Monday, August 4, 2014

Review: Just One Year (Just One Day, #2) by Gayle Forman

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.

Gayle Forman strikes again!  Her writing has captivated me from the very first novel of hers that I read and has continued to hold me hostage with each and every one of her stories.  Whether it be this series or her others, her characters are developed so well that readers feel as if they know them personally and her story lines are so well thought out and delivered in just the right way that readers don't stand a chance against losing time and place once they've cracked the covers.

Seeing Willem's version of the events in this series was without a doubt heartbreaking.  I wasn't sure how Forman was going to further develop and expand this story despite a different narrator, but her talent cannot be doubted.  Time and time again she delivers masterpieces that are so engaging and thought provoking that readers don't have a choice but to start believing in fate and true love, perseverance and dedication.  While this story focuses around chances and different paths taken, I for one became a true believer that things will work out in the end.

Lulu becomes more than just a comparison to an actress but a goal or ideal for Willem to strive towards.  He lets no obstacle stand in his way, and his friends and family are right there along for the ride with him as he charts his course and follows his own destiny.  Old assumptions are put to the test, new challenges are presented and the hows and whys readers were left with in the first installment are answered.  New information comes to light and with the turning of each new page, I was taken along for the journey and throughout the whole thing, I felt like I was privileged to be given the chance to see how it would all play out.  No reader will want to miss out on the opportunity to see for themselves how fate works in mysterious ways, and how Forman has once again surpassed what even her biggest fans thought she was capable of.

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