Searching for the Stain: Just One Year (Just One Day, #2) by Gayle Forman Book Review

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Just One Year (Just One Day, #2)

Gayle Forman

Released October, 2013 by Dutton’s Children

Length: 323 pages

Genre: YA realistic fiction/romance

Rating: 4 Stars

Acquired: purchased on audible.com

 

Willem de Ruiter has been stained. And now it’s his turn to speak and remember just one day.

Just One Year starts off in Paris when Willem leaves Allyson sleeping. Where, in Just One Day, you don’t know where he went or why, you begin in the hospital with Willem as he suffered a concussion and can’t remember much of anything–especially Lulu/Allyson. He is desperate to remember, piecing together that he left someone. Throughout the novel are pieces, pieces he remembers, what he wished he did differently, and pieces of conversations he wished they had. Pieces of the love he shared with her, it’s all there. His feelings are at times raw, heart-wrenching, and slightly scattered brained.

Where in Just One Day you read about Allyson’s struggles to adjust, then her search for him, his starts sooner than hers did, in a way. I was especially happy when he went to Mexico, but missed her. You learned more about his past, including the story of how his parents meant, the affects it had on him, and the affects and similarities it has with his “story” with Lulu.

Of course the adventure was there. There were comedic parts, especially when certain things went wrong. He lived his life without Allyson, but she never “left him” in the sense he carried her with him. Although in the beginning he gets a new girlfriend (no spoiler alert, it’s in the first 50 pages) he starts to change.

Willem’s tagline, or concept really, on life is accidents.

“Accidents. It’s all about the accidents.”

There is some truth to that, even truth that reflects in my life.

“Sometimes the wind blows you places you weren’t expecting: sometimes it blows you away from those places, too.”

From Mexico, to India, back to Amsterdam, the wind blows Willem to different places that all remind him of one thing, or person: Lulu/Allyson. One of my favorite quotes about her is

“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”

Maybe all it takes is just one day to fall in love. Forman might be after something there. Even when you fall in love with some, start to love them, even if it happens over time there is a particular instant where you know; you know that was when love hit. In that moment, on that day.

 

I would highly recommend this book. Especially if you read he first. I never read Where She Went by Forman, although I read If I stay and loved it. This was a first read for me of hers where the narrator was a male; and, where events overlapped, but not completely identical. I listened to it on audio, so it took a little longer for me to finish. I do think if I read it, I might have liked it more; the narrator’s voice on the audio took a little to get used to. I still think this is a good book to swoon to because the few swoony moments there are really are swoon-worthy. And Willem is so insightful. Really a majority of the people he meets are. There are plenty of quotes I bookmarked on goodreads. Thank you Forman for a good, sweet conclusion and fun adventure.

“Loving someone is such an inherently dangerous act. And yet, love, that’s where safety lives.”

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When two girls change places, nothing can go wrong: Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

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Being Sloane Jacobs

By: Lauren Morrill

To be released in January 7th by Random House Children’s

Length: 352 Pages

Genre: Young Adult Sports and Games

Rating: 4 and a half Stars

Acquired: through Netgalley

Sloane Emily Jacobs is no stranger to the spotlight. She lives the life of a politician’s daughter in Washington D.C.; as well as a top figure skater in her age division. But, after a fall during a competition three years before, she hasn’t been on the ice much. Until she catches Daddy in the act. Whether to keep her hushed or not, she gets sent to an intense summer figure skating camp in Canada to prepare herself for nationals, and to be the top again.

Sloane Devon Jacobs has a habit of being too aggressive on the ice hockey field. Barely scrapping by, Sloane Devon’s only chance at going to college is by getting an ice hockey scholarship. But, when her aggression on the ice gets out of hand, her coach bans her for the next year, her senior year, of high school unless she goes to an ice hockey camp in Canada.

These two  girls may share the same name, but they come from two different backgrounds. Both on and off the ice. When the bump into each other, and discover they share the same name, that’s when it hits Sloane Emily Jacobs. It’s time for a switch. The girls’ adjustments to their new lifestyles won’t be easy. They each have something to prove, but can they pull it all off?

Lauren Morrill’s novel is one of those finds you can’t put down. Told in alternating voices, it’s easy to believe you are in Canada, too, living a double life. The girls were great. Sloane Emily wasn’t a prim and proper ice princess, she had spunk, attitude, and likability to her. I loved when it was her chapter; she was tough, while staying true to herself. Sloane Devon wasn’t an easy character to crack. She was much rougher around the edges than Sloane Emily, and a little bit harder to like. When I finally warmed up to her a little bit less than halfway, I quickly looked forward to her chapters, too.

Neither characters played the “poor girl” or “rich girl” card, proving their different classes didn’t mean anything. Instead it was about believing in themselves; on and off the rink. They had more to prove to themselves than anyone, and it was nice to see them succeed despite of themselves.

I am not a sports fan by any means. I don’t know the rules to ice hockey and need to hold onto bars if I go ice skating. Yet, I loved this book. It was more about believing in yourself, finding strength in the unknown, and taking personal risks than just about the two sports. The sports were prevalent, but used more as a soul searching device rather than a how-to device. I would recommend this book to all the sports loving readers and non-sports loving readers alike. There is something for everyone in it. Love, learning to be your own person, friendship, and sports. It’s all a winning combination in my book.

The End is Near: Part Two

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In case you missed it, you can find part one here where I counted my top 13 books of 2013 that I read.

 

Tonight I am going to list the 13 books released in 2013 I wish I read this year. Luckily, I got a good many for Christmas this year. I *only* asked for ten.

1.) Fangirl by Rainbow Powell

2.) The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin

3.) Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger

4.) Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block

5.) Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

6.) Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

7.) This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

8.) This Song will Save your Life by Leila Sales

9.) Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

10.) Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

11.) Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

12.) Margot by Jillian Cantor

13.) A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook

 

What books do YOU wish you picked up this year but didn’t get to read yet?

 

Stay tuned for part three: 14 books I can’t wait to read this year (new and old)

The End is Near: My first end of year literary wrap-up Part One

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A year is coming to an end. This year was an exciting year for me. In June, after my wonderful Book Expo of America adventure in June, I decided to write this very blog (thank you Shelia!). This year also marked a great year in books. And, I got to share some of them with you. How exciting!

This is my first time doing a year-end book wrap up on my blog (and, ever!).  For this first part I am going to list My 13 favorite books I read this year. Although a majority were published this year, there will be a few that were released in prior years but were a first read for me.

My 13 Favorite Books I read in 2013

  1. Every Day by David Levithan (5 Stars)

  Mr. Levithan did it again. He made me fall in love with him all over again. He reminded me why he is my favorite male YA author who can write just about everything. Even his only adult contemporary novel was great. I loved A. He was a honest character who was very mature, articulate, and wonderful for his age. There were so many quotes I loved. He talked about first loves and how they hurt. Just all of it was great; very well-written and jam packed with meanings, metaphors, and everything I love of Levithan’s. So glad I got to meet him in September at the Brooklyn Book Festival. He was so down to Earth. Read him if you haven’t. Or, if you have, pick this one up. Like Now. It will stay with you.

      2. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Powell (5 Stars)

Rainbow Powell, you had me at awesome music. I loved this book so much. It wasn’t one of those sappy High School first love stories where everything is all good, dandy, and forever. This was a realistic story I could relate to. It was a raw, hit you in the heart story that I would reread again. Rainbow Powell, I am a fan.

3. The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider (4 and a half Stars)

A freebie from BEA, I think I would have bought this anyway. Another realistic YA novel about first love in High School. I laughed, I cried, and I cried. Great read. It was also nice that the narrator was a guy for once. I typically don’t read ones where a guy is the speaker, so this was either refreshing or just done very well. I’ll go with both. Another book I can see as a reread.

4. Just One Day by Gayle Forman (4 Stars)

Two words: double happiness. And, another. Stain. Two great romance based metaphors I will always remember. And, massive swoon alert. I swooned pretty much throughout. I am listening to the sequel on audio and am loving it, too.

5.) Under the Light (Light, #2) by Laura Whitcomb (5 Stars)

Another must read, in my opinion. A Certain Slant of Light is one my favorite books of all time. I was so thrilled a second book was coming out after years. No way was I disappointed. I loved reading this story. It takes place both during and after the first book, if that makes sense, but through the “possessed” point of views. So, it is the boy and girl’s perspective first when they met on a different plane after leaving their bodies; then, connecting what happened, trying to remember, and coping with being back in their bodies. It was a beautiful story. I definitely swooned, but it’s a little easy for me to do.

6.) All My Friends are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman (5 Stars)

I had been waiting a year to read this. I was not disappointed. I read this on a bus and could not stop laughing. Andrew Kaufman takes the ideas of what we think of superheroes and transforms the abilities to make an every day, average personality trait ad quality to be something so much more; a real superhero move to be. I read the tenth anniversary edition where he added more superheroes at the end. I was very happy with his new add on. Another book I would recommend to really anyone. It was less than 200 pages long and felt much shorter.

7. Undertaking Love by Kat French (5 Stars)

Such a funny romance novel. It was sexy in the right places. Funny in the perfect places. And entertaining everywhere in between. I couldn’t put it down. I’ve never been a huge fan of chick lit, but what French did was just great. She wrote perhaps my favorite metaphor for love this year: a rock and a lighthouse. A character in the book always wore a broach of a lighthouse. You find out it represents her husband and their love. He considered her his lighthouse that rested on his rock. It is beautiful and something I will always remember.

8. Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen (4 and a half Stars)

I have liked Edgar Allan Poe for a while. I didn’t realize he had an affair. And a great one at that. Frances Osgood was a fascinating character who I enjoyed learning about. I never heard of her prior, so it was nice learning about her. And, Poe’s crazy wife! Wow. His wife was crazy, but her mother. The apple did not fall far from the tree. Let’s just say I haven’t been that surprised by an ending in a while. I got it on netgalley; I will most likely buy it in the near future. So great.

9. The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley (4 and a half Stars)

I listened to this on audio from audible. The narrator was fantastic. I think they may be why I loved the book as much as I do. I love it when that happens. If you like historical fiction, this is for you. If you don’t, this is for you still because it takes part in the present. Two love stories in one, ladies. Can’t beat that. And, the last sentence from each period (is the same) was awe inducing.

10. Six Months Later by Natalie Richards (5 Stars)

A lot of YA novels I read are predictable, but enjoyable for the most part. This is not your traditional YA novel. I like teen romances, but this teen mystery genre, I may have to take a part in. I loved the suspense, twists and turns, and the characters. Every bit had me on the edge.

11. The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey (4 Stars)

Jane Eyre is one of my favorite novels of all times. A classic novel, it’s hard not to be a fan. This novel was a great adaptation of a classic novel that has struggled with vampires, poor sequels, and spin-offs. It was a great retelling, but just as great of a stand alone. I truly loved it.

12. Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill (4 Stars)

Another YA novel. This was one of those books that I felt connected to in some way. I don’t know why, to be honest. Based around sports, it is a foreign territory for me. I liked ice skating as a child, but hockey never. Yet, it wasn’t a turn-off. As much as it was about sports, it was about so much more, too. You read about the characters struggles, challenges, and grow with them.  I am happy I get to be part of the book blitz tour because it was such a good read. I think fans of Jennifer E. Smith would love this book. From dual perspectives, it was a no brainier to add this book to my top list.

13. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (5 Stars)

Oh, Sarah. How can I not include you? This wasn’t one of my favorite books of hers, but I definitely enjoyed it. She never fails to impress me with the way she crafts characters. The females are always strong, independent thinkers that I want to befriend. The love interests aren’t half bad either. Wes from The Truth about Forever is still my favorite. This book might not be a good starter book if you haven’t read her before, but if you’ve read one, I wouldn’t be discouraging if you read this next.

 

There you have it. My top 13. Reading close to sixty books this year, it was a little difficult to choose. I hope you find some books here that interest you. Some great reads, I tell ya.

 

Stay tuned for part two: My top 13 books I wish I read this year published in 2013. And, part three: My top 14 books I am looking forward to reading most this year. *spoiler, some were released in 2013.

 

Happy reading!

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