Just One Year by Gayle Forman (Dutton, 2013) Borrowed from my local library
“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.”
This was a ‘Walking Disaster’ all over again. I don’t get it. Sometimes there’s a valid reason to have a book from another POV, but there is always the danger that you’re going to bore your reader to death.
I have to say, I still really like Forman’s writing style. It’s got a real gravity, if that makes sense? It pulls you in.
But I just didn’t get this book. At all. I wasn’t hugely enamoured with Willem’s character before, but I was holding out, thinking that he would redeem himself or something in this book.
I don’t know. I just lost interest. He pinballs about the continent(s) thinking about Lulu, and thinking about girls, in general. It’s hard not to see him as a player. And that’s fine, because there would have been scope to explore this as their story together progresses.
This book picks up where ‘Lulu’ leaves him in Paris. The first few pages are trippy, and I loved the narrative technique used to achieve that sense of being ‘scrambled’. But then what follows is a long story of not a lot. It was nice to learn a bit more about Willem, for sure. There was, however, a distinct lack of plot.
I felt like it should have continued further passed the moment at the end of ‘Just One Day’. Instead we get a few paragraphs and ‘the end’? Say what?!
There was a distinct lack of feels, really. I mean, there were some compelling altercations between Willem and various other females. But I just didn’t ‘feel’ anything much because I was waiting for ‘Lulu’ to make her appearance again.
This book left me wholly dissatisfied. I still admire Forman’s writing style and the way she carries a certain tone with her words, but ultimately, this book wasn’t for me. A disgruntled 2 out 5 stars.