Category Archives: New Adult

A Little Something Different – Sandy Hall

A Little Something Different – Sandy HallTitle: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
Publishing Info: August 26, 2014 by Macmillan
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 2, 2014

    The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.  But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship.
Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together....

bookreview1

Well. A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT was just that. Fourteen POVs!!! Holy cow. I had confidence that Swoon Reads picked a good one though so I dove in headfirst hoping that everything would just work itself out and it would be the cute, adorable read I hoped it would be. It did have it’s moments but ultimately, A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT just didn’t work for me.

Firstly, FOURTEEN POVs. I’m fairly good at juggling POVs (see: A Song of Ice and Fire) and thankfully all of the different voices in A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT were very distinct so even though there were so many, it really wasn’t hard to follow along and skip around. The issue that I had, though, was that fourteen was simply too many for a few different reasons. Some of the POVs just weren’t necessary. There are truly, honestly, POVs from a park bench and a squirrel in the quad. Okay… could have been cute… but it really just didn’t work for me and instead added a cheese factor instead of being cute, it was just too cutesy and prevented me from taking the book seriously.

Another reason the sheer number of POVs didn’t work for me was that I wasn’t entirely sure what the purpose was of having those other people show the story of Gabe and Lea. It’s a great concept, but I couldn’t never quite connect with the story because I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to focus on. Obviously the main plot of the book is Gabe & Lea’s love story, but the reader is also given a little personal history and connection to the character who is telling the story at that given time. The problem with that is that no POV lasted long enough for me to really connect with that character so instead of it feeling like I was getting a character’s backstory, I felt like I was wasting my time with these little things about someone I ultimately would not have time to get to know. Instead of adding to the story, they really took something away because I felt like skipping over the backstories since they were essentially irrelevant.

Finally, I felt like I just wasn’t able to make that connection with Gabe and Lea because there were too many people telling their story. I don’t really have issues when the main characters are actually not the main POVs, but I think there were too many mixed opinions of the two of them to really figure out who they actually were. Only one of these narrators really knew the characters well (Gabe’s brother) and the rest of them were varying degrees of intimate knowledge ranging down to them being downright strangers. The narrators didn’t know enough about them to really give the readers enough information about their lives. There were a few moments that I thought were truly adorable and I was interested in what I might discover about Gabe and Lea, but ultimately it was just too hard to connect. (There was also one specific line from the teacher that really, REALLY turned me off and that’s when I really felt like the “pushing these two together” plot just went TOO far.)

What I did see of them… Well, it bothered me. I can totally understand being shy, especially around a crush or a new person or that person being both a crush and new, but this went on for months in the book. I’m not saying that never happens, but especially in college, I feel like people start to break out of their shells just a little bit more. Even their friends were really, really trying to push them together and Gabe and Lea just kept shying away or sabotaging themselves (which on a total side note, I realized that the two of these things to an extreme extent is something that really turns me off to a book — it’s happened before to cause a disconnect for me) so I just got frustrated with the pair instead of feeling like I wanted them to get together.

And finally, the pop culture references were really hit-or-miss with me. It wasn’t even that it was a reference that I didn’t connect to — I didn’t feel alienated because I didn’t understand the Buffy reference, for example — but it was the fact that there was definitely one too many times where a character made a statement about something they wanted to happen between Gabe and Lea or in their lives and the character basically says, “Wait, isn’t that the plot of such-and-such?” It was cute at first but when it happens two or three or four times, I started to get upset. There were a few specific instances that were borrowed from pop culture and yes, I know that many stories will be similar and not everything can be 100% unique, but I felt like it was one too many to use as a direct scene for the book. I feel like it’s okay to love a specific scene and sort of adapt it to fit the book so you can include something you love in your writing, but change it up! Don’t make it that exact scene from Glee or 10 Things I Hate About You and then have your characters reference it. It made me feel like these scenes weren’t original at all.

view_from_goodreads1

I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

alsd

character_breakdown1

Inga // Character Obsessions: Literature, inspiration, Gabe & Lea.
Inga is the English professor that Gabe and Lea both happen to have. Every semester she picks out two people that she think would be a good couple and tries to get them together. Cute concept, but she really took it way too far. The matchmaking is cute and it’s obvious that Gabe & Lea have an attraction to each other but are too shy to act upon it… But really a teacher should not be a matchmaker. It’s cute to want your students to get together and teachers, feel free to speak out here if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that’s something you should act on. Her relationship with her students was totally unprofessional and she even goes as far as to discourage another female student in her work and in taking the second semester class just so she can get Gabe and Lea together. That just really turned me off. I don’t have an issue with developing a more personal relationship with students in the sense that you want to get to know them or you think you may be encouraging them to talk more on the chance that they get together, but the professional relationship should come first, above all else. She turned her back on a student (which the book had come across as not the most intelligent person and maybe a bit shallow, but still. Honestly) and she should have been professional first and foremost instead of discouraging someone in her class so she could play matchmaker.

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Stories being told by outside POVs. I really like the creative concept of the main characters actually NOT being the narrators. I think it’s wonderfully clever… but this book didn’t really handle that well (or at least it just didn’t work for me).
Left Me Wanting More: Depth. I felt like I wasn’t able to dig myself into this book and really burrow in. I wasn’t able to make much of a connection with any of the characters and I didn’t really feel like they had much to them. Things don’t always have to be crazy-deep in a cute contemp, but I do want to know that the characters have substance. This just fell flat.

Addiction Rating
Skip it

Well, despite my gripes, I didn’t hate the book. Usually that extent of dislike makes me just not finish the book… This just really didn’t do it for me and I don’t think it’s that great. I really wouldn’t recommend it, sadly, because I had high (but reasonable) hopes for it.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT

(Click the cover to see my review!)

 fangirl    roomies

 

Novella Mini-Review: Just One Night (Just One Day #2.5) – Gayle Forman

Novella Mini-Review: Just One Night (Just One Day #2.5) – Gayle FormanTitle: Just One Night (Just One Day #2.5) by Gayle Forman
Publishing Info: May 29, 2014 by Penguin
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary, New Adult, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 4, 2014
Related Posts: If I Stay (If I Stay #1), Where She Went (If I Stay #2), Just One Day (Just One Day #1), Sisters in Sanity, If I Stay (If I Stay #1), Where She Went (If I Stay #2), Just One Day (Just One Day #1), I Was Here, Leave Me, I Have Lost My Way

After spending one life-changing day in Paris with laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter, sheltered American good girl Allyson “Lulu” Healey discovered her new lover had disappeared without a trace. Just One Day followed Allyson’s quest to reunite with Willem; Just One Year chronicled the pair’s year apart from Willem’s perspective. Now, back together at last, this delectable e-novella reveals the couple’s final chapter.

bookreview1

I’m sorry, Gayle. I know. I know you completed JUST ONE YEAR exactly how you wanted it, and exactly how you meant to end it… but for the love of all that is sacred in the world, THANK YOU for giving us JUST ONE NIGHT.

JUST ONE NIGHT was just what I needed. If only… if only this little bit really could have been at the end of JUST ONE YEAR. I really didn’t need much. Just a few sentences. Just the catching up. Just the tiny bit of closure and thank goodness Gayle gave us JUST ONE NIGHT. My only regret is that it wasn’t at the end of JOY because the fact that it ended so abruptly honestly made me a bit ragey and a bit sad. It did affect me overall opinion of that book so my only regret is that we didn’t get this closure at the same time.

As a novella, JUST ONE NIGHT was a breath of fresh air… Or rather, the giant breath all of us were holding in waiting for the resolution of Willem and Allyson’s story and the hint at their futures. It felt a bit odd to be in third person since the books were in first person (they were, right?) but I definitely understand the reasoning since we kept switching back and forth between Willem and Allyson for the novella. We had to get everything in and all at once so the dual POVs in third person were sort of necessary so the reader didn’t have to constantly flip-flop back and forth between POVs. Sometimes it just switched on a dime and that would have just been a headache!

The best part? (Aside from the closure…) Revisiting these characters I thought I had said goodbye to. And seeing more of the secondary characters. AND seeing the stories line up again. And Willem and Allyson finally talking about all of their “almosts” that absolutely killed me in JUST ONE YEAR. (Okay, okay, I had a lot of “best parts”.)

Anyway. As you can see, I just NEEDED this novella, so thank you to Gayle who made this happen! I think all of us readers can sleep a little bit easier after JUST ONE NIGHT.

The Book Addict’s GUIDE… to “Crossover” Books!

More and more lately I’ve been really getting into making infographics and recommendation guides. I had a blast making my first two recommendation guides — contemporary and paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy — and I really wanted to make a new one, but with a few genres down, I wasn’t sure where to start again. Naturally, I went to Twitter to ask for suggestions and Elizabeth from Don’t Take My Books Away recommended a list of young adult books that would appeal to adults as well and that seemed like the perfect idea!

I decided to take it one step further and add my favorite adult reads that I felt would appeal to readers of young adult fiction as well. Since most of my blog readers are in their 20s/30s/40s reading YA and a few in their actual teens, some of the books on the list are ones I feel would appeal to readers of YA and not necessary young adults themselves. Sounds confusing, but what I mean is that some books will have more adult content than others, but no worries! I’m including a details of which adult books on the list would also be appropriate for younger readers and which are intended for a more mature audience.

Missed my first two “guides”? No problem! Just check out the links below! 

Book Addict’s GUIDE #1: Contemporary
Book Addict’s GUIDE #2: Paranormal, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy

So! Ready to get started? I know you are! Here are my favorite “crossover” books that best appeal to a wide age range!

Crossover Books Infographic Reading Guide

 

BOOKS MENTIONED

Here’s a list of the books mentioned! All links will take you to my reviews (books that I haven’t reviewed on my blog will take you to the Goodreads page). All adult books will also have notes if they’re appropriate for younger audiences or not!

  1. (YA) 45 Pounds (More or Less) – K.A. Barson // Keywords: Weight loss, family, weddings
  2. (YA) Something Like Normal – Trish Doller  // Keywords: Military, PTSD, family, romance
  3. (YA) Fault Line – Christa Desir // Keywords: Sexual assault, relationships, support
  4. (YA) The Book of Broken Hearts – Sarah Ockler // Keywords: Alzheimer’s, motorcycles, sisters, romance
  5. (Adult) Degrees of Wrong – Anna Scarlett // Keywords: Epidemic, romance, chocolate, sea exploration // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Some adult humor and sexual references.
  6. (Adult) Slightly Single – Wendy Markham // Keywords: New York, absentee boyfriend, friends // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. I read this quite a few years ago and remember it being fairly appropriate for a mature teenage audience. Some adult humor and sexual references.
  7. (Adult) Remember Me? – Sophie Kinsella // Keywords: Memory loss, designer products, humor // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Same as above — read quite a few years ago but should be okay for mature teen audience. Some adult humor and sexual references.
  8. (Adult) Wedding Season – Darcy Cosper // Keywords: Weddings, New York, comedy // Suitable for teens? Yes? To be honest, I read this one too long ago to remember its specific content BUT I think I was actually a teen when I read this one myself (somewhere around 18, I believe) so I would lean more towards yes!
  9. (YA) The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight – Jennifer E Smith // Keywords: Weddings, travel, flying, remarriage, London
  10. (YA) The Sea of Tranquility – Katja Millay // Keywords: Identity crisis, trauma, loss, romance
  11. (Adult) One Day – David Nicholls // Keywords: Friends, relationships, missed opportunities // Suitable for teens? More mature audiences. Adult content and spans from twenties age up through forties.
  12. (Adult) The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks // Keywords: Young love, forbidden love, Alzheimer’s // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Personally liked the movie better (gasp, I know) but the book was also great and suitable for younger audiences.
  13. (YA) The Distance Between Us – Kasie West // Keywords: Family business, mother-daughter relationship, wealth vs “working class”
  14. (YA) The Chapel Wars – Lindsey Leavitt // Keywords: Las Vegas, wedding chapel, loss, rivals
  15. (YA) Open Road Summer – Emery Lord // Keywords: Country music, tour, road trip, famous, romance
  16. (YA/New Adult) Dirty Little Secret – Jennifer Echols // Keywords: Nashville, country music, redemption, performing, romance
  17. (Adult) The Nanny Diaries – Emma McLaughlin // Keywords: Working, nanny, family, family issues // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. The movie came out in 2007 and I know I read the book before the movie so I was still a teen (older teen) but it seemed perfectly suitable for a younger audience! (The book was also WAY better than the movie, FYI)
  18. (Adult) The Devil Wears Prada – Lauren Weisberger // Keywords: New York, fashion, post-college, career // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Unlike The Nanny Diaries, I found both the book AND the movie to be fantastic and suitable for teen audiences as well.
  19. (Adult) What Looks Like Crazy (Kate Holly #1) – Charlotte Hughes // Keywords: Psychology, divorce, humor // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Charlotte Hughes has a very Janet Evanovich-style and while there are more mature themes and references, a mature teen audience could enjoy this book as well.
  20. (YA) The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey // Keywords: Aliens, invasion, post-apocalyptic
  21. (YA) The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins // Keywords: Government, dystopia, battle to the death
  22. (YA) Under the Never Sky – Veronica Rossi // Keywords: Dystopia, science-fiction, technology, wilderness, survival
  23. (YA) The Raven Boys – Maggie Steifvater // Keywords: Prophecy, tarot, paranormal, private school
  24. (YA) Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) – Marissa Meyer // Keywords: Sci-fi, cyborg, Beijing, Cinderella
  25. (YA) Ready Player One – Ernest Cline // Keywords: 80s, pop culture, virtual reality, future
  26. (Adult) The Passage – Justin Cronin // Keywords: Vampires, plague, post-apocalyptic // Suitable for teens? Maybe. It’s a really big read and takes a while to develop, but if you’re willing to stay in it for the long haul, I think a more mature audience could enjoy it.
  27. (Adult) Vicious – V.E. Schwab // Keywords: Science fiction, extraordinary, superheroes, revenge // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. A delicious tale of revenge set at an adult age. Mild violence and darker themes, but okay for teen readers.
  28. (Adult) Dead Until Dark – Charlaine Harris // Keywords: Vampires, romance, Louisiana // Suitable for teens? Maybe. Strong elements of romance.
  29. (Adult) Gameboard of the Gods – Richelle Mead // Keywords: Mythology, mystery, military, science // Suitable for teens? Maybe. Definitely more mature teens if recommended for younger audiences. Some sexual situations and explicit content.
  30. (Adult) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams // Keywords: Sci-fi, space, humor // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up.
  31. (Adult) First Grave on the Right – Darynda Jones // Keywords: Grim reaper, ghosts // Suitable for teens? Not recommended. While the book has a fun and easy feeling, there were strong themes of sexuality and some violence.
  32. (YA) Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor // Keywords: Chimaera, angels, Prague
  33. (YA) Fairytales for Wilde Girls – Allyse Near // Keywords: Fantasy, fairy tales, mental illness, magical realism
  34. (YA) The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkoski // Keywords: Fantasy, politics, music, slavery
  35. (YA) Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy #1) – Leigh Bardugo // Keywords: Fantasy, Russia, powers, army
  36. (YA) Graceling – Kristin Cashore // Keywords: Fantasy, kingdom, abilities
  37. (Adult) The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern// Keywords: Circus, magic, illusion // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. A truly magical story with plenty for any age
  38. (Adult) The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1) – Scott Lynch // Keywords: High fantasy, gangs, thieves, comedy, bromance // Suitable for teens? Maybe. Excessive swearing, some violence, very little sexual content. Possibly suitable for mature teens.
  39. (Adult) The Princess Bride – William Goldman // Keywords: Fantasy, fairy tales, true love, sword fights // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Suitable for any age. A timeless classic.
  40. (Adult) A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin // Keywords: Fantasy, kingdoms, royalty, politics, conspiracy // Suitable for teens? Thumbs down. Not recommended for younger readers despite its variety of age ranges present. Violence, sexual content, mature language.  But good for the adult YA readers who love fandoms and great high fantasy!
  41. (Adult) Stardust – Neil Gaiman // Keywords: Fairy tale, fairies, unicorn, star // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Absolutely. If I hadn’t heard an interview with Neil Gaiman at the end of the audiobook calling it a fairy tale for adults, I may have classified it as YA. Suitable for any age.
  42. (YA) Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein // Keywords: Historical fiction, WWII, flying, torture, best friends
  43. (YA) Grave Mercy – Robin LaFevers // Keywords: France, 1400s, politics, mythology
  44. (Adult) The Help – Kathryn Stockett // Keywords: 1960s, race, Mississippi, maids // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. I think this is an important book for all ages!
  45. (Adult) Water For Elephants  – Sara Gruen // Keywords: Circus, the Great Depression, romance // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Technically billed as adult but I think there are a lot of things teens would appreciate about this book. Possibly better suited for older teens.
  46. (YA) Paper Valentine – Brenna Yovanoff // Keywords: Ghost, murder, summer
  47. (YA) How To Lead a Life of Crime – Kirsten Miller // Keywords: Crime, boarding school, redemption
  48. (YA) Killer Instinct – S.E. Green // Keywords: Serial killer, high school, mystery
  49. (Adult) The Spellman Files – Lisa Lutz // Keywords: Private eyes, they’re watching you, family, comedy // Suitable for teens? Some drug use, drug references, and cursing but I think it would be enjoyable for older teens as well
  50. (Adult) One For the Money – Janet Evanovich // Keywords: Bounty hunter, mystery, New Jersey, comedy // Suitable for teens? Maybe. Good for older teens as well as adults. Janet Evanovich’s books are so much fun with some mature themes but okay for older teens.
  51. (Adult) The Pact – Jennifer Sturman // Keywords: Mystery, wedding, Diet Coke // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Written for adults but lots of fun! I think this would definitely be okay for older teens.
  52. (YA) Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell // Keywords: 80s, misfits, family, first love
  53. (YA/New Adult) Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell // Keywords: College, twins, fan fiction, social anxiety
  54. (Adult) Attachments – Rainbow Rowell // Keywords: Y2K, e-mail, best friends // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up! Rainbow Rowell’s books are fantastic and I know Attachments is fun and absolutely suitable for many ages. I read it myself in my early 20s and I feel like I need to re-read it because I would appreciate it so much more now!
  55. (Adult) Landline – Rainbow Rowell // Keywords: Marriage, issues, communication with the past // Suitable for teens? Landline doesn’t come out until July so the verdict is still out on content but from the early reviews, it sounds like this could be amazing for all ages as well!
  56. (YA) If I Stay – Gayle Forman // Keywords: Tragedy, loss, family, first love
  57. (YA) Where She Went – Gayle Forman // Keywords: Reuniting, careers, lost love, emotion
  58. (YA/New Adult) Just One Day – Gayle Forman // Keywords: Europe, college, first love, self-discovery
  59. (YA/New Adult) Just One Year – Gayle Forman // Keywords: Travel, loss, family, self-discovery
  60. (YA) The Princess Diaries – Meg Cabot // Keywords: Princess, royalty, family, confidence
  61. (Adult) Size 12 Is Not Fat – Meg Cabot // Keywords: Mystery, college, murder, pop star // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Some mature content but mostly mild. Set at a residence hall and several (fake) pop culture references!
  62. (Adult) The Boy Next Door – Meg Cabot // Keywords: Apartment, mystery, neighbors, romance // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Another book I read around the time I was an actual teen and I remember it being fairly appropriate. I can’t remember the details, but Meg Cabot’s work is usually pretty mild on the adult content!
  63. (Adult) Queen of Babble – Meg Cabot // Keywords: Gossip, London, weddings // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Same as above — I think Meg Cabot’s books really fit a wide age range!

Whether you’re a Young Adult reader looking for more Adult books to get into, an adult who isn’t as familiar with YA, or a teacher or librarian looking for recommendations, hopefully you can find a great place to start on this list! These are just some of my favorites that no matter the age are able to appeal to a wide variety of readers. 

I’d love to hear what you think! What are your best picks for books with crossover appeal? Are there any specific authors you think appeal to any age? Any Middle Grade books? (Which I don’t have as much experience with) If you find a great book in a different age range, I’d love to hear which one worked for you! Leave me a comment below with your picks or new discoveries! 


Looking for more reading recommendations? Here are some more posts to check out!

  • The Book Addict’s GUIDE to paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy: The second in my series of guides! I hard a hard time separating these three so they all got smushed together.
    Infographic: A guide and compilation of paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy recommendations
  • The Book Addict’s GUIDE to contemporary: First of many to come! I created a road map/choose your own adventure-style guide to YA contemporary romances. If you’re looking for a good contemp read, start here!
  • If You Liked… If I Stay: For fans of IF I STAY, here are a few hand-picked selections of books you should read next!
  • If You Liked… The Fault in Our Stars: With so many great YA adaptations hitting the big screen, I wanted to make a lovely graphic of suggestions for people who have enjoyed them! This one kicks off the series with recs for THE FAULT IN OUR STARS fans!

Roomies – Tara Altebrando & Sara Zarr

Roomies – Tara Altebrando & Sara ZarrTitle: Roomies by Sara Zarr, Tara Altebrando
Publishing Info: December 24, 2013 by Little, Brown
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary, New Adult, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 1, 2013

    It's time to meet your new roomie.
When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.
As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they've never met.
National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.

bookreview1

ROOMIES was near perfection. This is everything I’ve been looking for in YA and NA and even crossing over into a little of both. My first reaction to the book was really how much I loved that one: it alternates POVs between the two girls and two: that it stays almost strictly in the “in between” time between high school and college. We get to see how both of these girls’ lives changed in that summer before leaving for college which I feel often gets glossed over and overlooked.

I don’t know how ROOMIES would have turned out if we had two POVs written by one author, but I will say that I’m really, really glad that both Tara Altebrando and Sara Zarr each got to tell their own story, but together at the same time. I think they brought an original voice to each girl and such authenticity to each voice as well. I really felt like I got to know each girl and really felt invested in each of their stories.
I really liked the emails in every chapter. The two girls communicate almost exclusively through emails so we get their stories together strung throughout their own personal stories at home. I felt like this was a perfect way to bring everything together while still giving each girl their own time and spotlight so the reader could get to know them both together and apart.

Whereas other early reviews have said how much they related to the book because they went through the same thing, I actually didn’t quite have that same connection. Well, I kind of did. For those of you who don’t know me as well, you probably don’t know that I actually went to a community college for two years and then transferred to a university my junior year. I skipped the whole dorm process, having a stranger for a roommate (well, for the most part — that’s an entirely different and longer story), and went straight to living in an apartment so for me, ROOMIES was absolutely still relatable but it wasn’t an “OMG, this was my life” deal. I guess what I’m trying to say with all this long-windedness is that regardless of how closely your experience is/was to EB and Lauren’s, ROOMIES is extremely enjoyable and a very personal experience. Even people who haven’t gone away to college I’m sure can still relate to these girls as well — graduating from high school and other friends moving away, leaving home for the first time, first loves, family issues. ROOMIES really has it all!

Tara Altebrando and Sara Zarr totally stuck gold with ROOMIES. I love every character and really felt like each one — from the main characters to their love interests, their parents, even down to Lauren’s younger siblings — really felt like a real person to me. The situations that each girl goes through, the gamut of emotions and first-time experiences — everything was just done just right. I’m really excited for everyone to get their hands on ROOMIES, especially the “new adults” and twenty-somethings like myself because I feel like it will really hit home and root itself as a favorite for many!

character_breakdown1

Lauren // Character Obsessions: Spending time with her family, working, taking care of her siblings, finding some quiet alone time.
I loved Lauren. She felt so level-headed and really dedicated to her family which I really, really admired. She’s one of those teenagers who has really given up a lot to help out with her family from day to day and help take care of her younger siblings. She lost a lot of “typical” childhood and teenage experiences because she was acting almost like a parent instead of kid, but through it all, she’s enjoyed the experience and never resented how much she helps out. It’s really interesting to see how different Lauren’s background is from EB’s and my heart totally went out to her when she was denied a single room at college and started off rocky with her new roomie.
Elizabeth (“EB”) // Character Obsessions: Going to the beach, living up her last summer, boys, her cell phone, preparing an awesome dorm room.
I feel like EB was more of a “typical” teenager in the sense that her focus was more on connecting with her friends before leaving for school. Whereas Lauren is totally dedicated to her family, EB’s parents are separated — her dad living all the way on the west coast — and EB’s life in New Jersey with her mom is driving her crazy. She can’t wait to leave home and start her great college adventure. She’s quite the opposite of Lauren in many ways, but there’s still a lot of common ground for the two girls. It was really interesting to see how their different backgrounds really shaped their lives and the way they viewed their future living situation.

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: College stories. I loved that ROOMIES was actually the summer before college because I feel like that time is usually lumped into the college experience and I would never have thought to form the book like it was. I loved being able to relate to each of these girls and how hard it can be to figure out how to get along with a roommate even before you meet them!
Left Me Wanting More: College stories! I gobbled this book up. It definitely left me with a satisfied feeling and left me wanting more and more “new adult” books about going away to college or college experiences. I’m always looking for more!

Addiction Rating
Buy it!

This is a really special book, folks. I know when it comes out, I’m buying it for my shelves. I want this book in my life and maybe I’ll trust someone enough to loan it out to them. So long as they don’t harm it. Nah, I’ll just buy them their own copy!

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE ROOMIES

(Click the cover to see my review!)

          Fangirl   Just One Day

Just One Year/Gayle Forman Read Along: Week 4 Answers

Welcome to the read along for JUST ONE YEAR, part of the Gayle Forman Read Along event!

JOYbanner_edited-1

Each WEDNESDAY, we will be posting the answers from the previous week and I’ll be giving you my answers as well as the questions for the next week’s batch of chapters! Here’s a look at our official schedule for the event:

October 18th: Questions week 1 (Ch 1-12)  
October 23rd: Answers week 1 (Ch 1 – 12), week 2 questions (Ch 13 – 21)
October 30th: Answers week 2 (Ch 13 – 21), week 3 questions (Ch 21 – 32)
November 6th: Answers week 3 (Ch 21 – 32), week 4 questions (Ch 33 – end)
November 13th: Answers week 4 (Ch 33 – end), wrap-up & giveaway winner announced!

Before I get to to this week’s answers, I just want to say thank you to everyone who read with us, From SISTERS IN SANITY to JUST ONE YEAR. I had a blast on the Gayle Forman read along and I know it was long but thanks for sticking with me! Re-reading Gayle’s books was something I really needed to do and I was so happy to read them with others who wanted to experience them again and people reading them for the first time! Another BIG thank you to the ladies who co-hosted with me on this event — You guys were truly fantastic!

ANSWERS: WEEK 4

  1. How do you feel about the travel aspect and sense of worldliness in Willem’s life versus Allyson’s own travels and personal adventures? How do you think travel affects their lives differently? What does travel mean to you?
    Oh wow, hmmmm. I think for Willem, travel had become a norm in his life, but he seemed to be using it as an escape away from his problems. For Allyson, I think it was adventure. Trying something new. Reinventing herself and really figuring out who she was outside of her normal life and her normal setting. When we first met Willem, travel was his escape but then it sort of meshed with Allyson’s path and it took on a new meaning for him in his quest to find her again. As for me? Travel is definitely adventure. It’s experiencing something new, finding a new place, learning new things. Travel is enjoying nature’s beauty in places and ways that I haven’t been able to experience it before. Meeting new people and growing closer to my travel companions (now usually Shane).
  2. Another big symbol in the book was Allyson’s watch. We know it meant something specific for Allyson. What do you think it meant for Willem?
    For Allyson, the watch was sort of her connection to her old self. She was always concerned with time and when she left her watch with Willem, he was her time keeper. She lost it and was able to let loose. I think for Willem, it was sort of the same thing. He was wandering for so long that when he met Allyson, he started to become grounded again. It’s also his one connection to Allyson and a constant in his life. It’s sort of like his burning torch.
  3. Both Willem and Allyson grew because of what they found in each other. Is there a person in your life who has helped you grow? Who helped you bring out the person you wanted to be?
    My fiancé Shane has definitely changed who I am by bringing out the better qualities in me. Before I met him, I was still fairly immature and not really making smart decisions with my life (not bad, but not great) and I just feel so much more grounded and responsible and secure with myself. He definitely helped me change for the better and ever since that point, I have been so much happier.
  4. Who caught the Adam Wilde reference!?
    YES! I love that Gayle does that. There was a Clod reference (the band from Sisters in Sanity) in If I Stay that was so awesome to find and I love the Adam Wilde reference in Just One Year. Pretty sneaky!
  5. How did you feel about the ending? There have been quite a few reactions! What did you think?
    Welp. It was surprising. I was kind of disappointed because I was SO hoping for a little bit more of a reunion between Willem and Allyson. I had such a connection with Allyson in Just One Day that I just wanted to see more of her and her reaction to Willem (where we left her in Just One Day). I think I’ve made my peace with it now, but I was actually kind of outraged at first and didn’t know what to think.

GIVEAWAY WINNER!

A HUGE thank you to Michelle from Unraveling Books for tweeting throughout the Just One Year read along! I know she had troubles with it at times but she was a total rock star with tweeting quotes and feelings as well as following along with the read along questions each week. Congrats on being the winner of the giveaway! You totally earned it, girl! Let me know if you want some official Gayle Forman merch from this shop or if you’d like one of her books! 😀

Just One Year (Just One Day #2) – Gayle Forman

Just One Year (Just One Day #2) – Gayle FormanTitle: Just One Year (Just One Day #2) by Gayle Forman
Publishing Info: October 10, 2013 by Penguin
Source: Anderson's Bookshop
Genres: New Adult, Young Adult, Contemporary
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 5, 2013
Related Posts: If I Stay (If I Stay #1), Where She Went (If I Stay #2), Just One Day (Just One Day #1), Sisters in Sanity, If I Stay (If I Stay #1), Where She Went (If I Stay #2), Just One Day (Just One Day #1), Just One Night (Just One Day #2.5), I Was Here, Leave Me, I Have Lost My Way

Just One Day. Just One Year. Just One Read. Before you find out how their story ends, remember how it began.... When he opens his eyes, Willem doesn’t know where in the world he is—Prague or Dubrovnik or back in Amsterdam. All he knows is that he is once again alone, and that he needs to find a girl named Lulu. They shared one magical day in Paris, and something about that day—that girl—makes Willem wonder if they aren’t fated to be together. He travels all over the world, from Mexico to India, hoping to reconnect with her. But as months go by and Lulu remains elusive, Willem starts to question if the hand of fate is as strong as he’d thought. . . . The romantic, emotional companion to Just One Day, this is a story of the choices we make and the accidents that happen—and the happiness we can find when the two intersect.

bookreview1

** Caution: If you have not read JUST ONE DAY yet, there will be spoilers for that story. This review for JUST ONE YEAR is as spoiler-free as I can make it and I reveal no SPECIFIC details but there are some strong feels so if you haven’t read the book yet, just beware! **

JUST ONE YEAR was a very different read for me than JUST ONE DAY and I really contribute that to the fact that it felt much more like a personal journey and much more of a personal struggle for Willem than it had been reading Allyson’s story. I feel like the reason for that was that Allyson was going through so many transitions at once — from high school to college, from Europe to home, from sheltered to wanderer — whereas Willem, although already a constant traveler, felt much more stuck in his life. He seemed much more lost, unsure of where to go and what to do and was already in the thick of it when he met Allyson. Allyson hadn’t realized her life needed a change UNTIL she met Willem so for her, I felt much more of the romantic attachment — especially since her story changes with the encounter with Willem and Willem’s story starts after his meeting with Allyson had already come and gone.

Of course I had been dying to hear Willem’s side of the story ever since JUST ONE DAY, and I found it really fascinating. Willem’s story sort of unfolded much more like a mystery to me. We slowly got to find out the secrets of his past that had shaped his life as well as the way he interacted with Allyson (and the various girls he met in Paris). I really, really appreciated getting to know Willem more and finding out about his family. We knew nothing of his parents except their names in JOD and it was so bittersweet to learn about his relationship with both of them and exactly where that relationship stood at the beginning of JUST ONE YEAR, not to mention how his relationship changed towards the conclusion of the book as well.

JUST ONE YEAR wasn’t as emotionally moving or particularly as life-changing as JUST ONE DAY had been simply because it was an entirely different journey that we were on. Of course I had identified with Allyson as the “good girl”, aiming to please her parents and please others so I just connected more with her journey on a personal level than I had with Willem — But that’s not to say that I didn’t feel for Willem because I really did feel his pain, his loneliness, his sense of just feeling a little lost and I appreciated the changes he went through as well.

The biggest thing that struck me about JUST ONE YEAR were all those “almost”s — all the “missed connections” — and that absolutely killed me. Just to see how close he and Allyson came to crossing paths — the attempts to find each other and the pure chances were incredibly surprising! But as we know from Allyson’s side of the book, they never do end up meeting until her story in JUST ONE DAY concludes, leaving us with Allyson at Willem’s front door. To watch all of Willem’s attempts to find her or run into her, though, just was so heartbreaking. She really had an impact on him and even though I knew they wouldn’t meet up again until that moment, I secretly kept hoping for there to be a chance meeting!

 ** Strong feels ahead about the ending of this book that may be spoilery if you haven’t finished this book yet! Just a kind word of warning 🙂 **

So the ending. We already know that the end of JUST ONE DAY ends with Allyson at Willem’s door step but we don’t know where it goes from there and it takes us a while to get back to that point because obviously we have to find out Willem’s side of what happened after he and Allyson separated in Paris. I won’t say exactly HOW the book ends, but I cannot write this review and omit the fact at how disappointed I was with it. I want to say I can understand Gayle’s choice to end the book like this… But I really can’t. (Spoilers on the specifics of the ending below… Do not click if you haven’t read the book.)

View Spoiler »

After finishing the book and ending the way it did… I was honestly enraged. I felt let down. Abandoned in the middle of this story. And I HATED that I was mad. I really enjoyed the whole book up until that point and I couldn’t believe it ended like that. I legitimately felt a little bit betrayed that I had been so emotionally invested in the ending for these two characters and that was the way we left them. I may have been spoiled by how perfectly WHERE SHE WENT ended because I absolutely loved that whole book, cover to cover, but I didn’t quite understand why JUST ONE YEAR had to end like that.

I wanted this to be a series I could rave about, shove in the hands of friends, jump up and down with, hug!!!! But the ending left me feeling so confused and emotionally raw — I had a serious book hangover, but not quite in a good way. I thought about this for HOURS after I finished reading and my feelings have settled a little bit, but I’m still upset with the way this book ended and I can’t deny that if affected how I feel about this book as a whole. I will still recommend the read but just a word of warning to the readers that you may be in for shock and rage in the last chapter.

character_breakdown1

Willem de Ruiter // Character Obsessions: Finding Lulu, traveling, trying to make connections, acting.
Willem was an interesting character to follow throughout JUST ONE YEAR. I actually really liked getting to know him more and seeing all of the secrets — or simply things he didn’t outright say — that Allyson had missed. I appreciated his character so much more and he really came to life more. I think he was flawed, but his run in and day in Paris with Allyson set him on a new course to realize that maybe he had been stuck in a rut and she turned him on to parts of himself he didn’t know were buried so deep in his soul. There really were kind of soul mates — not just romantically — but that they each brought out a new, better side of each other.

I kind of don’t even want to talk about other characters because Willem is such a vagabond and such an transient character that he doesn’t stay in one place — physically or emotionally — long enough for these people to make lasting impressions. Oh, they do make lasting impressions, mentally and emotionally, but their physical presence isn’t as prominent in Willem’s life and he doesn’t always realize the impact these people have, sometimes not until they are long gone from his life.
addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Fate. There’s a serious question about fate, chances, and intentions in JUST ONE YEAR and how much is really and truly left up to chance. I really enjoyed seeing Willem figure out what he needed to leave up to fate and what was impacted directly by his choices and intentional decisions.
Left Me Wanting More: Of an ending. I think after that review, it goes without saying. Sorry, Gayle.

Addiction Rating
Read it.

I can’t NOT suggest you read this — If you’ve read JUST ONE DAY, you need to see how things happen in JUST ONE YEAR, but just be prepared for a bit of a shock of an ending, I suppose. I know lots of people who totally and completely loved it and weren’t fazed by the ending at all. I know of others who were totally shocked and so disappointed that it ruined the entire experience for them. I think it’s a necessary read to finish out the duo of books and if you’ve got a copy of JUST ONE DAY, you probably need it to finish out your book collection anyway, amirite?

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE JUST ONE YEAR

(Click the cover to see my review!)

          The Beginning of Everything     Meant to Be

Just One Year/Gayle Forman Read Along: Week 3 Answers, Week 4 Questions

Welcome to the read along for JUST ONE YEAR, part of the Gayle Forman Read Along event!

JOYbanner_edited-1

Each WEDNESDAY, we will be posting the answers from the previous week and I’ll be giving you my answers as well as the questions for the next week’s batch of chapters! Here’s a look at our official schedule for the event:

October 18th: Questions week 1 (Ch 1-12)  
October 23rd: Answers week 1 (Ch 1 – 12), week 2 questions (Ch 13 – 21)
October 30th: Answers week 2 (Ch 13 – 21), week 3 questions (Ch 21 – 32)
November 6th: Answers week 3 (Ch 21 – 32), week 4 questions (Ch 33 – end) Now!
November 13th: Answers week 4 (Ch 33 – end), wrap-up & giveaway winner announced!

As you may have noticed, there will be a little giveaway for one of the JUST ONE YEAR read along participants! I’ve detailed the guidelines for the giveaway allllll the way down at the bottom!

ANSWERS: WEEK 3

  1. How did you feel about Willem’s time in India? Besides his mother, what do you think he found from his time there?
    I feel like he got a lot of “Willem” time. Yes, he’s been travelling this whole time but I feel like it wasn’t until India that he finally started really taking time to figure out who he is and what he wants to do with his life now that’s it’s changed so drastically. I also feel like actually being with his mother and yet again coming up with conflicts between the two of them really forced them to work on their relationship. It was an immediate concern and one that Willem couldn’t run from anymore. On a different side of the same note, Willem finally got to see a good side to his mother. It’s so easy to see the hard times and the bad situations, but Willem go to see his mother at work and understand more now that he’s an adult himself how hard things can be. He was able to step outside of himself to see things from her perspective which is something he wasn’t able to do before.
  2. Prateek told Willem, “To dream is the ultimate dare.” What do you think he means by that?
    Prateek has pretty big dreams in store for himself and dreaming is the first step to making those big things in your life happen. If you never dream it, you cannot do it. Simple as that. I also think that in Willem’s case, he’s been holding himself back too much. He has dreams at times but won’t allow himself to follow through with them. Instead, he’s been running away from a lot of his problems or even the good things but ones that scare him. Prateek sort of prods him and pushes him to really take risks and put himself out there.
  3. Do you have hopes for Willem and his mother? Do you think they’ve mended their relationship?
    I think they still have a long way to go in mending what has been damaged throughout Willem’s life, but they’re definitely on the right track. They’ve taken a really big first step into regrowing their relationship and I really loved seeing the two of them finally make a connection instead of missing them all the time!
  4. We finally find out how Bram died. How do you think that affected Willem’s theory of fate and accidents?
    Well it certainly wasn’t a happy accident, but an unfortunate turn in chance nonetheless. I think Willem put a lot of faith in Fate and in chance and the odds of Bram’s death actually occurring were so miniscule and yet it happened. Growing up with one notion and then his father’s death totally fracturing that idea… I think it’s really shook up Willem and he wasn’t sure if his life philosophy was a good one anymore.
  5. Why do you think that just one day with Allyson awoke so many feelings in Willem?
    I’m not actually sure why she was the catalyst… I think as different as I thought the two of them were in Just One Day, I really see similarities in Just One Year once we get to know Willem. Willem helped Allyson be more bold, take more chances, and really grow as a person. I almost feel like he saw what he brought out in Allyson but was still stuck himself. Along with a romance, he really made a connection with her and saw a happy accident in the crossing of their paths. I actually don’t know if he knew it or not — maybe subconsciously, maybe I’m making it up — but I feel like his character needed to find her again to make things right. Things were not finished, they did not have an ending or a goodbye and the open ending really affected Allyson. It damaged her entire view of the trip, of Willem, and even back on herself. I like to think that Willem needed to make things right with Allyson again not only for his sake, but for hers.

QUESTIONS: WEEK 4

  1. How do you feel about the travel aspect and sense of worldliness in Willem’s life versus Allyson’s own travels and personal adventures? How do you think travel affects their lives differently?
    What does travel mean to you?
  2. Another big symbol in the book was Allyson’s watch. We know it meant something specific for Allyson. What do you think it meant for Willem?
  3. Both Willem and Allyson grew because of what they found in each other. Is there a person in your life who has helped you grow? Who helped you bring out the person you wanted to be?
  4. Who caught the Adam Wilde reference!?
  5. How did you feel about the ending? There have been quite a few reactions! What did you think?

Join in the read along on Twitter & Instagram by using the hashtag #JustOneYearRA and you could win! Choose a Gayle Forman t-shirt or tote bag from this shop (US only) or your choice of any Gayle Forman book (US + International)!  Don’t delay! Start reading & tweeting today to gain entries into the giveaway!

Just One Year/Gayle Forman Read Along: Week 2 Answers, Week 3 Questions

Welcome to the read along for JUST ONE YEAR, part of the Gayle Forman Read Along event!

JOYbanner_edited-1

Each WEDNESDAY, we will be posting the answers from the previous week and I’ll be giving you my answers as well as the questions for the next week’s batch of chapters! Here’s a look at our official schedule for the event:

October 18th: Questions week 1 (Ch 1-12)  
October 23rd: Answers week 1 (Ch 1 – 12), week 2 questions (Ch 13 – 21)
October 30th: Answers week 2 (Ch 13 – 21), week 3 questions (Ch 21 – 32) Now!
November 6th: Answers week 3 (Ch 21 – 32), week 4 questions (Ch 33 – end)
November 13th: Answers week 4 (Ch 33 – end), wrap-up & giveaway winner announced!

As you may have noticed, there will be a little giveaway for one of the JUST ONE YEAR read along participants! I’ve detailed the guidelines for the giveaway allllll the way down at the bottom!

ANSWERS: WEEK 2

  1. First off, how much did Willem’s time in Mexico KILL YOU? Have you ever had close run-in situations or actual run-in situations with someone you knew far away from home?
    Oh my GOSH, I was dying. I mean, obviously we know how that situation ends up since we already know Allyson’s time in Mexico, but GAH.
    I actually haven’t had many encounters like that… But one time we DID see a family from my parents’ church when we were in Washington DC! (And in case you don’t know, we live in IL, so that’s a loooong ways away!) I don’t know why, but I’m always looking for people I know, no matter where I go because I secretly LOVE that weird coincidence.
  2. Kate told Willem, “Nothing happens without intention” and she also said, “This theory of yours — life is ruled by accident — isn’t that just one huge excuse for passivity?” Do you think she’s on to something there?
    Wow, that is such a hard thing to answer. I do kind of believe in fate BUT I also think you can only let destiny control your life so much before YOU start making decisions. Life will not do everything for you. You need to make your own choices and maybe fate can control the outcomes of two possible paths. What I really liked was that she opened up Willem’s eyes to that situation. I feel like he really was leaving too much up to chance and he needed to sort of be awakened to that. Then again, he was already in Mexico…….. To be debated!
  3. Marjolein said that Willem is like his mother after packing up his bags. He says that he’s not. Which do you think is more accurate knowing what we now know about his mom?
    I think he’s a lot like his mother but he just doesn’t realize it or doesn’t want to admit it. I think they both have tendencies to run from hard emotional experiences and we already know that Willem is avoiding those feelings at all costs. I really liked seeing the dynamic between Willem and his mother. As much as they’re different, they really are the same in a lot of ways.
  4. What do you think of Willem’s relationship with his mother? He feels like they’re not speaking the same language. Do you think that either one of them specifically are at fault?
    I think his mother is partially to blame, yes, but I also think that Willem doesn’t quite know what to do either. His father was always the more open one, the more emotional one, so when he needs to lean on his mother emotionally, she’s just not there — both physically and mentally. It’s really hard to say who’s at fault there. I think it takes two!
  5. We learned a lot about Willem’s history in this section of chapters and we see how rapidly Willem’s life has changed in just the past few years. Even though he’s pretty much an adult at this point, why do you think the absence of his parents hit him so hard?
    Wow. Ummm. Well, honestly, I think no matter what age you are, it has to kill you to lose a parent. Then to figuratively lose another by her up and leaving…. I think Willem felt abandoned. He always loved his parents and they had a specific dynamic. He had a rhythm of life that got abruptly changed when his father died. His entire life changed and I don’t think he knew how to handle it, which can you blame him? That REALLY opened up a new window to Willem’s life and I was so glad to see that family history! There’s so much more beneath the surface there.  

QUESTIONS: WEEK 3

  1. How did you feel about Willem’s time in India? Besides his mother, what do you think he found from his time there?
  2. Prateek told Willem, “To dream is the ultimate dare.” What do you think he means by that? 
  3. Do you have hopes for Willem and his mother? Do you think they’ve mended their relationship? 
  4. We finally find out how Bram died. How do you think that affected Willem’s theory of fate and accidents? 
  5. Why do you think that just one day with Allyson awoke so many feelings in Willem? 

Looking forward to seeing everyone’s answers! Go forth and read JUST ONE YEAR! I can’t wait to see what you think of this week’s chapters!

Join in the read along on Twitter & Instagram by using the hashtag #JustOneYearRA and you could win! Choose a Gayle Forman t-shirt or tote bag from this shop (US only) or your choice of any Gayle Forman book (US + International)!  Don’t delay! Start reading & tweeting today to gain entries into the giveaway!

Just One Year/Gayle Forman Read Along: Week 1 Answers, Week 2 Questions

Welcome to the read along for JUST ONE YEAR, part of the Gayle Forman Read Along event!

JOYbanner_edited-1

Each WEDNESDAY, we will be posting the answers from the previous week and I’ll be giving you my answers as well as the questions for the next week’s batch of chapters! Here’s a look at our official schedule for the event:

October 18th: Questions week 1 (Ch 1-12)  
October 23rd: Answers week 1 (Ch 1 – 12), week 2 questions (Ch 13 – 21) Now!
October 30th: Answers week 2 (Ch 13 – 21), week 3 questions (Ch 21 – 32)
November 6th: Answers week 3 (Ch 21 – 32), week 4 questions (Ch 33 – end)
November 13th: Answers week 4 (Ch 33 – end), wrap-up & giveaway winner announced!

As you may have noticed, there will be a little giveaway for one of the JUST ONE YEAR read along participants! I’ve detailed the guidelines for the giveaway allllll the way down at the bottom!

ANSWERS: WEEK 1

  1. We know from JUST ONE DAY how Allyson and Willem initially got permanently separated, but in JUST ONE YEAR, we get to see Willem’s story of this situation. Did this change how you initially felt in JUST ONE DAY? Did your opinions of Willem from JUST ONE DAY start changing by seeing his side of the story?
    My opinion actually immediately changed. I mean, obviously we knew in JUST ONE DAY that he didn’t intentionally leave Allyson behind, but just seeing the story start there in the hospital — you could already tell how much he cared and how important to him she was.
  2. A common theme in both JUST ONE DAY and JUST ONE YEAR is double happiness. Besides the Chinese symbols, what sort of significance do you think it holds for our two main characters? Do you think there’s a deeper meaning?
    I totally think this is a deeper meaning, and I think I didn’t quite feel that way until JUST ONE YEAR. I feel like the double happiness means both Allyson and Willem finding love in each other. I believe it also means both of them finding happiness within themselves and outside of themselves as well. Double happiness holds so many meanings in this book! I feel like it’s an English teacher’s delight!
  3. Along with Willem’s POV, we also get to get to see a bit more into Celine’s character. Did you feel any different about her reactions towards Willem? Towards Allyson?
    My opinion of her TOTALLY changed… And I actually felt my opinion of Willem lessen a bit during their scenes together. Since before we only got to see them from Allyson’s POV — and she didn’t know what was going on since she couldn’t speak French — it was REALLY interesting and eye-opening to see how things went when we actually know what’s going on. I can totally understand her attitude after seeing Willem’s side.
  4. Willem’s life has been surrounded by and filled with “accidents”, even going back to the story of how his parents met. Do you think this affected his view on life? How he feels about meeting Allyson?
    Absolutely. I think the way his parents met REALLY affected his whole life — not just in love, but in everyday events. I feel like Willem leaves a lot to chance because he believes in those happy accidents and that everything will work out like it’s supposed to. I think he allows that to be an excuse for a lot of his behavior as well. I don’t really think he started to take matters into his own hands until he met Allyson.
  5. All of the chances and accidents we see in this series brings up the idea of chance versus action & intention. Do you think Fate exists?
    Hmmm, that’s hard to say. I do, in a way. I believe that things happen for a reason — we may not always understand it right away, but life works itself out. You can’t leave everything up to fate though! We’re still humans with free will and we choose what happens to ourselves. There’s definitely a difference between leaving things up to fate and just letting life happen to you and pass you by.

QUESTIONS: WEEK 2

  1. First off, how much did Willem’s time in Mexico KILL YOU? Have you ever had close run-in situations or actual run-in situations with someone you knew far away from home? 
  2. Kate told Willem, “Nothing happens without intention” and she also said, “This theory of yours — life is ruled by accident — isn’t that just one huge excuse for passivity?” Do you think she’s on to something there? 
  3. Marjolein said that Willem is like his mother after packing up his bags. He says that he’s not. Which do you think is more accurate knowing what we now know about his mom? 
  4. What do you think of Willem’s relationship with his mother? He feels like they’re not speaking the same language. Do you think that either one of them specifically are at fault? 
  5. We learned a lot about Willem’s history in this section of chapters and we see how rapidly Willem’s life has changed in just the past few years. Even though he’s pretty much an adult at this point, why do you think the absence of his parents hit him so hard? 

Looking forward to seeing everyone’s answers! Go forth and read JUST ONE YEAR! I can’t wait to see what you think of this week’s chapters!

Join in the read along on Twitter & Instagram by using the hashtag #JustOneYearRA and you could win! Choose a Gayle Forman t-shirt or tote bag from this shop (US only) or your choice of any Gayle Forman book (US + International)!  Don’t delay! Start reading & tweeting today to gain entries into the giveaway!

Just One Year/Gayle Forman Read Along: Week 1 Questions

Welcome to the read along for JUST ONE YEAR, part of the Gayle Forman Read Along event!

JOYbanner_edited-1

Before we start the questions, I just want to give another HUGE thanks to all of my lovely co-hosts for this event: Judith @ Paper Riot, Candice @ The Grown-Up YA, Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books, and Jenna @ Jenna Does Books. This was a big event and I couldn’t have done with without their help!

I also want to give a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who’s participated so far in the Gayle Forman read along and went through the highs and lows of Brit, Mia, Adam, and Allyson. Now we’re closing the read along with Willem’s story in JUST ONE YEAR and I’m so excited to get started!

With the exception of today, each WEDNESDAY, we will be posting the answers from the previous week and I’ll be giving you my answers as well as the questions for the next week’s batch of chapters! Here’s a look at our official schedule for the event:

October 18th: Questions week 1 (Ch 1-12)  Now!
October 23rd: Answers week 1 (Ch 1 – 12), week 2 questions (Ch 13 – 21)
October 30th: Answers week 2 (Ch 13 – 21), week 3 questions (Ch 21 – 32)
November 6th: Answers week 3 (Ch 21 – 32), week 4 questions (Ch 33 – end)
November 13th: Answers week 4 (Ch 33 – end), wrap-up & giveaway winner announced!

As you may have noticed, there will be a little giveaway for one of the JUST ONE YEAR read along participants! I’ve detailed the guidelines for the giveaway allllll the way down at the bottom!

QUESTIONS: WEEK 1

  1. We know from JUST ONE DAY how Allyson and Willem initially got permanently separated, but in JUST ONE YEAR, we get to see Willem’s story of this situation. Did this change how you initially felt in JUST ONE DAY? Did you opinions of Willem from JUST ONE DAY start changing by seeing his side of the story?
  2. A common theme in both JUST ONE DAY and JUST ONE YEAR is double happiness. Besides the Chinese symbols, what sort of significance do you think it holds for our two main characters? Do you think there’s a deeper meaning?
  3. Along with Willem’s POV, we also get to get to see a bit more into Celine’s character. Did you feel any different about her reactions towards Willem? Towards Allyson?
  4. Willem’s life has been surrounded by and filled with “accidents”, even going back to the story of how his parents met. Do you think this affected his view on life? How he feels about meeting Allyson?
  5. All of the chances and accidents we see in this series brings up the idea of chance versus action & intention. Do you think Fate exists?

Looking forward to seeing everyone’s answers! Go forth and read JUST ONE YEAR! I can’t wait to see what you think of this week’s chapters!

Join in the read along on Twitter & Instagram by using the hashtag #JustOneYearRA and you could win! Choose a Gayle Forman t-shirt or tote bag from this shop (US only) or your choice of any Gayle Forman book (US + International)!  Don’t delay! Start reading & tweeting today to gain entries into the giveaway!