This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.Just One Year Published by Speak on September 30, 2014
(Last Updated On: November 1, 2021)
The compelling companion title to the much-lauded Just One Day follows Willem's transformative journey toward self-discovery and true love, by the author of If I Stay.
Picking up where Just One Day ended, Just One Year tells Willem's side of the story. After spending an amazing day and night with Allyson in Paris that ends in separation, Willem and Allyson are both searching for one another. His story of their year of quiet longing and near misses is a perfect counterpoint to Allyson’s own as Willem undergoes a transformative journey, questioning his path, finding love, and ultimately, redefining himself.
After finishing Just One Day by Gayle Forman, I knew that I needed to read the companion. Luckily, I had purchased it along with Just One Day so I didn’t have to wait long. I immediately started reading this the second that I got home from school the day after finishing the first one.
The awesome thing about this book is that it’s the same story as the first one, as it has the day trip in Paris as well as what happened afterwards, though it’s told through Willem’s point of view. I loved seeing how much Allyson impacted Willem. It was also great to see that he definitely felt the same way as Allyson. He had been searching for her just as she had been searching for him. They have such a beautiful love.
I felt really bad for Willem at times because nobody seemed to really care about him, even his mother. I really liked how their relationship changed over the course of the book though. That was nice to see. I found it rather awesome that Willem gets to travel a lot, though it must be hard to do that alone and try to make friends along the way. I know that if I did that I would have to bring someone with me because I don’t do well alone and I’d feel too scared.
This book definitely offered up some answers about where Willem went when he disappeared that night in Paris, leaving Allyson stranded. He still had her watch, which was a nice touch in the story. He had that to remember her by, to keep him motivated. It showed that she was real and that he didn’t imagine her. Willem’s outlook on life is interested and altered my view of life as well. His whole belief of “accidents” and things just happening because they’re supposed to and looking for the signs and all that-I believe it too. Some things have to be more than just coincidences. Take life as it comes and put yourself out there. I’m really glad that I read this book as well as Just One Day, and I’m excited to finally read Just One Night. Hopefully I will buy an e-reader soon so that I can do that, because I really need to know what happens!
“Leaving people to jumped conclusions is sometimes simpler than explaining a complicated truth.”
“I’ve since come to understand that the universe operates on the same general equilibrium theory as markets. It never gives you something without making you pay for it somehow.”
“Accidents. It’s all about the accidents.”
“Sometimes the wind blows you places you weren’t expecting: sometimes it blows you away from those places, too.”
“There’s a difference between losing something you knew you had and losing something you discovered you had. One is a disappointment. The other feels like losing a piece of yourself.”
“Sometimes fate or life or whatever you want to call it, leaves a door a little open and you walk through it. But sometimes it locks the door and you have to find the key, or pick the lock, or knock the damn thing down. And sometimes, it doesn’t even show you the door, and you have to build it yourself. But if you keep waiting for the doors to be opened for you… I think you’ll have a hard time finding single happiness, let alone that double portion.”
“Loving someone is such an inherently dangerous act. And yet, love, that’s where safety lives.”
“Love is not something you protect. It’s something you risk.”
“And something tells me if it matters, maybe it shouldn’t be easy.”
“Because I understand all the ways of trying to escape, how sometimes you escape one prison only to find you’ve built yourself a different one.”
“It was just one day and it’s been just one year. But maybe one day is enough. Maybe one hour is enough. Maybe time has nothing at all to do with it.”
Have you read this novel? I’d love to hear your thoughts!