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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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!

It’s Monday! What are you reading? A weekly Wrap up

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As per usual, It’s Monday is a meme sponsored by bookjourney.wordpress.com. Check out her blog and the others participating. Maybe you will find more books to add to that growing TBR list of yours.

Now, it’s Monday again. My does the week go by fast. I am going to be very busy this month. Lots of cool posts and literary adventures. This Saturday I will be going to the Lit Crawl NYC in NYC. It will be my first time going. As I am not a drinker, I am more looking forward to the bars that involve writing stories, even literary trivia. Pictures and reviews will be posted, of course.

I am always participating in one of my first blog challenges, Tackle Your TBR Shelf read-a-thon  co-sponsored by http://tressaswishfulendings.blogspot.com and http://burgandyice.blogspot.com/. I am looking forward to that. You can see my kick off post here. https://indiewritergirl0329.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/tackle-your-tbr-read-a-thon-kick-off/

This week I posted a few book reviews, as well as a book to movie review.

https://indiewritergirl0329.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/fallen-angels-nephilim-and-rephaim-what-could-go-wrong-shadows-the-rephaim-1-by-paula-weston/

Shadows by Paula Weston the first book in this debut author’s series The Rephaim. Two books are currently available for you to buy. It is a YA Fantasy book, similar to The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. So, if you readthat series, or the spin-offs Clare wrote, you may want to give this book and series a try.

Speaking of The Mortal Instruments. I recently went to see that film. And, no surprise there that I was disappointed. You can read my full review at https://indiewritergirl0329.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/they-did-what-how-the-movies-destroyed-the-mortal-instruments-city-of-bones/

I also read Just One Day by Gayle Forman. This is also part of a series, but only a two parter. The second book, available in October is called Just One Year. Can I tell you have excited I am over it’s upcoming release? My review can be found here. https://indiewritergirl0329.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/all-you-really-need-is-just-one-day-by-gayle-forman/ It is a quick YA novel that is as engrossing as endearing. It isn’t your typical YA book because there is country hopping, self-exploration that is realistic, but there is a cute guy. There must be.

Then, there was The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford. This was a cute YA novel that takes place in Russia, where an American exchange student meets a cute Russian boy that changes her world. My review can be found here. https://indiewritergirl0329.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/love-in-the-time-of-the-cold-war-the-boy-on-the-bridge-by-natalie-standiford-book-review/

Currently, I am struggling with reading Sideshow of Merit by Nicole Pietsch. The cover is a little creepy, and doesn’t really coincide with the novel itself.

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I am thinking of putting it on my DNF shelf. The cover is strange, but the novel is slightly disturbing and just as confusing as seeing a neck on the cover.

Happy Monday and Happy reading!

-indiereadergirl0329

All you really need is… Just One Day by Gayle Forman

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Just One Day (Just One Day #1)

By Gayle Forman

Published January, 2013 by Dutton Juvenile

Genre: Young Adult, contemporary romance

368 Pages

Four stars

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay

 Allyson Healey has just one day left before she heads back home to the US from her “trip of a lifetime” the ultimate European cultural experience her parents gave her as a graduation gift. But, it isn’t the trip that gave her a real cultural experience; not the endless tours and information thrown at her left and right that she absorbs and feels cultured. Instead, it all starts with a pamphlet in front of The Globe theater advertising Shakespeare’s comedy “The Twelfth Night” by a group called Guerrilla Will. It is then Allyson decides to break free from her tour group and get the cultural experience she so desired and expected.

All it took was one boy to show Ally how to really travel and see the world. After his stellar performance as Sebastian, and meeting him on a train on their way back to London, and him giving her the nickname Lulu does she become a different person–the adventurous, daring, free spirit that she wanted to be. He convinces her to go to Paris, the one city that the tour missed because of a strike; the one city she was dying to go to. All the cities she visited, like Rome, failed to live up to her expectations. But, Paris, Paris will be different. Willem, tall, dark (well blond), and handsome Dutch man takes her to Paris, the real Paris. Not going all touristy. Just authentically enjoying a city that lives up to her expectations.

So many wonderful things happen in this book. Ally’s struggles, both as Lulu and as herself, are authentic, something any teen and really adult can relate to, and imperfect just like we all are. She struggles with loving a boy she just met, going to college heartbroken, and friendless. It is the path that she decides to take towards the end that becomes inspiring. She goes back to Europe to find her lost love, continuously telling her love story. She meets new friends, see sights she never thought to see, and becomes Ally 2.0. And, I loved Ally 2.0. She is more free, less confined, and strong. So strong. Gayle Forman has a way of creating characters, female characters especially, as three dimensional, and someone you root for and care about. I rooted for Allyson, wanted to cry with her, and just smiled at her wit she didn’t even know she had. Not a lot of YA authors can craft an inspiring story that revolves around love. I have read countless love-centered novels that don’t really work. With this book, it isn’t about the ending, it is about the journey Allyson takes to finding herself and seeing how love, true love she feels, fit in. It takes her a year, not a week, to really feel all that love is. There is no rushing, no unrealistic expressions and actions. Everything just feels right.

It took me a long time to pick up this book to read. It was never on my top, no matter how much of a fan I was of If I Stay. I chose not to read Where She Went, but now I want to. I can’t wait for Just One Year now because the ending and teaser was so great. It is a good feeling when a book leaves you satisfied; complete in a way, like you’ve grown with the character. I would highly recommend this book. I read it in two sittings. Which is decent considering my mind wanders off too much. I just needed more. October can’t come fast enough.

“Sometimes the best way to find out what you’re supposed to do is by doing the thing you’re not supposed to do.”

Happy reading!

-indiereadergirl0329

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