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Just One Day #2

Just One Year

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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.

323 pages, Hardcover

First published October 10, 2013

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About the author

Gayle Forman

36 books24.6k followers
Award-winning author and journalist Gayle Forman has written several bestselling novels for young adults, including the Just One Series, I Was Here, Where She Went and the #1 New York Times bestseller If I Stay, which has been translated into more than 40 languages and in 2014 was adapted into a major motion picture.

Gayle published Leave Me, her first novel starring adults in 2016 and her latest novel, I Have Lost My Way, comes out in March of 2018.

Gayle lives with her husband and daughters in Brooklyn.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,210 reviews
25 reviews
December 3, 2013
(No spoilers, I promise)
~Brought to you by a series of unrelated gifs from tumblr~

Starting where Just One Day left off, Allyson's like:

and Willem's like "Who are you again? OH YEAH. Sup Lulu."

*Enter the random chic who gave Willem flowers after As You Like It*

"Um, Willem. Whodafuqisdisbitch?"

And Willem's like, "uh Lulu...Allyson...whoever you are.... you should probably go"

And Allyson's like "Sure, I already "found" myself. I don't need y'all. Laaattteeeerrr"

*Allyson goes to Croatia as planned*

*Allyson meets new hot guy, decides to stay in Europe and transfer to university there or take a gap year*

*By chance Allyson meets Willem*

Didn't see that one coming!

Willem is like:

And Allyson is like:

*Allyson and boyfriend go their separate ways because neither of them is really in love*

Then Willem is like "wait you're single now?"

And Allyson is like:

And then Willem is like:

"Because I'm not asking you for just one night, or just one day, I'm asking you for forever."

Suddenly, however, Dee realizes he's not gay and decides to pay Allyson and Willem a surprise visit to tell Allyson a deep, dark secret that he's been harboring since the day they met.


Profile Image for Keertana.
1,127 reviews2,172 followers
December 4, 2013
I melted into Just One Year. In January, I was impressed by Forman’s Just One Day, but not nearly as much as I was impressed by her If I Stay/Where She Went duology. Just One Year, however, ties together these two novels so seamlessly that I find myself unable to choose which duology I love more. And Forman? Forman hits all the rights notes with this novel; travel, Shakespeare, unflinchingly honest characterizations, familial relationships – and my favorite – love that’s meant-to-be.

Just One Year picks up in Paris, from the moment when Allyson and Willem’s stories diverge. While we know what Allyson went through in her separation from Willem, we now are privy to the inner workings of Willem’s mind. And, gosh, what a fascinating place it is. For me, one of the greatest strengths of this novel is the stark parallels, but also the shocking differences, between both these narratives. For one, many of the locations are similar. In fact, the near-misses between these two will make you cry out in frustration – more than once! – but they only add to the steady build-up of tension to the tale.

A slightly more subtle similarity, however, is the thread of confusion that connects Allyson and Willem’s journey. In Just One Day, Allyson wakes up to find herself alone in a foreign country. Yet, she finds herself more puzzled by what happened to her companion – why did he abandon her? Why could he see aspects of her true personality that the others around her could not? And what, most importantly, is she to do with her life now that that colorful, whirlwind day is behind her and bland, boring days lie ahead? Forman answers these questions with aplomb, creating a New Adult novel that realistically explores the journey of college and, even better, the journey of finding yourself in a seemingly normal world. As we will find out, though, Willem undergoes a similar state of mind. After all, how is he to find Allyson without even knowing her real name? After traveling for years and meeting dozens of people, why is it that she disarms him and sees into his soul with her honesty? And how is he ever going to return to the normalcy of his on-the-road life, now that he knows what it’s like to be with someone who genuinely cares; someone who has forced him to care, for the first time in three years?

It was evident, even from Just One Day, that there was far more to Willem than what met the eye. And there is. Bram, Willem’s father, passed away three years ago and ever since, Willem has barely spoken to his mother, Yael. Bram and Yael’s love story is legendary, encompassing their lives in such a way that Willem has always felt the odd one out. And now, left with the parent who is nothing like him, Willem has resorted to the one thing he knows how to do: escape. Instead of making any conscious decisions, Willem has left his life up to fate, going where the wind blows him, sleeping with the girls who throw themselves at him, and spending time with the people who care to spend time with him. Forman’s portrayal of Willem is unapologetically raw, giving us the glimpses into the real man beneath the veneer of charm and wisdom. Moreover, Willem is slow – and hesitant – to acknowledge the full impact of his day spent with Allyson. Although he knows, in his gut, that he is changed, it takes awhile for him to truly accept this; for him to accept that he wants more from his life but meaningless travel, meaningless relationships, and random “accidents.” While, admittedly, this can become frustrating, I love that it’s so typically Willem. We don’t expect his journey to be nearly as straight-forward as Allyson’s and it isn’t, but it’s just as – if not more – rewarding.

Furthermore, Forman explores the concept of will vs. fate so beautifully, weaving it into the storyline and subtly bringing it up every-so-often. It’s an integral part of Willem’s growth, but it’s also a theme of these two novels as a whole, so I love how they intersect. Moreover, I adore the emphasis on family in this novel, especially as Forman never wastes time with meaningless family trees or background information. Instead, she throws us fully into Willem’s head, leaving us to grasp at the straws of his connections to his remaining family members and their impact on his life. Yael, Willem’s mother who resides in India, is a particular favorite of mine. Not only is their relationship messy and real, full of the uncomfortable facts of life we’d rather push under a rug, but Forman expertly reveals the layers of upbringing that go into making a parent-child relationship. Yael’s childhood has a direct impact on Willem’s own childhood as well and so much of Willem’s understanding of his mother comes from his understanding of her past. Yet, the best aspect of their relationship is the fact that, ultimately, Willem comes to realize that the parent he thought he was not so similar to may actually have more in common with him than he thought. And I love this; I love that Willem and Yael have moved on from their grief, but still find ways to move on from it together. It isn’t a perfectly patched-up relationship, but it’s the small, baby steps that go a long way.

And yet, when you strip away the travel, the family, the self-discovery, at its heart, Just One Year is a love story. We find Willem’s thoughts littered with Lulu; memories, trinkets, thoughts, words, dialogue. And, despite the fact that Lulu lives in Willem’s thoughts for the majority of this novel, Forman convinces us that what they share is more than just a passing fancy; it’s true love. As Willem himself slowly grows to seize his life with his own hands, he too, like Allyson, acknowledges that their day spent together changed him for the better. And while there is the admission that both Willem and Allyson will be fine alone, there is also the truth that they will be remarkable together. Bram and Yael’s love story, which draws heavy parallels between that of Willem and Allyson’s, serves to strengthen our belief in the rightness of this couple. Moreover, what Forman really excels at conveying is that a relationship is build upon the willingness of both people to make it work. It doesn’t matter what hurdles are thrown their way; if they’re convinced that they are meant to be together, no matter what, they will stay together, no matter what. It is the growth of that mindset, then, that is more important than the arc of any relationship. It is for this reason that I love the way Forman has chosen to end this novel. If you read closely enough, if you understand fully enough, you just know what’s really being said in all those undertones. And those are the endings that make me gasp in awe every time.

Needless to say, fans of Forman’s work will be flocking to buy this the day it releases. It needs no further endorsement from me or any other reviewer – the name of Gayle Forman is enough to ensure that it delivers and lives up to expectations. And yet, I was still surprised when I read this novel. While Mia and Allyson are both very different heroines, they do share subtle similarities in their lifestyle. Adam and Willem, however, are as different as can be and I love that I love these two distinct male narratives for different reasons. Despite both being darkly flawed beings, Adam and Willem find ways to cope with their lives and move on. And, best of all, I love that both these duologies are of a different nature. Where She Went is more sequel than companion novel, whereas Just One Year relies on the dates, time periods, and locations of Just One Day to be fully experienced at its raw potential. Perhaps best of all, though, Shakespeare remains the underlying inspiration, connecting together the books and giving rise to the tones they convey. With the magic she was worked up, Forman has ensured one thing: you will close her novel stained.

You can read this review and more on my blog, Ivy Book Bindings.
Profile Image for Debby.
588 reviews539 followers
April 16, 2021
2 stars

How do I even start this review? I was ecstatic when Judith told me she would send me her ARC of Just One Year, because it was honestly one of my most anticipated books of this year, after I read Just One Day . I honestly thought there'd be no way in hell that I wouldn't like this book. When Judith didn't give it 5 stars, I thought she must be crazy.

I take back my unspoken thought, Judith. You're not crazy.

WHAT was this book? WHY did it go like this? HOW did Gayle Forman think this was a good idea, that this was the book we wanted?

First things first then, and it really pains me to say this, but I didn't like Willem's voice. I know. Your jaws just dropped to the floor. But just honestly. I loved him in Just One Day, he was kind of mysterious and dreamy, and though you didn't know much about him, you desperately wanted more. Well here we get it. It's Willem's point-of-view the whole way through... and it didn't work. It wasn't convincing. I'm not convinced Forman can write a believable male point-of-view, since I also didn't like Adam's voice in Where She Went . The thing is, it was total wish fulfillment bullshit. All Willem thinks and talks about the whole time is Allyson and how much he likes her, how he can't forget about her... I'm sorry, but that's not realistic. He's a guy. He's supposed to have some freaking balls. I just... It wasn't convincing. At all. I wanted substance. But he was just boring. And all the love that I had built up around him in Just One Day was swept away. *sigh*

Added to this personality that didn't really agree with me, the plot... it was so boring. This starts off the day that Willem and Allyson are separated and then covers the year until they meet again. Willem does nothing but pine for Allyson and simultaneously travels to Mexico and India. While in Just One Day, Allyson's year apart clearly showed a story of personal growth, that wasn't really the case for Willem. He didn't grow much, if at all. And it doesn't help that Mexico and India are definitely not high on the list of countries I want to visit. This didn't evoke the kind of wanderlust that Just One Day did, at least for me. But anyway, Willem's experiences in these countries honestly felt like it was just a stall tactic. It was boring. I was just passing the time until he would be reunited with Allyson.

Since this combination of blah main character and blah boring plot wasn't keeping me entertained, I was already in a rather blah mood and difficult to impress. So things that might not have bothered me otherwise started to bother me. It just seemed like this book was trying too hard. For example, Gayle throws in a bunch of Dutch words at random, to... I don't know, emphasize the fact that Willem's Dutch. And while I appreciate the effort and none of it was incorrect or anything, it felt extremely odd as a Dutch reader. Particularly when Willem meets up with his Dutch friends, guys, all in their 20s, and then Broodje suggests making a "borrelhapje". Here's a Dutch lesson: anything ending with -je is the diminutive form of the word. It's cutsey. It's not something that a group of 20 year old guys would ever seriously say. It sounded extremely awkward. And another thing that bothered me is Forman's glaring attempts to be "deep". When you're in a naggy mood, reading one of her books is a bad idea. Each chapter ends with a sentence that has like a double or deeper meaning. But it just annoyed me. I just felt it was so obvious and trying too hard. Just. No. Ugh. Cue the eyerolls.

The ending...

I couldn't imagine a bigger disappointment.

Summing Up:

I've honestly tried, tried so hard to think of something to name that I liked in this book. But I'm coming up completely blank. Honestly. It may not be entirely bad, but right now, my massive disappointment is overshadowing everything. I mean, I named Just One Day one of my all-time favorite books. And now I'm going to try to forget about this book and just pretend JOD was a standalone. This book added nothing. I would take back reading it if I could. That is honestly how I feel right now.

And I'm questioning whether I get along with Gayle Forman's writing after all. I've read the Just One Day and If I Stay duologies, and of those four books I've only liked Just One Day. I'm thinking that was the exception to the rule. And I'm aware this makes me a total black sheep, but you know what? I don't care. Though I do wonder why it just won't work for me.

GIF it to me straight!

Recommended To:

People who are more sentimental than me. *mutters*

*This review is of an ARC.
Profile Image for YT.
124 reviews15 followers
December 23, 2013
This book is everything I wanted it to be and more.

before reading:
"Published 2013 by Dutton Juvenile"


Profile Image for shady boots.
500 reviews2,041 followers
May 2, 2015

Really though! How could you end it there?? D: I mean yes, that ending was beautiful, but goddammit, I needed more details! It can't possibly just end there, there's gotta be more to it!

*sigh* Nonetheless, I enjoyed it. At least now I understand Willem's side of the story and finally know what goes on in that head of his. However I find myself still not as satiated as I'd hoped I would be. ._.
Profile Image for emma.
1,864 reviews54.3k followers
November 11, 2017

Of couuuuuurse. Of course this would happen to me. I reread Just One Day, and I’m all confident and pleased because 2017-me loves a book that 2014-me loved. And I’m all, guess what else 2014-ish-me loved? The sequel. This is gonna be great.
Well, guess what, world? It wasn’t great. It was, in fact, garbage.

You’d think I’d expect this by now, but I am STUPID and I NEVER DO.


So this book takes place over the same span of time that the first one covers, except this book, instead of being empowering and interesting and filled with amazing character development, is boring and repetitive and lovey-dovey and actually contains the biggest character downgrade I have ever experienced in my young and bitter life.

Willem is mildly hot in the first book. He is mysterious and poetic and whatnot. He speaks a lot of languages and is tall and has great hair and creates metaphors for love using wrist-Nutella. What’s not to love? Or, more accurately, what’s not to feel neutral toward.

Willem is the narrator of this book, and he is the worst ever.

He is boring. He is obsessive in a way that has very little positive impact on himself. He mopes around and manipulates girls into loving him (ha ha, the reader is supposed to say! How stupid of that girl for not realizing he’s in love with another girl, who this one doesn’t know exists! Lol! It’s almost like he’s f*cking her and living in her home and all around making her think they’re in an exclusive relationship). He is very sh*tty to his friends. He travels around to a few places, but with none of the visceral descriptions the first book has.

What I am trying to say is it is all very bad.

And then the ending is sh*tty and inconclusive and has no payoff, which is why the ebook Just One Night had to exist. And the fact that this book made that glorified pamphlet of foot fetishizing have to come into creation is reason enough to one star it.

I don’t want to talk about this anymore.

Bottom line: Please pretend this book does not exist. It’s for your own good.



You guessed it!! Even though I adored the first book and it's one of my favorite YA books ever, this book was not good!!! Because there is no justice or fairness or joy or love in this world!!!

Review to come if I survive today!!!!!
Profile Image for Christine Riccio.
Author 4 books101k followers
January 14, 2014
i was a little disappointed in this book.. a lot disappointed because I thought it was something it wasnt. Here's my full review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNQ_PM... .


I really think even setting aside my misconceptions, that this book would have been heaps more enjoyable if we were to watch Willem develop through a relationship with Allyson. His problems were different from hers. He needed to learn how to stay. How to love things fully without the fear of loss. I feel that that could have been shown wonderfully through watching his relationship bloom with Allyson and seeing their dynamic together rather than watching him wander the world- at times aimlessly- while they were apart.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,738 reviews1,306 followers
July 23, 2015
2.5 stars
Well this was such a let-down after ‘just one day’. I expected to find out a bit about what had happened to Willem to cause him to disappear, but I also wanted to know what happened to Willem and Allyson once they found each other again!

Unfortunately though, 99% of this book was a really boring recap on what had happened to Willem over the course of the year that he and Allyson were separated, and it was just mind-numbingly boring! I’m not sure how I got through it actually!

The bit that I was then waiting for – Allyson and Willem reunited, was over in less than a page! I mean seriously?! Seriously?! Are you freaking kidding me? What an absolute waste of time this book was!!

5 out of 10
Profile Image for Maria Espadinha.
1,027 reviews374 followers
January 26, 2020
Quando os Opostos se Juntam...

Allyson é Ponderada.
Willem é Espontâneo.

Allyson é Regras.
Willem é Caos.

Allyson é Raízes.
Willem é Asas.

Allyson é Terra.
Willem é Ar.

Allyson e Willem são opostos. O que é excessivo num, rareia no outro e por isso o Destino os juntou!

Ally já aprendeu a linguagem de Will, pois de quando em quando, lá vai batendo asas e Voando.
Agora é a vez de Will, que para se aproximar de Ally, terá que concentrar-se em Aterrar.

Ela despachou o assunto num dia.
Ele em menos dum ano não vai lá chegar.

A continuar assim, frases do tipo "Atão?! É pra hoje ou prámanhã?" e "Aguenta aí ó minha! Tás com tanta pressa pra quê?" serão frequentes vezes proferidas! 😜
Profile Image for Arlene.
1,164 reviews639 followers
July 29, 2013
I’m not sure it’s possible to simultaneously love something and keep it safe. Loving someone is such an inherently dangerous act. And yet, love, that’s where safety lives.

Wow! What an absolute treat! I've been looking forward to Just One Year since the moment I finished the first book in this series. Just One Day left me with a craving and curiosity to dive even deeper into the lives of Forman's newest cast of characters, where Allyson and Willem enjoy a chance meeting that unfortunately ends after just one day.

First off I must say Just One Year did not disappoint one bit. It surprised me in more ways than one, but it also lived up to my expectations of the magic Forman is able to create when she blends her characters, setting and narrative to deliver an experience that marks writing at its best. Where I've often commended Australian authors for the authenticity and realism they are able to create, Forman’s powerful yet subtle approach to bringing her characters to life brands her as a writer worthy of applause.

What I loved most about this book was that I remember wanting to know so much more about Willem than what we got in Just one Day. He came across as such a mystery that I couldn't wait to uncover. Well, in his story we truly get to peel back the layers of this intricate character as we travel with him through the cities and streets of Amsterdam, Utrecht, Mexico, and Mumbai in a quest to find a girl he met one day in Paris. After months of traveling, retracing steps, wondering what he’s possibly missed that might help him find her, he realizes that before he can accomplish that, he must first find himself.

There was so much depth to his life that the first book only touched the surface of, and when he takes the stage in this newest installment, we discover an entirely different Willem that I ever thought possible in book one. To learn about what he’d recently lost that molded the person he was when he met Allyson, struck an emotional chord that drove the intensity of his journey throughout this novel.

I miss my father… I miss my grandfather. I miss my home. And I miss my mother. But the thing is, for almost three years, I managed not to miss any of them. And then I spent that one day with that one girl. One day. One day of watching the rise and fall of her sleep under the rolling clouds in that park and feeling so peaceful that I fell asleep myself. One day of being under her protection…her grip so strong that it felt like we were one person, not two. One day of being the beneficiary of her strange generosity – the barge ride, the watch, that honesty, her willingness to show fear, her willingness to show courage. It was like she gave me her whole self, and some how as a result, I gave her more of myself than I even realized there was to give. But then she was gone. And only after I’ve been filled up by her, by that day, did I understand how empty I really was.

~deep sigh~
It's moments like this throughout the novel that add that emotional element driving the narrative to an exceptional level. Forman truly has a way with words that offer insight and revelation in one powerful surge.

In addition, we got a chance to meet a carefully crafted secondary cast that pushes and pulls the novel in various directions steering the flow of the story in perfect cadence with Willem’s journey. To meet Willem’s family, friends and acquaintances was quite the experience. I loved his band of friends that helped him on his quest to find “Lulu” and I enjoyed reading about his family that molded Willem in unique ways. I believe this book marks one of Forman’s more character driven novels as she skillfully uses the cast to build on the drama and intensity at perfect moments throughout.

On a final note, I have to share the power of the flashback moments in Paris. To see how that day branded him in ways the events of the last twenty-one years haven’t quite managed to do was quite emotional. My only regret was not reading both books back to back because there were moments that I wondered how close these two characters came to finding each other throughout the book. However, I guess the beauty in these missed opportunities lies in the fact that they weren’t quite ready to collide until they both discovered themselves first.

As with most authors that move me with their stories, I can never quite get enough. Having enjoyed Allyson and Willem’s stories in their separate stages, I wonder will they one day get a novel that brings them together from beginning to end? As much as I have to admit their story is complete and my imagination can take it from here, this is one of the few times when I wish Forman would keep telling us more. :) Love this book to pieces!

Bravery was doing something dangerous without thinking. Courage was walking into danger, knowing full well the risks.

*Quotes were taken from an ARC edition of the book.

P.S. Thank you to the lovely people at Penguin for sending me this coveted book on my wish list. To receive an ARC of Just One Year, I can only describe it as Christmas in July. So, again thank you so much Penguin for making my summer! Shear bliss!
Profile Image for Sushmita.
50 reviews
June 3, 2014

Full review will be written as soon as I will be done with my exams.
oh my god!!Cover has finally been revealed.And its so awesome.No wait not awesome.Itts hot.Super HOT!!This is me when I saw the cover first.

and this

okay last one :

Not only cover but excerpt also has been released.Thanks Gayle.I love you Gayle.You are so great.
Okay so I finally read this book, review to come soon.
Profile Image for Judith.
245 reviews356 followers
April 6, 2015
Rating: 3 stars

When I just finished Just One Year, I gave it 4.5 stars. But the more I thought of it, the more frustrated I became. I think that at first I didn’t realize how many issues I actually had with this book. But the moment I started trying to write my review it hit me: I was disappointed. And conflicted. And very, very confused. This was my most anticipated fall release, one of my most anticipated releases ever. So naturally, when I discovered that Hannah was sweet enough to send it to me, I did a happy dance. I also may have cried. Only… it didn’t live up to my expectations. I guess I should have seen it coming. Just One Day was life-changing for me. How could a sequel possibly live up to that? But still, that’s what I was expecting.

Read the full review at Paper Riot.
December 7, 2019
“There’s a difference between losing something you knew you had and losing something you discovered you had. One is a disappointment. The other feels like losing a piece of yourself”.

Este segundo libro de Just One Day me fascinó. ¡Yo sabía que la desaparición de Willem tenía una razón de ser! Su conexión con Allyson era demasiado fuerte como para que simplemente hubiera salido huyendo.

A medida que pasan las páginas, Gayle Forman va creando una imagen súper tridimensional de Willem que no teníamos hasta ahora. Siempre lo habíamos visto como el chico relajado, sin un pasado que le pesara y con un aura de misticismo siempre a su alrededor. Sin embargo, con Just One Year nos damos cuenta de cómo Willem se ha protegido del mundo creando una apariencia que no deja que las personas se enteren de todo lo que ha vivido y lo que siente en el fondo de su corazón. En realidad es un chico que viaja, se divierte y liga con chicas para evitar lidiar con todo lo que lo está atormentando. Fue increíble leer desde su perspectiva y entender el dolor que siente por saber que ha perdido algo, pero sin saber el qué.

No quiero decirles mucho, pues esta es una segunda parte, pero sí quiero que tengan claro que la historia de Willem es absolutamente preciosa y real. Just One Year es de esos libros que representan lo horrible y lo maravilloso de la vida al mismo tiempo. Como muchos libros de fantasía dicen, no hay luz si no hay oscuridad. Todo son claroscuros, coincidencias y decisiones que se van tomando y que nos llevan a un desenlace.

Las vidas de Willem y Allyson hicieron click en ese mágico día en París y me encanta que, aunque intentaron desafiar al destino, las cosas acabaron como estaban planeadas desde un primer momento.
Profile Image for নিটোল.
814 reviews35 followers
July 21, 2016
Edit after reading: To say I'm disappointed would be an understatement.

As you already know from the blurb, this is from Willem's POV, who I decided was an asshole after the first book, and was still somewhat convinced that I would be proven wrong about that, and is proven right today after finishing his side of the story, and I have never been this disappointed for being right.

Willem's life history was kind of nice to venture, specially the parts in India as it seemed kind of familiar, being the neighboring country and all. But his journey to find Lulu aka Allyson? Not done dude! Lulu had gone out of her ways to find him, and Willem's path in turn was trivial. It made me angry that Willem wasn't as willing to risk everything for Lulu as herself. I'm a hopeless romantic, guilty.

I hate that ending, absolutely hate it!

This book has ruined it for me. I wish that the first one had been left as a standalone as Lulu is the one who's true to her heart and only the one who deserves a story, not Willem.


You broke my heart Gayle, and I ain't keeping it in your hands ever again.

Edit before reading: October 10th huh?

All right. I'll wait. Okay then. No biggie.

Sorry Mr. Forman. I'm off to my anger management support group meeting now. Toodles!

Edit: Just figured that Gayle Forman is a lady. My review looks uber cool now!:P
Profile Image for Carla.
294 reviews69 followers
September 5, 2013


EDIT - devoured it last night in one gulp. book drunk. woah.

Profile Image for sarah.
404 reviews267 followers
January 22, 2020
Just One Year was basically just 'Just One Day' but without the few elements I liked from that one.
My favourite part of the first instalment in the series was the fun, romantic trip to Paris. It ended on a cliffhanger, which was pretty much the only reason I decided to actually continue on with this one. But NOPE. Instead of beginning where the cliffhanger left off- we went back to the beginning, retold the story from the guy's pov and then ended ON THE SAME CLIFFHANGER.
I hate open endings, I just want to know what happens :(

I can't say I am really surprised I didn't love this one, considering Gayle Forman and I don't have a great track record- in particular with sequels *cough* where she went *cough*

I just didn't care about any of the characters. I really liked Willem in the first one, but now as the narrator he is obsessive, manipulative, boring and just a plain bad friend, boyfriend and son.
While the first book felt dreamy and romantic- this book crushed that by just feeling stale and realistic (yes, I know this is a contemporary and meant to be realistic. But reality sucks sometimes and I read to escape that feeling a lot of the time)

However, I did quite enjoy some elements of this. The main one was the aspect of Shakespeare and performing it. I could never be an actor, but I love seeing other people acting in books. Living vicariously through them I guess. Similarly to 'Just One Day' I sped through this on audio, a good way to go because it sort of masked the fact that nothing happened. Oops I was meant to talk about good things but just drifted back to bad. That is an accurate representation of my feelings toward this book.

I could read the novella that comes after this book, meant to give an actual ending unlike this one. But can I be bothered? do I care enough? questionable.

2.5 stars

Profile Image for Laura.
471 reviews558 followers
July 24, 2015

“It’s not either or, not luck or love. Not fate or will. Maybe for double happiness, you need both.”

Blurb: 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. . . .


Note: I’ll review here Just One Night as well because I don’t feel like doing the whole thing again. I read the novella right after I finished this book and you can see that at the end of this review.

To say the only thing I thought about was reading this book wouldn’t be a lie. I couldn’t stop thinking about what happened that last day in Paris and why Willem disappeared and we found out what happened, more questions were eating me alive.

What was Willem doing this whole time? Was he looking for Allyson? Did he give up? Did he ever get to go to Holland? What is it in Holland? and you know how it is.


I was pleased this book answered most all of the questions but it’s such a bittersweet feeling. It was a surprised I actually liked this book more than I liked Just One Day because I found Willem and I repressed things the same way and we used the same kind of distractions so it was a great thing to read how he overcomes all of that and becomes an stable guy but I have to be honest here:

I completely hated the way the book was divided.

I wouldn’t have minded a larger book if that meant we had that the first half that’d be all about Willem and how he re-discovered himself and how he came back to his family and friends and had a new purpose and the other half that’d be about he and Allyson getting finally back together and they’re going to make it work and I really wanted to read more about how they told each other what happened during that year but we didn’t get the whole thing and I felt robbed somehow.


Well, what I did like about the book was pretty much 80% of it. I didn’t know I was going to care about Willem this much but considering I didn’t like Allyson until the very end, that shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise.
The first four chapters, I think, were ones of the best. They were chaotic and messy and full of fear, confusion… I mean, I felt heartbroken while reading them. Willem was in such a frenetic state, it was really painful to read. At least for me. He was trying really hard not to lose Allyson but he didn’t know why he would lose her or who she was exactly so, like I said, chaotic. Then he remembers but he doesn’t know what to do so he tries to move on but also don’t give up on looking for her and it’s all really interesting and sad to see.

“Accident—how I found her. Accident—how I lost her. You have to give the universe credit, the way it evens things out like that.”

The whole thing with his parents is such a mystery until it isn’t anymore but still what was going with his mom... he’s angry at her and he misses her and he misses his home and his dad and how things used to be and you can feel it through the paper. Everything he does is to escape. To be someone else, to live a different life. He wants to remember but he doesn’t want to live it again.


I loved it all. I loved how lost he was, how he continued to “move on”, how he lived his life without any prove of living at all. It serves the purposes of the book and it was well delivered.

Willem is a very likeable character but also there are his friends who are absolutely adorable and I want to have friends like them.

If there’s something I loved about Forman’s books is the character development. It’s so progressive and palpable. Her characters and the readers found things out together. Like how short Willem was selling himself, how used every trick to avoid getting his feelings involved, how he created this persona and that was the one living and it was all quite good to read.

I was enjoining the book and also getting really fucking frustrated when he and Allyson were in the same fucking place without bumping into each other and how all these little “coincidences” were tangling each other to get those two reunited and all the people who helped with and without knowing.


I think that was the aspect of the two books I loved the most. The accidents, the coincidences, fate, will, luck or whatever you want to call it.

If it’s meant to bet then, no matter what, it’ll be.

And I liked that a year went by. I liked it because I don’t think they would’ve made it otherwise.

One couple met in London, one different couple spent the day in Paris and one different, better couple was reunited in Amsterdam.

I liked it. How they found each other’s wounds but healed on their own. I feel like it couldn’t have been better.

“I didn’t understand then. Love is not something you protect. It’s something you risk.”

But, like I said, I didn’t like how the book ended and I found Just One Night completely unnecessary. That should have been just a few chapters of JOY or an epilogue because I did not enjoy it.

JON it’s told in a third person featuring not only Willem and Allyson but also their friends and I wasn’t a fan of how it was constructed. One paragraph was all Willem and then the other was Allyson and how they were intertwined, ugh. For me, it was a mess. And wow, it was cheesy as fuck.


While JOD and JOY were both slow paced and poetic and actually mature (I’m talking about the writing, not the characters), JON was straight out of Forman’s mind. It came to a point where there was this sentence about how Willem felt and the next one about Allyson and no.

A year ago I had a backpack, and now I have a key, he thinks.
A year ago we didn’t give each other our names, and now he gave me a key, she thinks.

I don’t know why I was rather annoyed with this but that’s how I felt and I can’t really change that.

Over all Allyson and Willem’s story is one I wouldn’t mind reading again. I like how they found each other and themselves in every possible way and the message is clear: Own yourself. Love yourself. Be more, be better and be happy.
Profile Image for Bonnie.
1,376 reviews928 followers
November 15, 2015
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A copy of Just One Year was provided to me by Dutton/Penguin Group (USA) for review purposes.

'It was like she gave me her whole self, and somehow as a result, I gave her more of myself than I ever realized there was to give. But then she was gone. And only after I'd been filled up by her, by that day, did I understand how empty I really was.'

Finally. We have Willem's story. Just One Day left readers contemplating what possibly could have gone wrong, why he never came back to Allyson and if they were ever going to be able to find each other again. Just One Year possesses the same melancholy feel as its predecessor with Willem stumbling around in an apparent daze, unable to trust the stability of his feelings for Allyson because after all... they only knew each other for a single day.

'...it's Lulu I miss, and I know it must be displaced, my loneliness a heat-seeking missile, her the heat. Only I can't seem to find a new source of heat.'

This is a tough one for me to figure out how I feel about. Willem was a tough nut to crack and I went through the majority of the book not feeling any sort of compassion towards him, no pity for his plight, when I think that would have been the regular response. He gave up his search for her very early on and considering we already know what Allyson went through physically and emotionally makes me sad for her. Willem was convinced to start looking for her again by friends and as much as he kept saying he was still looking for her that whole time, it wasn't an active search. It felt like he was simply sitting back and waiting for something to happen, for her to find him.

'The truth and its opposite are flip sides of the same coin.'

Willem's story became less about their romance and more about him discovering things about himself and becoming a better person because he met her. This is actually what I had originally hoped for her in Just One Day; for Allyson to recognize the incredibly transformed person she had become (and she did) but that even though it resulted from her meeting Willem that she didn't need him to continue to be as such. Willem found the independence and strength their meeting imbued and used it in a positive manner and while I'm glad at least one of them did this, I never quite liked Willem enough in order to root for him. I never saw what appealed to Allyson and I never understood quite why they transformed each others lives in the first place.

While I'm glad to have the closure of Willem's side of the story, I still can't help but feel the ending would have benefited from... more. I needed to see Willem and Allyson's transformations being applied since we as readers were only afforded a quick glance before reaching the final page.

Just One Year is a tale of transformation, of finding happiness, of finding love and finding yourself.
Profile Image for Fenia.
262 reviews455 followers
December 27, 2014
The year of 'Just One Day' through Willem's eyes. Beautiful book,just like all of Gayle's books!!! ♥ This woman writes masterpieces! Another journey of finding yourself and figuring things out.

I can't write a proper review due to hangover (don't judge,its Christmas!) ,but this is a good book. I think. I know :P And i need to read what happens next!! Will there be a book three? ♥

Oh and happy holidays ♥ (to those who are reading this review now)
Profile Image for Sarah.
820 reviews151 followers
October 9, 2013
I never say this, but I kind of feel like this series needs another installment.

This was not at all the book I expected (I avoided reviews, so I assumed Just One Year would pick up where Just One Day left off, but actually stars at the beginning of the "One Year" timeline in Just One Day). So, if you've read JOD, you know what story I expected.

Anyway, I'll write more about this on the blog, but I really appreciate that this pair of books tackles a lot of unusual themes, particularly related to family and self-determination. After the success of If I Stay/Where She Went, Forman could've followed up with a similar series and I'm betting a lot of people would've loved (including me) another duet of dramatic, romance-focused stories, but this is a very different pair of novels and I appreciate the author's gutsy direction for them.

Anyway, I think that people who really clicked with Just One Day and Allyson's story will love this, people who were unsatisfied with it, thought Allyson was spoiled etc, will probably feel the same about Willem.


I wrote more here: http://cleareyesfullshelves.com/blog/...
Profile Image for Katrina Welsh.
154 reviews72 followers
June 24, 2014
This is nowhere near as good as Just One Day. But companions rarely are, and it had a lot to live up to. That's not to say it wasn't good, because it was terribly so. It probably would've been better for me if I had reread Just One Day before going into this one but can't do anything about that now. I'm more than happy to reread the two consecutively at a later date, anyways.
Profile Image for Katrina Passick Lumsden.
1,780 reviews12.8k followers
July 18, 2014
When Willem wakes up, he's not sure where he is, he just knows that he's alone and that someone's waiting for him. Someone he has to get back to. Someone he might lose.

Thus begins the year-long journey of Willem, the half-Dutch/half Israeli street actor we all came to know and love in Gayle Forman's Just One Day.

I wish I could say I loved this book. I really do. Because I love Willem. He's amazingly well-written. A perfect blend of faults and virtues. And while his journey of self-discovery is vaguely reminiscent of Allyson's, it's missing a few key points that made Allyson's tale much more compelling. Mostly, Allyson's journey involved both her and Willem. After watching the dynamics between the two of them in the first book, any reader who was sucked in (as I was) by Allyson and Willem's budding relationship is desperately clamoring for more interaction between the two. Sadly, this is not to be. And while I genuinely enjoyed hearing Willem's side of the story, it just didn't ring the same emotional bell. Whether this is because I'm a woman or because Gayle Forman is (perhaps both) is beside the point. Ms. Forman's target audience is young women, and those young women sympathize with Allyson and Willem because of their connection. When you remove one from the other, the story seems to lag. This was acceptable in Just One Day only because Allyson's journey of finding herself was so involved. Willem's doesn't appear to be. Yes, it took a long time for him to come to his revelations, but it felt like that was dragged out for the benefit of the length of the book, not because Willem genuinely needed that much time. And all of this could have been overlooked had I been rewarded for my diligence and patience with a single shred of interaction between Allyson and Willem.

What a staggering disappointment.

When I really and truly consider it, I understand Forman was walking a narrow line here. On the one hand, she wanted their reunion to be romantic. On the other, she probably didn't want it to be over-the-top, and undying declarations would definitely have made it that. However, while Willem's final action is sweet, it simply wasn't enough. One more tiny verbal interaction between the two would have gone a long way towards giving me a more complete sense of closure. I feel cheated, and that's never a good way to feel after reading something as emotionally invested as these books.

On another note, I'm thoroughly irritated with the cover. Willem is supposed to be nearly a foot taller than Allyson and blonde. I guess someone missed that memo.

However...I've decided that this book deserves far more than my usual rating of "meh, three stars" merely because of the writing.

"There is a difference between losing something you knew you had and losing something you discovered you had. One is a disappointment. The other feels like losing a piece of yourself."

Lines like that are worthy of praise, particularly in this genre, where shallow writing tends, more often than not, to be the norm. I'll try and swallow my bitter resentment at not getting more Allyson/Willem time and just be happy that they did, finally, find their way back to each other. And, ultimately, to themselves.
589 reviews1,029 followers
November 10, 2013
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

3.5 stars

Thank you Random House Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.

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

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.

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.
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,517 reviews8,973 followers
November 27, 2013
"There's a difference between losing something you knew you had and losing something you discovered you had. One is a disappointment. The other is truly a loss."

Just One Year shows off Gayle Forman's specialty: a gorgeous love story that is not actually about love, at least not in the shallow sense. Willem de Ruiter wakes up in the hospital with no recollection of his immediate past - until he realizes he's lost Lulu, the girl he spent one magical day with. For one year he travels in search of her, but more importantly, in search of himself.

While I enjoyed Willem's coming-of-age in Just One Year, the novel as a whole did not live up to Just One Day, its predecessor. Willem learns to let people in and to connect with his family, but whereas Allyson grew outward and inward, it felt like Willem's journey was external and almost random. All of the plot events did not flow in a way that through their specific placements, Willem burgeoned - rather, it felt like he just grew because his epiphanies occurred at opportune moments. While the idea of luck and randomness contributed to the theme of will v. fate, it made me question whether the settings Forman chose or the side characters she introduced were essential to where Willem ended at the conclusion. Maybe my doubt stems from my lack of a strong connection with him, so it felt like I was at a distance, observing his journey from the outside as opposed to a more vicarious experience.

Even though I appreciate Forman's female protagonists more than her male ones, for now I cannot give any of her books less than four stars. Just One Year features fluid prose and a great story of self-growth, and I would recommend it to fans of Just One Day. Willem's journey did not make me cry, but it made me empathize with his adventure to find himself and where he belonged.

"I'd seen what losing this kind of thing could do. I wanted to be protected by her love, and to be protected from it.

I didn't understand then. Love is not something you protect. It's something you risk."
Profile Image for  Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Yosbe  Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.
270 reviews86 followers
October 20, 2013
Amar a alguien es un acto tan inherentemente peligroso. Y sin embargo, el amor es donde nuestra salvación vive


Gayle Forman es una artista de la literatura. De verdad lo creo.

En esta época cuando libros New Adult están cargados de erotismo, cuando parece que para llegar a la lista de los más vendidos solo tienes que describir escenas sexuales, dónde sólo tienes que usar la fórmula chico malo/incomprendido/tatuado+chica virgen/inocente+sexo+frases cliches= repetir sin cesar, Gayle Forman aparece entre la multitud, mira a la fórmula con recelo, le da la espalda, se aleja y sube a su propio barco de emociones diciendo puedo remar yo sola y llegar lejos, sonríe y parte en su viaje, llevándonos a nosotros con ella.

La frase "Para viajar lejos no hay nada mejor que un libro" no puede ser más acertada en este conjunto de novelas.

Viajamos a través de Holanda, India, México... de su cultura. Creo que aprendí más en este libro sobre estas ciudades que en toda mi vida.






Y no sólo es un viaje a lugares, es un viaje a nuestro interior. A el ser o no ser....

A través de Will, conocemos el otro lado de la historia, complementando y dandonos a entender todo el papel que el destino jugó en la vida de estos dos chicos. Y también,el papel que nosotros debemos interpretar con el destino.

A veces el destino o la vida, o como quieras llamarlo, deja una puerta un poco abierta y caminas a través de ella. Pero a veces se cierra la puerta y tienes que encontrar la llave, o forzar la cerradura, o golpear la maldita cosa. Y a veces, ni siquiera te mostrará la puerta, y hay que construirla por tí mismo.

Estos libros te dan esa sensación como cuando algo te gusta tanto que podrías tomarlo, romperlo en pedacitos y comertelo o fumártelo... si, algo así, para que fuese parte de ti.

Sólo Gayle Forman puede a través de más de 200 páginas, con unos protagonistas separados, crear tal obra, crear tal emoción, crear tal tensión, y hacer que pasemos página tras página hasta terminar.

Admiro a esta mujer. Está en el escalón número 1 para mi, junto con John Green, Rainbow Rowell y Haruki Murakami de los maestros de los sentimientos.

Podría hacer un review muy muy largo con todas las frases, y todas las emociones, y todas las cosas de este libro, pero prefiero hacer algo mejor. Te invito a leerlos.

Y el final: Oh, tengo que defender ese final.

Las mejores cosas, las buenas cosas, no necesitan ser explicadas. Esta es una historia de amor... ¿no es así?

Accidentes. Es todo sobre los accidentes.

Para ti Gayle, sólo para ti:

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