SPOILER ALERT!

Book Discussion: Just One Day & Just One Year by Gayle Forman

I read Just One Day in February and just finished Just One Year so I wanted to do a combined review! Overall, you can see by my rating that I really enjoyed these books! I definitely recommend reading both of them to get the full story!! I wanted to discuss the book, so there will be spoilers ahead, but I will warn you!

 

Just One Day

 

 

“We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day.”

 

Just One Day is about a girl named Allyson who is on a trip in Europe that she takes after high school, the summer before she goes off to college. During this trip she meets a boy who she ends up spending a day with and that day changes her...

 

☆☆☆☆

 

This book is a great contemporary read that involves romance, travel, and most importantly self-discovery. I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it! It's one I didn't realize how much I liked until I was finished. I loved the travel involved, the characters, and that it was also set in College.

 

Discussion

** WARNING: Spoilers Ahead! I don't know how to discuss this book without spoilers so only read on if you read the book. Otherwise, go read the book :) ** 

 

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“He showed me how to get lost, and then I showed myself how to get found.”

 

When I went into this book, I was expecting something more like Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (which is one of my favorite books) - one that is super cute and romantic. And I was disappointed at first that I didn't exactly get that. I loved that she met this mysterious boy on her trip and that they went off and spent this day together. Even though they didn't really get to know one another that much (which I was hoping for) they still had great conversations. I was intrigued in Willem and all of his philosophies. Also I thought it was great that they were spending a day in Paris together but they didn't seem to do much, there day didn't seem all that spectacular while reading it. Some scenes were cute though but they ended up falling asleep. Like really? Allyson really wanted to go to Paris and I expected her to visit all these places and really immerse herself into the city but that didn't happen. I wasn't completely surprised that he left her though. And then part 2 happened... it was so different. I liked that she was in college though, I was hoping to see that knowing she just graduated from high school! It did bug me that she was so hung up on Willem and that One Day - I'd get it if she was a little upset about it that he just left her there and not knowing what happened but she was just too depressed. The book started picking back up when she went to the Shakespeare class and Dee entered. I loved his character and I loved that she started to come out of her shell and her growth continuing on in the book. I loved that she went back to Paris, I liked that trip better. How she ate a macaroon everyday, meeting the people she stayed in the hostel with. And meeting the girl (I forget her name) that helped her in finding Willem. I loved her quest to find him. It was intriguing to read because your left there wondering if she's going to find him and what will happen when she does. When she does find him, I'm a little disappointed that it was left open and that it didn't end super romantically. And that he seemed to be with someone and really moving on with his life. But after finishing it, despite it's flaws and some slow parts, and that she was kind of annoying at times I really liked it. I got over the fact that it wasn't a super romantic book and that it was self discovery. And that she had so much growth and learned a lot about herself and really came into herself I would say. I'm glad she did find him, but I wanted answer from him like she was looking for. Like what happened? There were so many questions that needed to be answered about him. So after finishing it, I knew I had to pick up the next book in hopes to find some answers! And I did...

 

Just One Year

 

“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".

Just One Year is the sequel to Just One Day - it's Willem's story. It starts with him in a hospital following the day he spent with Allyson and continues his story and how he spent his year. I thought this was a really good sequel that I liked even better than the first, everything you were wondering about Willem in Just One Day gets answered and his story was interesting. It wasn't just a retelling of the first story which I was glad about (although it would be interesting to see his thoughts as they were happening during that day). I definitely recommend reading this, the story feels complete to me after reading this. Even though I still want more and wish there would be a book 3 in both of their perspectives! Maybe years later!

 

☆☆☆☆☆

 

Discussion

 

 

** WARNING: There will be spoilers ahead as I can't discuss the book without them, so only read if you read both books! 

 

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“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.”

 

I thought it was really interesting how it started with Willem in the hospital and how he kind of lost his memory and was trying to piece things back together. How he knew something was important and he knew a girl was important to him. And then how it eventually comes back. It interesting to learn all the things we wanted to know, who each of the girls were, why he all the sudden wanted Allyson to pack up and go during their day together, why he left her, what he was avoiding, etc. I liked how for him, that he wasn't depressed about losing Allyson/Lulu - he knew there was something special about her, and that she was different from the other girls. How he actually felt something for her unlike every other girl. I liked that he wanted to find her because she really meant something to him. Besides that I loved the story of how his parents met (Yael and Bram) and how it paralleled at the end with Allyson. This book was also a self discovery for him and I loved how his relationship with his mom got better and that he grew and just learned a lot about himself and what he wanted. I loved the travel and all the people he met along the way. I loved how he kept reflecting back on his and Allyson's day and was trying to find her as well. But he also knew he had to find himself. I also loved how in both stories Shakespeare had a big part for both of them. I liked how they connected to of Shakespeare's work with their own lives. And I loved that he got to play Orlando and also that he stayed true to himself during the play. I loved how it ended! (Although I'd really want more!! and would love a third book even though I was still satisfied with the ending because I could see where it's going) These books together are just great, the self discovery aspect of both the characters finding themselves and also together being pretty romantic. Even though they kind of ended the same, hearing Willem's side and how he felt about her paralleled with his parents story was just so cute and romantic. I'd like to think they are together (especially with him moving to New York) and that they are happy with their lives :)

 

I know there's more I can say and discuss about each book, but I really enjoyed them both and am so glad that I read them! I think if I just read Just One Day, they wouldn't mean as much to me as they do now because the story is complete. I am definitely looking forward to reading more of her work!

 

Just One Night

 

This is the novella that released on May 29th and took up right where both of these books left off. It was really short and just showed a glimpse of what happened after Just One Day and Year. I thought it was okay. I think it's good for people that needed closure or just really love this duology and want more. I felt closure after reading Just One Year and could just imagine what happened after so I didn't need Just One Night. Pretty much everything that I thought would happen, did. It was a nice little read but not necessary for me. It felt rushed and all the changing perspectives bugged me a bit too. It didn't leave any impact on me.

 

 

What did you think of Just One Day and Just One Year? Did you like one better than the other?