Rated Reads

Just One Year

by Gayle Forman

Rated: High

In the “new-adult” book Just One Day, readers got to learn the story of Allyson, a recent high school graduate who is given the opportunity to spend a few weeks in Europe before moving on with college and the rest of her life. She meets Willem, a Dutch national who’s been traveling all over the place for a while, in London, and they spend a perfect day together in Paris. But because of a series of events they don’t get to stay in touch; Willem doesn’t even know Allyson’s real name because he nicknames her “Lulu.”

Each has a hard time forgetting the other over the course of the next year. In this companion book to the first, readers learn all about Willem: what brought him to London, what keeps him away from Allyson at the end of their time in Paris, what personal struggles he is facing and what lessons he needs to learn. Again, it’s a journey as Willem grows and makes some discoveries about himself and his family, his past, as he stumbles through one year and tries to find, or forget, “Lulu.” Much like the movie “Sleepless in Seattle,” these books don’t show much of our characters together (this one even less so than the first); readers get to know the individual stories of each so we can appreciate why they are good together, why they must be together. Willem particularly has some big personal issues to resolve, and it’s a lovely experience to see him do so.

I am such a fan of Forman’s writing; I hope she keeps the great books coming.

Rated: High, for six uses of strong language, all fairly close together towards the end, and some other moderate language. There are a few pretty brief but moderate sexual references and some brief reference to violence.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for more than 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

One Response to Just One Year

  1. […] Just One Year, the follow-up to Just One Day, by Gayle Forman. Forman can do no wrong when it comes to young adult/new adult books. They are utterly real and honest, with characters who are just as real. The stories are moving and touching without cheaply playing on heartstrings. This latest pair of books focus first on the young woman who falls for a guy during a trip to Europe and the one day they have together, then the guy. We get each of their perspectives and see how they come together initially, but, more importantly, how they grow individually so they could stay together. […]

  • Just One Year
  • by Gayle Forman
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: