Saturday, February 8, 2014

REVIEW: Just One Year (Just One Day #2) – Gayle Forman

Released: October 10th, 2013

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.
"Sometimes fate or life or whatever you want to call it, leaves a door a little open and you walk through it. But sometimes it locks the door and you have to find the key, or pick the lock, or knock the damn thing down. And sometimes, it doesn't even show you the door, and you have to build it yourself. But if you keep waiting for the doors to be opened for you… I think you'll have a hard time finding single happiness, let alone that double portion."
Like its first novel, Just One Year tells a story, not only about finding love in accidents, but also about finding yourself thanks to those accidents. Willem de Ruiter was never one to follow his plans or thoughts. He follows wherever the wind blows. Due to that faithful encounter and that one significant day in Paris, Willem follows his journey now as he discovers not only himself but also rediscovers his family, friends and life.

This book was just as impressive as the first one. I was stoked. With the cliffhanger in Just One Day, I was hoping that it'd continue here. But, turns out, it was actually following what Willem was doing when Allyson was going through the same thing. They were both searching for each other.

It's different from the steamy, angst-ridden genre I usually read but it's definitely no less enjoyable. It was a beautiful, intricate tale about love, family, friends, places, names, and life. It just took my breath away.

Willem de Ruiter has never been one to settle down. Not until he met "Lulu". He doesn't have what he calls home. He hasn't seen or heard from his mother for 3 years. He hasn't reconnected with his best friend for so long after he left. He's only slept with girls and leave them pissed off after a while. 

But after meeting Lulu, he rediscovers all of this. 
"Sometimes the wind blows you places you weren't expecting: sometimes it blows you away from those places too."
When he journeyed to find Lulu with his best friend, he starts off with Cancun. Broondje didn't believe that someone could actually hook Willem in. He didn't believe that someone could make his best friend so attached. But, it wasn't about being attached. It wasn't about the player finally finding his game changer. It was about the player finding his game maker. 

It was different losing Lulu than losing all those girls he's never really loved.
"There's a difference between losing something you knew you had than losing something you discovered you had. One is disappointment. The other feels like losing a piece of yourself."
Then he travelled to India, went back to Amsterdam and did plenty of different things that you may think, "What the hell does it have to do with connecting with Lulu?" 

But the fact is, everything connected with Lulu. After he met her, he found himself again. He found his family. He found his friends. He found his passion. He found his life. He found his home.

Willem is a sharp kid. He's been through several versions of hell in his life. But not those typical scenarios you see in novels. He's been through emotional hell. He knows though that it's all worth it. The pain and the suffering.
"When you make such a large withdrawal of happiness, somewhere you'll have to make an equally large deposit. It all goes back to the universal law of equilibrium."
But he figures it all out in the end. In the past, he's only gone on whatever he wants to do. He never had to work for it that he becomes oblivious to the world outside his own. After meeting Lulu, it all changed. 
"And something tells me if it matters, maybe it shouldn't be easy."

(Click book cover for Goodreads link)

♕ Just One Day (Just One Day #1) ♕
Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo

♕ Just One Year (Just One Day #2) 
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a journalist who specialized in reporting on young people and social-justice issues. Which is a fancy way of saying I reported on all the ways that young people get treated like crap—and overcome! I started out working for Seventeen magazine, writing the kinds of articles that people (i.e. adults) never believe that Seventeen ran (on everything from child soldiers in Sierra Leone to migrant teen farm workers in the U.S.). Later on, I became a freelance journalist, writing for magazines like Details, Jane, Glamour, The Nation, Elle, Budget Travel, and Cosmopolitan.

In 2002, I went traveling for a year around the world with my husband, Nick. I spent time hanging out with some pretty interesting people, a third sex (we’d probably call them transvestites here) in Tonga, Tolkien-obsessed, role-playing punks in Kazakhstan (bonus points to those of you who can find Kazakhstan on a map), working class hip-hop stars in Tanzania. The result of that year was my first book, a travel memoir called You Can’t Get There From Here: A Year On the Fringes of a Shrinking World. You can read about my trip and see pictures of it here.

What do you do when you get back home after traveling the globe for a whole year? First, you get disproportionately excited by the little comforts in life: Not having to look at a map to get everywhere? Yay! Being able to drink coffee without getting dressed and schlepping to a café first? Bliss! Then, if you’re 32 years old and have been with your husband for evah, you have a kid. Which we did. Presto, Willa!

So, there I was. With a baby. And all of a sudden I couldn’t do the kind of gallivanty reporting I’d done before. Well, you know how they say in life when one door closes another opens? In my case, the door came clear off the frame. Because I discovered that I could take the most amazing journeys of my life without ever having to leave my desk. It was all in my head. In stories I could make up. And the people I wanted to take these fantastical journeys with, they all happened to be between the ages of 12 and 20. I don’t know why. These are just the people who beckon me. And I go where I’m told.

My first young-adult novel, Sisters in Sanity, was based on another one of those social justice articles I wrote when for Seventeen and you can click here to read the article. Sisters was published in 2007. My next book, If I Stay, was published in April of 2009 by Dutton. It is also being published in 30 countries around the world, which is surreal. The sequel/companion book to If I Stay, Where She Went, comes out in April 2011. I am currently working on a new YA novel, that is, when my kids (plural, after Willa we adopted Denbele from Ethiopia) allow me to. And after that book is finished, I’ll write another, and another….

Wow. This is crazy long. I suppose the short version of this bio could simply read: My name is Gayle Forman and I love to write young-adult novels. Because I do. So thank you for reading them. Because without you, it’d just be me. And the voices in my head.

Gayle Forman is an award-winning author and journalist whose articles have appeared in such publications as Jane, Seventeen, Glamour, Elle, and The New York Times Magazine, to name just a few. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.

Check her out in these sites:
Website | Facebook | Twitter

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