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Just One Year
Cover of Just One Year
Just One Year
Just One Day Series, Book 2
The compelling companion title to the much-lauded Just One Day follows Willem's transformative journey toward self-discovery and true love, by the author of If I Stay. Picking up where Just One Day...
The compelling companion title to the much-lauded Just One Day follows Willem's transformative journey toward self-discovery and true love, by the author of If I Stay. Picking up where Just One Day...
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  • The compelling companion title to the much-lauded Just One Day follows Willem's transformative journey toward self-discovery and true love, by the author of If I Stay.

    Picking up where Just One Day ended, Just One Year tells Willem's side of the story. After spending an amazing day and night with Allyson in Paris that ends in separation, Willem and Allyson are both searching for one another. His story of their year of quiet longing and near misses is a perfect counterpoint to Allyson's own as Willem undergoes a transformative journey, questioning his path, finding love, and ultimately, redefining himself.

    * "The complexity of Willem's character, the twisting plot, and far-flung settings (including the Netherlands, Mexico, and India) create an alluring story that pushes beyond the realm of star-crossed romance."— Publishers Weekly starred review

    "As much a travelogue as it is a romance, this novel will appeal to fans of the movie Before Sunrise or Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes (HarperCollins, 2005)."—School Library Journal

    "As [Willem] becomes engaged personally and professionally, readers will find their interest quickening, right up to the satisfying denouement."—Kirkus Reviews

Excerpts-

  • From the book **This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof.**

    One

    _________

    AUGUST

    Paris

    _________

    It's the dream I always have: I'm on a plane, high above the clouds. The plane starts to descend, and I have this sudden panic because I just know that I'm on the wrong plane, am traveling to the wrong place. It's never clear where I'm landing—in a war zone, in the midst of an epidemic, in the wrong century—only that it's somewhere I shouldn't be. Sometimes I try to ask the person next to me where we are going, but I can never quite see a face, can never quite hear an answer. I wake in a disoriented sweat to the sound of the landing gear dropping, to the echo of my heart beat­ing. It usually takes me a few moments to find my bearings, to locate where it is I am—an apartment in Prague, a hostel in Cairo—but even once that's been established, the sense of being lost lingers.

    I think I'm having the dream now. Just as always, I lift the shade to peer at the clouds. I feel the hydraulic lurch of the engines, the thrust downward, the pressure in my ears, the ignition of panic. I turn to the faceless person next to me—only this time I get the feeling it's not a stranger. It's someone I know. Someone I'm traveling with. And that fills me with such intense relief. We can't both have gotten on the wrong plane.

    "Do you know where we're going?" I ask. I lean closer. I'm just about there, just about to see a face, just about to get an answer, just about to find out where it is I'm going—

    And then I hear sirens.


    I first noticed the sirens in Dubrovnik. I was traveling with a guy I'd met in Albania, when we heard a siren go by. It sounded like the kind they have in American action movies, and the guy I was traveling with commented on how each country had its own siren sound. "It's helpful because if you forget where you are, you can always close your eyes, let the sirens tell you," he told me. I'd been gone a year by then, and it had taken me a few minutes to summon the sound of the sirens at home. They were musical almost, a down-up-down-up la, la, la, la, like someone absentmindedly, but cheerfully, humming.

    That's not what this siren is. It is monotonous, a nyeah-nyeah, nyeah-nyeah, like the bleating of electric sheep. It doesn't become louder or fainter as it comes closer or gets farther away; it's just a wall of wailing. Much as I try, I can­not locate this siren, have no idea where I am.


    I only know that I am not home.

    I open my eyes. There is bright light everywhere, from over­head, but also from my own eyes: tiny pinprick explosions that hurt like hell. I close my eyes.

    Kai. The guy I traveled with from Tirana to Dubrovnik was called Kai. We drank weak Croatian pilsner on the ram­parts of the city and then laughed as we pissed into the Adri­atic. His name was Kai. He was from Finland.

    The sirens blare. I still don't know where I am.

    The sirens stop. I hear a door opening, I feel water on my skin. A shifting of my body. I sense it is better to keep my eyes closed. None of this is anything I want to witness.

    But then my eyes are forced open, and there's another light, harsh and painful, like the time I spent too long looking at a solar eclipse. Saba warned me not to, but some things are impossible to tear yourself away from. After, I had a head­ache for hours. Eclipse migraine. That's what they called it on the news. Lots of people got them from staring at the sun. I know that, too. But I still don't know where I am.

    There are voices now, as if echoing out from a tunnel. I can...

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 19, 2013
    Those who have read Forman’s Just One Day (published earlier this year) already know what happened to Allyson, the foreign exchange student whose whirlwind romance with a Dutch actor, Willem, was cut short. In this companion novel, Forman shares Willem’s captivating side of the story as he embarks on a global quest to find his lost love. Besides discovering how and why Willem left Allyson stranded in Paris, readers will learn what makes him tick, as Willem’s passions and troubled history come to light. Although Willem has plenty of money, there are things he can’t buy, like affection from his emotionally distant mother or a sense of rootedness he hasn’t felt since his father’s death. It also can’t buy the commitment Willem will need to become a serious actor. Old acquaintances and new friends guide Willem on a path spanning three continents, helping him realize the possibilities that lie before him. The complexity of Willem’s character, the twisting plot, and far-flung settings (including the Netherlands, Mexico, and India) create an alluring story that pushes beyond the realm of star-crossed romance. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sarah Burnes, the Gernert Company.

  • Kirkus

    October 1, 2013
    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)

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2013

    Gr 9 Up-This companion novel to Just One Day (Dutton, 2013) explores the other side of the ill-timed romance between an American high school graduate and a Dutch actor. In that book, good-girl Allyson sheds her identity and inhibitions to spend one romantic day in Paris with Willem, a traveling actor-and spends the next year hunting him down after he abandons her. Forman has finally answered frustrated readers' questions about why Willem left Allyson alone in an artists' squat and disappeared. This novel, written from his point of view, picks up from the moment when he wakes up in a Paris hospital after a severe beating to the moment Allyson walks in his door a year later. Forman mirrors the structure of the first book and uses the year of separation as a time of growth for Willem. He uses the aborted romance as a catalyst for reconnecting with family, close friends, and his love of the theater. Readers are asked to suspend disbelief quite a few times (Willem's temporary amnesia after his injury seems quite selective), but besotted readers will be more than willing to do so if it brings the lovers together again. The number of characters and backstories makes the story a little cluttered, but the writing is lively and the romantic narrative is compelling. Just One Year can be read as a stand-alone novel, but those readers would not catch the breadcrumbs Forman dropped in Just One Day. As much a travelogue as it is a romance, this novel will appeal to fans of the movie Before Sunrise or Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes (HarperCollins, 2005).-Susannah Goldstein, Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Just One Day Series, Book 2
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