Title: Just One Year
Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Reviewer: Emily Bedwell
Summary via Goodreads:
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. . .
Author Gayle Forman has created powerful characters and stories with If I Stay, Where She Went and Just One Day. Because I enjoyed all those books, I really wanted to love Just One Year. In fact, I was so excited when this book came out that I looked everywhere for it on vacation, to no avail. That said, I’m not disappointed that I didn’t find it. I liked this book fine, but didn’t find Willem’s story nearly as exciting as Allyson/Lulu’s story last year. After 24 hours in Paris with the girl of his dreams, Willem goes to get breakfast, gets attacked and never makes it back to her. He spends the next year wandering the world, never quite finding his place and hoping to figure out who she was and where she is now. Along the way, he finds himself in a Bollywood movie, being distracted by a few other girls, understudying for a real Shakespeare company, playing a lead role, and, eventually discovering a little more about who he is and his place in the world in the process.
Just One Year has the same strong characters and writing as Forman’s other books, but somehow just lacked the pizazz of Forman’s other works. Maybe it was because we didn’t really get a chance to know Willem in Just One Day, but I found it harder to keep interested in this story.
3/5 Bookmarks. Still a good book, but not my favorite.