Just One Year by Gayle Forman
I previously reviewed the first book Just One Day, HERE.
Disclaimer one: As with books I like, I constantly wind up asking myself, "HOW DO I TALK ABOUT THIS BOOK WITHOUT GIVING ANYTHING AWAY???" It makes blogging about books I adore challenging. Just so you know.
Disclaimer two: I went into this book with hoping that it would pick up where Just One Day left off, but I was surprised when it started when Willem left 'Lulu' (Allyson) after their one day together. However, that didn't deter me at all from wanting to read the book and after knowing how it ends, I can appreciate how it all began better.
With that being said, an amazon summary, "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." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
I fell in love with this book from the get-go. Willem's voice is capturing in how he interacts with the world around him. There are very deep, emotional moments that just sneak in and stun for the next chapter or so.
There is also the lingering longing of trying to find Lulu and what she meant to him.
The book begins with Willem recovering in the hospital and having a vague memory of a girl. He knows he has to get back to her, but he can't find her. He ends up stumbling through the streets but without knowing her name, without knowing where she might be, his search is fruitless. He gets to Amsterdam where he meets with his mother to sign off the sale of the boathouse that his Father built. It's been roughly three years since his Dad died, but he's still struggling to cope with the loss. His mother also seems to be very standoff and cold-hearted about the loss of Willem's father and the state of their own relationship. Willem winds up staying with a few friends before he starts trying to track down Lulu by going to Mexico and searching through the crowds of places where he thinks she might be.
It becomes a fixation for Willem for some time as he tries to track down and recall anything he can about Lulu. There's also some events that happened in Just One Day that correspond with events in Just One Year. Some questions start to get answered. Glorious.
While Willem searches for Lulu, he begins to figure his own life out. To understand and strengthen the relationships he already has and to be less of playboy.
It's quite beautiful.
I hope there will be a sequel for what happens at the end of the book; but I'm also content with the whimsical ending provided.
Perhaps there will be more adventures to come.