Just One Year by Gayle Foreman
Written as the companion novel to last year’s Just One Day, this book tells the story of the romance between an American girl and a Dutch actor that lasts for just one day in Paris from Willem’s point of view this time. Although the novel can stand alone, it is an emotional story of what happens to a young man after a brief romantic escapade, that he thinks might be more than just a fling. The book opens with Willem in a hospital, beaten up with a sort of amnesia about how he got there. Rather quickly he remembers that he had been with a girl he called Lulu, after a silent film actress her short bobbed haircut reminded him of. He immediately tries to go about finding her, but he doesn’t even know her real name and finds it difficult going. Readers spend the next year with Wil as he struggles with his father’s death, his seemingly unemotional mother and his general lack of direction in life.
I liked this story and think other readers of the first book will, too. It’s much more than the flip side of a brief relationship and Willem struggles with his own demons in order to move forward in his life. I especially like the way Forman is able to inhabit the emotional side of her characters, and telling it in the first person perspective will draw readers in quickly. I highly recommend this to fans of Gayle Forman’s other titles, and to readers who enjoy realistic stories about imperfect young adults trying to cope with their personal issues as well as the world they live in. An added bonus is that the story also takes place in various parts of the world, giving readers a view of exotic countries at no extra charge!
Click on book cover for our review!