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Author: Gayle Forman Series: (Just One Day #2) Published: October...

 Just One Year (Just One Day #2) by Gayle Forman Author: Gayle Forman
Series: (Just One Day #2)
Published: October 10th 2013
Publisher:  Dutton Children’s
Categories: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, New Adult
External Links: Book Depository • Goodreads

Synopsis: 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.

Review: In retrospect, probably the reason why I didn’t love Just One Day is that it has two powerful theme and for me it didn’t completely sync in. The romance and self-discovery: these two dominant pieces of the story didn’t jive for me that well. And it was forcing me to concentrate on one aspect at a time. Perhaps, I didn’t love the romance but I did like the self-discovery and the other issues that were addressed in the first book.

Even with my lukewarm reaction I still didn’t hide my interest to read Just One Year. I thought it was Willem De Ruiter chance to redeem himself (well, at least for me). I wanted to know the guy in a deeper level. I wanted a glimpse of his mind and to know what’s running inside of it. Oddly enough, the opposite had happened (I like my pre-Just One Year Willem). He wasn’t what I thought of him and it is gravitating more on the unsatisfied side. I wasn’t entirely enthusiastic to his journey. And while I think it stayed true to what the book represents but for me it focused more on discovery and rediscovery: discovery of new things and rediscovery of old ones. Romance sadly sort of left with a little bitter taste in the mouth.

Because you don’t ever find things when you’re looking for them. You find them when you’re not.

I’m a little frustrated on his attitude here. It looked that he wasn’t exactly searching. I get that he was lost but it wasn’t that he doesn’t have any idea what’s he’s looking for. He went from place to place hoping for something but he didn’t put a lot of heart and determination to achieve it. He has this personal belief on chances and yet he’s the one negating it. He knows what he wants but doesn’t have the courage to commit. I really liked his conversation with Kate on how he needed to participate on the situation and not rely on coincidences and what it will bring to him.

You know what, I think it was unfair for Allyson (Lulu) that she was determined while he was chancing it. Actually I’m keener on Lulu’s journey than Willem which I find it strange since this is his story. I think she had matured; Willem on the other hand took a while. It wasn’t pointless journey and despite my nitpicking he did start strong but later digressed. I think I wasn’t into how he pieced things back and he sorted out the new.  But that said I didn’t hate the story. I liked that he still reached it and found it. And thanks to the people he’d met which left a big impression on me. They know about Willem that helped me understand him more.

This is what I loved about the author’s writing, the words and how she incorporated to the lives of the characters didn’t just leave impact on them but to the readers as well. I liked how it differentiates bravery and courage and how faith and doubt is similar. Things that I would’ve never thought were similar made me realized it wasn’t always the case. And so, even though I wasn’t ‘stained’ (again) with Willem this time, I still find so many things that I find truly significant, inspiring even. So yeah, I wasn’t in love and might have expected a lot but it is still a nice read.

Preview Quote: But maybe we were both wrong, and both right. It’s not either or, not luck or love. Not fate or will. Maybe for double happiness, you need both.”  — Willem