Just One Year by Gayle Forman is the companion book to her earlier novel, Just One Day, which I reviewed earlier this year.
spent one day in Paris with a girl, and it's messing with his head.
Willem has spent a lot of time with a lot of girls, but this one girl,
Lulu, is the one he can't forget. The problem is that he went out to get
breakfast after their one night together, and got beaten up and
hospitalized and just generally delayed, and he lost her. He doesn't
know where she went, or even who she is -- "Lulu" is just a nickname he
gave her. Over the course of a year, Willem spends a lot of time
alternately trying to find Lulu and trying to forget her. Along the way
he reconnects with the family he's tried to put behind him and the
friends who have supported him all along, rediscovers a passion for
acting, and starts to find his way in life. But will he ever reconnect
with his Lulu?
As with the last book, I found this one just okay.
In the last book, I couldn't get a real sense of Willem's character, so
I had a hard time understanding Allyson's fixation on him. Now that I
have read this book, I actively dislike him, so it makes it even more
difficult for me to root for him to get back together with Lulu/Allyson,
a character that I actually did like. Because, let's face it: Willem is
kind of a jerk where women are concerned. A charming and apparently
handsome one, but a jerk, nonetheless. On the other hand, stepping back
from my opinion of the character, this does mean that the writing in
this book is good enough to make me care about the characters, and I did
find it a quick and fairly engaging read. Fans of realistic YA fiction
will probably enjoy these two books, and readers who liked the first
book will want to read this one in order to get the other side of the
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)