just one year

Just One Year by Gayle Forman

In this stand-alone companion to Just One Day, we find out what happened to Willem from his perspective. In Just One Day, Lulu wakes up to discover Willem GONE. Understandably, she’s upset and heartbroken. Did he abandon her? Did something horrible happen to him? In Just One Year, we hear Willem’s story to find out what actually happened to Willem on the day of his disappearance and after.

Willem wakes up to find himself in the hospital with no idea where he is or how he got there. The watch on his wrist is not his – though it jogs his memory of the previous day. He slowly pieces together the details of yesterday, remembering that he spent the most amazing day of his life with Lulu in Paris – though he doesn’t know her real name or how to contact her.

Willem spends the next year drifting through different countries and experiences, but nothing seems to fill the hole in his life. Though he tries to distract himself, Willem cannot stop thinking about Lulu. He contacts the tour group company she used for her trip – no luck. He even visits the Mexican village that Lulu mentioned that she visits every year with her family for the holidays – even more disappointment. Without knowing her real name, Willem believes he will never see Lulu again. To make things worse, he begins to question the day they spent together. Will he ever see Lulu again? If he does, will she be as incredible as he has built her up to be in his head? Will Willem ever find whatever it is he is looking for to fill the hole in his heart?

Reviewed by Amy-CLP-Lawrenceville

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