JUST ONE YEAR by Gayle Forman


Age Range: 14 - 18
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Willem de Ruiter, a rootless young man, reconnects with his family and himself as he searches for the 18-year-old girl he deserted after a romantic night in Paris in this companion to Just One Day (2013).

In the previous book, heroine Allyson finds her true self as she searches for Willem; here, Forman tells Willem’s side of the story, chronicling his psychological growth during the year after their magical time together. For this slow-to-start story to work, readers must believe that Willem’s night with Allyson had a profound emotional effect on him and that his feelings for her will be lasting, a hard sell considering his past. Additionally, his character will test readers’ patience, as he wends and whines his way through the first half of the novel. However, the story picks up steam when Willem travels to India to see his emotionally remote mother and gets, if not precisely an aha moment, at least a new and more accurate understanding of her, an important step in his own emotional healing. He comes to realize that his avocation is acting and that commitment to the art itself is something worth fighting for. As he becomes engaged personally and professionally, readers will find their interest quickening, right up to the satisfying denouement.

Billed as a romance but really a journey of self-exploration, this story initially confounds before paying off. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-525-42592-2
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2013

Kirkus Interview
Gayle Forman
author of I WAS HERE
January 27, 2015

In I Was Here, Gayle Forman’s latest novel after the release of the movie version of her novel If I Stay, Cody’s best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room and Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question. “An engrossing and provocative look at the devastating finality of suicide, survivor’s guilt, the complicated nature of responsibility and even the role of the Internet in life-and-death decisions,” our reviewer writes. We talk to Forman on January 27 on Kirkus TV. View video >


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