Soon after I started this book I realized it was going to be a sort of full circle story for Willem. I must admit I had some expectations for this book. I thought it would go a little more like Where She Went, buuuuut it didn’t. It’s a really confusing feeling to expect something from a story, yet feeling this rightness at how it is actually told. I feel melancholy for what I wanted to happen and didn’t, but not so that it took away from how much I loved it.
Just One Year takes Willem and us on a globe-trotting journey of self-discovery, much like Allyson’s. Willem’s journey is just as emotional and freeing, just with more people and places around the world. But it was the parallel of their stories that really made my heart race. The times where they were so close, yet not close enough! DAMN. We get to know about Willem’s parents and their story, which turned out to be a bit of a full circle for him.
It’s incredible to me how much a person can learn, grow, and change in a year. Willem had a lot of healing to do. His encounter with Allyson derailed his original plans, but it also made him stop running. And with him no longer running, he was able to realize how much he was hurting and how much he needed his family, especially his mother. The evolution of their relationship really made my heart hurt for both of them, but it also made my heart soar by the end.
*This paragraph may be spoilery to some, so feel free to skip over it.* I loved that Willem never gives up on finding Allyson, even when he gets discouraged, he doesn’t completely stop. And he ALWAYS thinks of her, always wants her there. I will admit that seeing him with other girls stung a little, in fact, I hated it, but I understood it and it never changed his feelings for Allyson, which then made me feel bad for the girls, lol. So many conflicting emotions because of this book!
Gayle Forman has given us such a unique pair of books. I loved this. I loved how parallel they were. The ending of Just One Year is perfect. It’s not typical, but perfect for this story, for its readers. But now what do we do?! When will we get our next Gayle Forman fix?! I really hope it’s soon because I need more of her books in my life.
Just One Year by Gayle Forman
Series: Just One Day #2
Published by Dutton Juvenile
Pub Date: October 10th 2013
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
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.