review I have read of this one that isn’t glowing, but you know what, I get it. I have read a couple of thses books told from a different view point basically recounting the same events, and it gets old. I do like seeing things from the other side but it lacks creativity. I tend to steer away from them. Thanks for the helpful review!
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris: Guest Post, Review and GiveawayMy Profile

  9. Oh, no! I expected you to use a lot of adjectives in this review, but bored certainly wasn’t one of them. A sequel that is essentially plotless wouldn’t work for me either, it’s no wonder you were disappointed.
    Thank you for the lovely review, Melanie. I wish Willem could have been as wonderful as Adam.
    Maja (The Nocturnal Library) recently posted…Review: Cracked (Soul Eater, #1)My Profile

  10. Sorry to hear you found this disappointing Mel, but it looks like you still enjoyed it. Plotless books are frustrating because you are constantly waiting for something to happen. Great review!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…ARC Review: After Eden by Helen Douglas – Could have been betterMy Profile

  11. Giselle says:

    It always sucks when a sequel is not as mind blowing as the first one. I personally always hate reading sequels of books i loved mainly bc I figure there’s no way it can live up to it – and most don’t. I loved Where She Went!! I agree his POV was fantastically crafted and so touching. Too bad Willem wasn’t portrayed as strong as you had imagined him. And a plot that has nothing happening can often be very dull – tough sometimes a book is about nothing and I end up loving it, too. I still haven’t read the first book in this series but I really want to I have head so much about it. I’ll have to read a few more reviews of this one to see if I will read the sequel though.
    Giselle recently posted…Review: Crash into You by Katie McGarryMy Profile

  12. Awwm, I’m ridiculously upset to know that you didn’t love this one! It’s always hard when you read a companion type novel such as this and your initial thoughts on the character turn out to be wrong. I can sympathize with you about the plot as well. It’s terrible when the plot goes nowhere! I hope that your next read is better, girly!

    (P.S. Your blog is the cutest! <3)
    Megan @ The Book Babe’s Reads recently posted…Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. KingMy Profile

  13. Ha — I had a bit of vexation with Willem too. I found him a realistic but somewhat frustrating character. And I wished that this book had given me more of an ending — not just for the sake of romance but for the sake of finding out what happened to these two characters..
    Great review!
    Jen @ YA Romantics
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  14. Candace says:

    I was very happy with Willem and appreciated getting to know him. I felt knowing how he suffered through that year made me love him more. I was 100% happy with all of that. I just wanted another chapter or two, or got to see where things went with them. All in all though, I LOVED this book. I’m sorry it was a bit disappointing for you. 🙁
    Candace recently posted…Adult Review: The Holdout by Laurel OsterkampMy Profile

  15. I still need to read Just One Day. I’m sorry to hear Just One Year wasn’t as captivating as you thought it would be. I still want to read these, but I’m not in a rush. I like Gayle Forman though!
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Appropriate Fifty Shades of Grey Gift GuideMy Profile

  16. Jenni says:

    Man, I ran out and bought this one the day that it was released and sat down immediately to read it, got to about chapter 4 and haven’t picked it up since. Like you, I was so incredibly bored with it! I knew that the story was going to be the year they were separated from Willem’s perspective but I expected it to be more… I don’t know… interesting. I do plan to go back to this one eventually because I am such a huge fan of Gayle and I think I owe her that, but I am in no rush.
    Jenni recently posted…Cold Spell ReviewMy Profile

  17. Celine says:

    Oh no, another person who’s disappointed in this 🙁 Everyone is rating this 2-3 stars and they all say they were hugely disappointed. It really sucks that we don’t get to know what happens after Allyson and Willem reunite, because c’mon, THAT’S WHAT WE WERE ALL WAITING FOR. Ack! At first I was going to order this straight away, but now I’m not even sure I want to read it…

    Great review, hun <3
    Celine recently posted…Top Ten Sequels I Can’t Wait For!My Profile

  18. Emily says:

    I’ve actually not read anything by Gayle Forman, which is pretty embarrassing x( Yuckyuck.
    But I’ve heard so many great things about her writing, and her stories of course! But most of the time her writing is the one that is always being raved about lol xD But I’m sorry to see that it was more of a retelling from Willem’s POV. It seems a little odd, and I guess it’s either a hit or miss?
    I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one as much as Miss Forman’s other works, but I’m sure something that will rapture your attention will soon come your way!! 😀
    And now, I just need to get my hands on one of her works… Hmm…
    Fantastic review, Mel!! <3
    Emily recently posted…Short Shorts: The Rules by Stacey Kade & The Ward by Jordana FrankelMy Profile

  19. Delightful review Melanie! I’m glad that Williem went against his normal choices to actually find Allyson. I love the way you wrote about his character.
    Rachel @ Unforgettable Books recently posted…Truth or Dare – Embarrassing review or Halloween CostumeMy Profile

  20. Bummer, I haven’t read anything by her yet but I hear book one is really really good. Sometimes it’s best to leave the story alone…
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday (93) Gimme all the goodies!My Profile

  21. Kate Bond says:

    I know. Sigh. I wanted Willem to be more like Adam, and I wanted to care about what was going on in his life, and I wanted him to actually make a decision.

    Sigh again.
    Kate Bond recently posted…These Broken Stars: reviewMy Profile

  22. Rachel says:

    I loved If I Stay and Where She Went. I only liked Just One Day. I was disappointed to find out this one didn’t pick up where Just One Day left off and instead it was a re-telling on Willem’s side. I didn’t really care for Willem much, he seemed to be such a womanizer, so I passed on reading this. I guess I was right in that decision because this didn’t seem to knock your socks off either. Great review, Melanie. 🙂
    Rachel recently posted…Showcase Sunday #39My Profile

  23. We do have the same rating, 3 1/2 stars. And yes, I wish their meeting again was at least a chapter long!

  24. Antonia says:

    For many reviewers this one was weaker then the first one, so I am no rushing to read ti much sooner. I think Gayle should stayed just on one book then do this and disappoint so many readers. Great review, though!

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  26. Pingback: Just One Year (Just One Day #2) by Gayle Forman | Review |Katie's Book Blog

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