Saturday, 23 August 2014

Review: Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Title: Just One Year (Just One Day #2)
Author: Gayle Forman
Released: October 2013
Pages: 336
Genre: Romance, Contemporary 
Favourite Quote: “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.”
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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.

My Review

Initial Thoughts: I am a bit confused as to what I think about this book. I loved the first book in the series and I expected to love this one even more. But I found it to be quite boring. I was no where near as invested in the storyline as I was for Just One Day and I'm really upset about that. Why Gayle Forman? Why?

The storyline of this novel basically takes place the night after Williem and Lulu spent in Paris. Where Just One Day follows the story of Allyson's (Lulu) year after meeting Williem and her quest to find him again, Just One Year does the same but from Williems perspective. This book is not a sequel. Do not believe what Goodreads may say or stuff like that. It is more of a companion novel. I would not classify this as a sequel as it ends at the same time Just One Day does.

The Pros: Honestly, there isn't much that comes to mind. For me, it was finding out why Williem left Lulu that night in Paris and to have his perspectives on things. It was really nice to read about that because the last we saw of him in the last book (before Lulu finds him again) was him leaving Lulu after the night they spent together. We didn't know where he really was. All we knew was where Lulu thought he was. It was nice getting to know Williem that bit better

The Cons: I found Williem to be quite frustrating at times. I felt as though he wasn't very keen on finding Lulu as much as Lulu was for him. He had so many opportunities to find her and he often gave up when he was so close. He always got sidetracked (by various girls) and it just didn't make sense. Here he was trying to find Lulu but he will get together with the first girl he sees. Even though it was obvious that he did not plan on having a long lasting relationship with them, it was still very annoying. Like, get your priorities right. Do you even want to find her?

The storyline was no where as near exciting as it was for Just One Day. In Just One Day, I was interested to find out more about Allyson's (Lulu) family and friends. But for this one, I honestly didn't care. I found that there were too many character introductions and it got to a point where I had no idea who these people were and had no idea how he knew them. Maybe I found it harder because I wasn't into the story very much, but that was a major let down. I also didn't enjoy his various adventures everywhere (eg. India, Amsterdam etc). I enjoyed about reading about the places but why he was there I did not. I found some storylines pointless and meaningless. There was basically no point for all this except to show readers more about his past. I can honestly say I'm so happy that this book was only about 300 pages. I would have probably stopped reading it earlier if I knew it was longer.

Would I recommend this book?  Honestly, not really. However, this novel is necessary to read if you do plan on reading Just One Night (the novella) which details what happens after Lulu finds Williem in his apartment in Amsterdam. So if you want to read about that (and that was a very satisfying 30pages to read. It kind of made up for this book) I would suggest reading Just One Year as there are some things that are necessary to know, such as characters, to fully understand what is happening.  But if you don't mind the specifics of everything and just want to know what happens, I guess you could go straight to the novella. But as I said, you may be a tad confused (just a tad).
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