Tag Archives: Gayle Forman Read Along

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.

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** 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.

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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.
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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?

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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!

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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!

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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!

Just One Day/Gayle Forman Read Along – Week 4

Jenna Does Books is our lovely host for this leg of the Gayle Forman Read Along! She’s been a fantastic host for us so far with some really great questions! Onto week four!

September 18th (Chapters 1-9): Questions week 1
September 25th (Chapters 10-19): Answers week 1, questions week 2
October 2nd (Chapters 20-29): Answers week 2, questions week 3
October 9th (Chapters 30-39): Answers week 3, questions week 4
October 16th: Answers week 4, Recap, Winner Announcement

QUESTIONS: WEEK 4

  1. Why do you think Allyson was able travel to Paris alone, even without the “protection” of the faux identity, “Lulu”, or Willem? What is the significance of this accomplishment?
    I think Allyson is finally growing up. Well honestly, I probably wouldn’t be able to travel to Paris alone so that’s really impressive! But she’s really taking a step towards not only being independent, but being her own person and not feeling like she needs to rely on anyone. She wants to take that dive and seek adventure on her own. Sure, she goes back to Paris to find Willem, but she also goes back to Paris for HER. She changed a lot in Paris and I think she also wants to go back to feel the way she had before.
  2. Did you ever fear throughout the trip that Allyson would revert to her earlier ways?
    I actually didn’t. I think she made it that far to Paris… What else was she going to do there? She’s too responsible to waste her own hard-earned money and I think she had already set her mind on this trip and exactly what she aimed to accomplish there. There was maybe a moment in the very beginning, but I’m glad she got over that quickly!
  3. In what ways does Allyson’s second trip to Paris/Europe differ from her first?
    Allyson does a lot of things on her own this trip. She does have help from her friends, but SHE takes the leaps and she was in control of her own destiny. It was good to see her like that! I like that we got taken back to Paris and we got to see how different she really became.
  4. Speculation: Who do you think the girl was with Willem? (Don’t spoil this if you have read Just One Year.)
    Oh. Then I can’t! 🙂
  5. Final thoughts: What was going through your head when the door opened at the end of the book?
    “KISS HER, YOU FOOL!” Then after that, I started wondering what happened with Willem (probably because I knew Just One Year was coming) and if he had been looking for Allyson too!

Another HUGE thank you to Jenna at Jenna Does Books for hosting this leg of the read along! I hope everyone had fun reading (or re-reading) JUST ONE DAY and don’t forget — We’re starting JUST ONE YEAR in just a few days! I’ll be posting the questions for week one of the read along on Friday 10/18 and then we start reading! Let me know if you’ll be joining in the comments below! I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks!

JUST ONE YEAR:
October 18th: Questions week 1
October 23rd: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
October 30th: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
November 6th: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
November 13th: Answers week 4, wrap-up

Just One Day/Gayle Forman Read Along – Week 3

Jenna Does Books is our lovely host for this leg of the Gayle Forman Read Along! She’s been a fantastic host for us so far with some really great questions! Onto week three!

September 18th (Chapters 1-9): Questions week 1
September 25th (Chapters 10-19): Answers week 1, questions week 2
October 2nd (Chapters 20-29): Answers week 2, questions week 3
October 9th (Chapters 30-39): Answers week 3, questions week 4
October 16th: Answers week 4, Recap, Winner Announcement

QUESTIONS: WEEK 3

  1. What is your opinion? Do you think signing up for the Shakespeare class is progress for Allyson, or regression – since it may not necessarily help her to move on from “that one day”?
    Hmmmm, very good question. I think in a way, it was sort of regression. She’s still holding onto that moment and not letting it go at all. She won’t even make progress by actually participating in the play. BUT. I think she learned a lot about herself and that day by going through the Shakespeare class and seeing parallels (carefully placed by Gayle Forman)!
  2. Ah, Dee… Share your input on this unique character. How is he similar/dissimilar from Willem?
    Oh, Dee. I absolutely love him. Usually I don’t like characters who are “characters”, but that was the whole point. Dee was always playing the part that people assumed of him so he really felt like a real person just showing people what they wanted to see. I love how he formed a friendship with Allyson and how once they got down to the CORE of their friendship, we get to see the real Dee.
  3. Why do you think it was easier for Allyson to make friends with Dee than it was for her to make friends with her roommates?
    Allyson wasn’t looking for a friend when she met Dee. She didn’t try to force herself into a situation. And Dee wasn’t invasive about her life. He didn’t ask questions and he never tried to pry anything out of her. I think her roommates would have been just as understanding, but there was that sense of forced friendship that Allyson wasn’t ready to let in yet. She felt obligated to be friends with them and even though they were different kinds of people, she wasn’t ready to try or be pushed into another obligation.
  4. What do you think it was about Allyson’s class performance of Rosalind from As You Like It that caused Dee to approach Allyson and forgive her?
    I think Dee could see how much of Allyson was really in that performance. He knows Shakespeare and he could see ALL of the emotion behind it. Dee knew something was up with her and through her performance, all of the pieces sort of fell into place.
  5. By beginning her search for Willem, in what ways did you see Allyson growing as an individual? What life-lessons was she acquiring?
    She was FINALLY starting to stand up for herself and stand up to her parents… To make her own decisions… To not feel pressure from others to sway her one way or the other. She also made the decision to finally find Willem and either be with him or move on — Whatever it ended up being. She faced the possibly frightening future and allowed herself to go all in, whether that meant it ended well or not. I think either way their story ended in Just One Day (even though I already know now) that Allyson would have been okay if she found him or if she didn’t. She had already grown a lot just to make that decision in the first place!

HOLY. COW. We are starting the read along for JUST ONE YEAR next week!!! I’ll be posting the questions for week one of the read along on Friday 10/18 and then we start reading! Let me know if you’ll be joining in the comments below! I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks!

JUST ONE YEAR:
October 18th: Questions week 1
October 23rd: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
October 30th: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
November 6th: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
November 13th: Answers week 4, wrap-up

Just One Day/Gayle Forman Read Along – Weeks 1 & 2

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Time to start the read along for JUST ONE DAY! Well, continue it for those of you who were actually on time! My biggest apologies for being late on this one. Life has just been SO incredibly busy that I had to finish a couple current reads before picking up JUST ONE DAY for the read along. All is well now though and I’m hopping in on week TWO of the JUST ONE DAY read along!

Jenna Does Books is our lovely host for this leg of the Gayle Forman Read Along! She’s been a fantastic host for us so far with some really great questions! Better late than never, here are my answers for weeks one and two!

September 18th (Chapters 1-9): Questions week 1
September 25th (Chapters 10-19): Answers week 1, questions week 2
October 2nd (Chapters 20-29): Answers week 2, questions week 3
October 9th (Chapters 30-39): Answers week 3, questions week 4
October 16th: Answers week 4, Recap, Winner Announcement

QUESTIONS: WEEK 1

  1. At the start of Just One Year, Allyson, a girl just out of high school, attempts to “reinvent” herself by cutting off her long, dark hair. Have you ever “reinvented” yourself, either physically or as a break in your usual routine? Why?
    I actually haven’t done much reinventing… Really for two totally opposing reasons (seriously. I’m nuts) — One is because I’m not gusty enough. I’ve felt a lot like Allyson many times where I want to do what’s right — or more so, I want to do what pleases other people. I haven’t “reinvented” myself or done much of anything due to the fact that I’m afraid how people might perceive me. The other reason — and totally opposite — is that I’m mostly happy with the way I am! Well, now, that is. I have gone through a lot of personal “transformations”, if you will, but most of them have been very gradual and very beneath the surface. I haven’t really had to reinvent much because it’s not until after I’ve already changed that I notice how different I used to be.
  2. When we first meet Allyson, she is an all-American “good girl” who has just undergone a European Tour. But other than her hair, she is no different than she was in high school. On the other hand, Melanie has managed to reinvent herself, turning from a “good girl” to a party-all-night flirt. What did you think of the ease with which Melanie reinvents herself?
    I actually got the impression that Melanie was always more outgoing than Allyson and maybe it’s because we as readers have already met her after her transformation, but even as a re-read, I still didn’t realize that she was a “good girl” before. I guess that makes sense, but since Allyson was so much more of a good girl, I just never even gave another thought to Melanie’s former persona! In my opinion, I think Melanie was probably already leaning towards letting her hair down. It probably wouldn’t have been such a quick transition otherwise!
  3. After watching Twelfth Night at the waterfront, Allyson finds herself at a morose standstill. The play is over, but Allyson continues to clap and clap, hoping to make the moment last, so lost was she in the play. She hesitates to return to her “normal” life, associating the play (and also movies) with a “greater” reality. Have you ever felt the same, that a movie, play or book seemed more “real” than your own life?
    Ummmm, all of the Gayle Forman books? Haha. WHERE SHE WENT and JUST ONE DAY were pretty emotional experiences for me as well as Sarah Ockler’s THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS. I had a SERIOUS book hangover with that one, so much so that I was reliving it for at least a good day or two. As far as movies go…. Okay, honestly — The Notebook haha. It’s such an obvious response and typical girl, but it’s so true. It was a movie I really connected with because until I met Shane, that’s how all of my relationships went — Something I thought was SO REAL and then it ended suddenly and then… I was left hanging in the open waiting for something to somehow pick up again. Of course, that’s not the EXACT same story as The Notebook, but it has the same general feeling of an abrupt ending to a relationship that may or may not ever pick up again. Much like the feelings of Adam in WHERE SHE WENT and Allyson in JUST ONE DAY! (Gayle just GETS ME.)
  4. When Allyson decides to go with Willem to Paris, Melanie is not happy. It seemed as though, even though Melanie was trying to encourage Allyson to change, when Allyson actually did something adventurous, Melanie still wasn’t happy. Do you think maybe Melanie liked having a friend who was more serious so she could be the exciting one?
    Hmmm, I actually think that could be for many reasons. I think Melanie liked being the spontaneous one and the one who had the big adventures, yes. But I also think it’s that it wasn’t Melanie dropping Allyson for better plans — it was Allyson dropping Melanie and their plans. I’m sure although Melanie is excited for Allyson to have a big adventure, that means that she is now inconvenienced and she has to alter HER plans for someone else for once instead of people hovering around her. I also think that she’s genuinely worried for Allyson. It’s one thing to go out to the bars with the Teen Tours! kids. It’s another to send your best friend off with a stranger to a foreign country with no way to communicate with her.
  5. At this point in the book, who do you find yourself more similar to? Allyson or Melanie? Why?
    I actually think I was more similar Melanie as a high schooler/college student and more like Allyson as an adult. Seems like it should be the opposite, right? But I feel like I was much more outgoing and social when I was younger. Even as an adult, I’m STILL worried about keeping the status quo with my parents and keeping my parents happy… I am a lot different than I was as a teenager and not in the sense that I’ve made backwards progress since we see Allyson’s change from worrier to making her own decisions). I think that as an adult, I’m more careful with how I interact with people. I try to think of people more often and that makes me more careful. I much more of a homebody than I used to be. I am now like Allyson was then — I would have been the person to stay in the hotel room while everyone else went out drinking. Back in college, of course, I was the Melanie, but I think I’m more of a pre-Paris Allyson now.
  6. Allyson seems to experience more with Willem over the span of just one day in Paris than she did during her entire European tour throughout the summer. What do you think it is about Willem (or this one day) that brings out the adventurous side of Allyson?
    Well, for one. It’s an unguided, unscheduled tour. Allyson gets to see the raw Paris, the real Paris and not just some canned tour that the program put together to cram education and information into teenagers’ heads. Secondly… HI. Willem is a cute boy. A FOREIGN cute boy. He’s a stranger. He’s exciting. He’s unpredictable and whether Allyson realizes it or not is purely changing her life just by talking to her and being around her. She’s never known someone like him before. Thirdly: Willem is adventurous and he doesn’t keep a schedule and he’s a free spirit. Just being around that kind of nature is bound to draw out the adventurous side in Allyson too.

 

QUESTIONS: WEEK 2

  1. Time seems to be a major topic in Just One Day, especially after we learn about the origin of Allyson’s watch, which was given to her by her parents. What do you think is the significance of Allyson’s watch? Does is represent who Allyson is as a person at this point in the story?
    The presence of Allyson’s watch seems to represent the “old Allyson” — the one that revolved around time and schedules and things that made other people happy, but not her. When Willem has her watch, she’s free of time, so to speak. She’s free of obligations. I also like that when she doesn’t have her watch, her birthmark is exposed. It’s almost like a subtle symbol of the Allyson that doesn’t feel judged and is free to be herself instead of covering it up!
  2. Do you think Allyson reacted too quickly when she woke up and Willem wasn’t there?
    Didn’t she try to wait a bit? Darn, I even re-read and I don’t remember haha. It’s so hard to say what I would do if I were in Allyson’s position. Would I have waited hours for him to come back? Would I have immediately panicked and went looking for him? It’s hard because Allyson always had that feeling that this whole trip was a joke, that he was using her or that he was just playing her, so I can see why she would leave quickly. She was quick to jump to conclusions the whole trip so it kind of makes sense!
  3. How would you have reacted if you woke up in a foreign country to find the person who brought you there suddenly gone?
    Oops, looks like I answered this one too soon! To be honest, I probably would have panicked. It probably would have been the kind of panic where I worry and cry all day until it’s hours later and I realize he’s not coming back. Then again… Stuck in a loft where you know you don’t belong and absolutely nothing to do all day, I might try to leave and wait on the street somewhere. It’s hard to say! I know I would be majorly panicking though!
  4. Everyone seems to know what they want for Allyson. Do you see any similarity in the way Allyson handles conflict with her parents and with Melanie?
    I think Allyson is just avoiding everything. It almost seems like she doesn’t know how to handle going back to her old life and she knows she’s unhappy but doesn’t know how to get back out of this slump without being in Europe or just AWAY. She probably needs more time to go discover herself than just one day (see what I did there?) and honestly… She probably COULD do that in college… But it’s not the same monumental change that she maybe needs to push herself that far.
  5. How do you feel about the direction Allyson’s life is going during her first few months in college? Do you find yourself sympathizing with her, or do you want to shake her in order to help her wake up?
    A little bit of both, actually. Sometimes I felt like she needs to snap out of it! But then again…. I can totally understand. She didn’t just lose Willem… She lost a sense of freedom, a sense of hope. And she was left totally in the dark as to why. It doesn’t seem traumatic, but it really was to Allyson.

Re-Read: Where She Went (If I Stay #2) – Gayle Forman

Re-Read: Where She Went (If I Stay #2) – Gayle FormanTitle: Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman
Publishing Info: April 5, 2011 by Penguin
Source: Amazon
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 2, 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), 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

Picking up several years after the dramatic conclusion of If I Stay, Where She Went continues the story of Adam and Mia, from Adam's point of view. Ever since Mia's decision to stay - but not with him - Adam's career has been on a wonderful trajectory. His album, borne from the anguish and pain of their breakup, has made him a bona fide star. And Mia herself has become a top-rate cellist, playing in some of the finest venues in the world. When their respective paths put them both in New York City at the same time, the result is a single night in which the two reunite -- with wholly satisfying results. 

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I am SO glad that I re-read WHERE SHE WENT. I remember adoring both IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT the first time around, but I had forgotten how emotional these two books were, especially picking up Adam’s point of view in WHERE SHE WENT.

Adam’s point of view is so… raw. He doesn’t hold anything back in his narration and I really felt everything he was feeling — small and … well, enormous. He’s got some BIG FEELS in this book. Sometimes it was hard to watch and to see him in that much pain and constantly try to push it down or shove it away. For reasons I can’t explain, I feel like it was that much more emotional because it was a male POV. You guys… Adam is 100% my favorite male POV of all YA. No wait. Of all time. His voice is so genuine and I feel like reading WHERE SHE WENT from his point of view captures all of the feelings that he’s holding back from the entire world. That’s pretty big stuff.

I love catching up with Mia and Adam three years later and seeing where they are in their lives. This is a pretty significant jump in time from where we left off in IF I STAY, but Gayle Forman knew what she was doing. This is where the real story picks up again and we get a lot of the details from what happened in the past three years in flashbacks. Now usually, I don’t like flashbacks. Actually, no, that’s not true. Usually I’m very picky with flashbacks because a lot of the time I feel like they’re not necessary and could have been summed up in dialogue or recounted by the main character. I do, however, love the flashbacks in IF I STAY/WHERE SHE WENT. They felt totally natural to the story and contained a lot of important information that we need to know for the present-day story.

Once again, I find that music supplements a story to help draw me in even more. Just that one instance where Adam borrows an iPod and scrolls through a playlist… When I see music I love in a book or I can just hear a single song and imagine the characters listening to that one as well, somehow I just get that connection and it really adds to my reading experience. As far as the Shooting Star music goes, I could take it or leave it. I usually don’t get anything from fabricated lyrics because I have no connection to them… It doesn’t usually detract from the book, but it doesn’t really do anything for me!

I get ALL THE FEELS from WHERE SHE WENT. I loved every second of my re-read and I really enjoyed the male POV from Adam. Everything was so emotional and raw and it was just a really different feel for me. So glad I got to re-read this one!

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Adam Wilde // Character Obsessions: Songwriting, numbing the pain, getting through the day.
Poor Adam. But oh, I love him! His emotions in this book were so incredibly strong and I loved that instead of him feeling closed off — like he is to the world — the audience in WHERE SHE WENT really gets to see every little bit, every piece, every emotion that he goes through. WSW solidified him as one of my favorite male characters of all time (for the second time).
Mia Hall // Character Obsessions: Cello, Julliard, remembering her family.
Mia feels totally different in WSW. Not in a bad way like “wow, this is a totally different character” but more that I can see what she went through and those strong pieces that were always there are now the more obvious ones than her shy side. I think I just loved Adam so much that Mia really took a backseat for me!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Adam Wilde. I cannot believe I ever forgot how much I love Adam Wilde. This re-read of IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT totally rekindled that love and helped me not to forget!
Left Me Wanting More: Adam Wilde? Haha that’s not fair to say is it? I could read many, many more books with him as the main character/narrator. I absolutely love his POV and I wish I could read so much more of it!

Addiction Rating
BUY IT… NOW!

WHERE SHE WENT is pretty brilliant… One of the best sequels/companion novels out there. Gayle’s writing is flawless in the book and I loved every minute of this re-read.

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Books Like WHERE SHE WENT!

     The Beginning of Everything - Robyn Schneider      Just One Day

You can also check out my post “12 Books to Read If You Liked IF I STAY” for more recommendations!