Tag Archives: Gayle Forman

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!

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

Re-read: Just One Day (Just One Day #1) – Gayle Forman

Re-read: Just One Day (Just One Day #1) – Gayle FormanTitle: Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman
Publishing Info: January 8, 2013 by Penguin
Source: Anderson's Bookshop
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary, New Adult, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 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), Where She Went (If I Stay #2), Just One Night (Just One Day #2.5), I Was Here, Leave Me, I Have Lost My Way

Allyson Healey's life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life. A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know. The first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!

bookreview1

Pretty much ever since I finished JUST ONE DAY, I had been dying for a re-read. Between this book and IF I STAY/WHERE SHE WENT, it was really the reason I started the Gayle Forman Read Along — I needed a good, solid reason to re-read when I was drowning in books I still haven’t read. Ever since I first finished JUST ONE DAY back in December of last year, I felt like I NEEDED to read it again. I had connected with it so much the first time around but I needed to reach out and make that connection again. I needed to fall in love and get heartbroken all over again. I needed to remember what was so special about this book for me.

I think one of the most interesting things about re-reading this book was that it was RIGHT after I had met Gayle Forman. (I died. I was SO nervous.) I was actually a bit thrown off by her speech at the Anderson’s YA Lit conference because she talked about JUST ONE DAY and JUST ONE YEAR more as Allyson and Willem’s journeys of finding and discovering themselves more than any part of this romance and I was like, “WHAT!? Gayle, you’re crazy! These are hands down love stories.” (Okay, I didn’t actually say that.) Obviously they’re still love stories and hi, I swoon. I melt. But hearing that from Gayle and then re-reading JUST ONE DAY (which I had actually just started before that conference) had totally changed how I viewed this book — in a good way.

I’m just going to come out and say it: I’m a review buffer. I knew I loved Gayle Forman and I knew I did love reading JUST ONE DAY… But… I don’t think I knew exactly WHY I was giving it five stars my first read around except for the fact that I wanted to. I knew I felt a connection, but I didn’t exactly know specifically why other than the fact that I knew I was going to love it. The magic of re-reading JUST ONE DAY opened my eyes to everything that I wasn’t sure of the first time around. I knew that JOD was not only about Allyson & Willem but also about Allyson’s self-discovery and that was just SO much more apparent to me this time around. Allyson didn’t just fall into a depression after her Europe trip because of Willem — she missed that part of herself that was free and independent and fulfilling. I think I passed up a lot of those moments when I first read this book because I was looking for a heart-breaking romance and I missed one of the main points of the book.

I also really got to appreciate all of the Shakespeare references and allusions so much more. Not like I’ve brushed up on my Shakespeare since my last read, but I think that re-reading, I was less anxious to get to the end and see what happens (since I already knew), so I got to really take my time and drink up every single word on the page. I read into the Shakespeare ties and saw exactly how much these plays paralleled what was going on in Allyson’s life as well. There were so many underlying themes that I appreciated so much more the second time around and I was kind of fascinated how closely the book followed these themes in the selected Shakespeare plays!

JUST ONE DAY was exactly what I needed before I started the much-anticipated JUST ONE YEAR. It also rekindled my thirst to write for which I cannot thank Gayle enough. Her writing is truly an inspiration to me and on a personal note, it’s made my WIP feel like a real book for the first time when before it was just random paragraphs that had little cohesiveness. It was such a pleasure to read this book again and create an even deeper connection than I had before!

character_breakdown1

Allyson/”Lulu” // Character Obsessions: Time, responsibility… Paris, Lulu.
I absolutely connected with Allyson during my first read but I made such a deeper connection with her this time around. I had totally identified with her in regards to meeting, falling in love with, and then losing Willem, but I got to experience her personal journey of self-transformation so much more in my re-read. I ended up feeling so proud of the changes she made to her own life to finally make herself happy instead of trying to be the “good girl” and please everyone else. It’s something I STILL struggle with in my own life so it was really great to see her character make this sort of full transformation.
Willem De Ruiter // Character Obsessions: Lulu, ladies, traveling, being a free spirit.  
I probably shouldn’t have liked Willem as much as I did the first time around because even though Allyson may have been the tiniest bit paranoid, she really wasn’t that far off. Willem has a lot of ladies. Of course, none of them were the connection he had with Allyson, but even still, he was kind of a ladies’ man and/or player soooo. There’s that. But I think I always knew that Allyson was the catalyst that started his change as well, even though we didn’t really know Willem in JUST ONE DAY since we only had Allyson’s side of the story. I think I just had a lot of hope for him and I could feel that he was changing with her just as she was changing with him.
addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Shakespeare. I still haven’t read much Shakespeare (okay, I haven’t read ANY since high school), but I loved the way it blended into this book. Allyson’s life sort of parallels those themes from As You Like It and select other plays and it really make Shakespeare more accessible to me. It made me WANT to read these plays. There was a statement somewhere in the book about transcending from the words to the feelings in the plays and when you make that emotional connection, you sort of gloss over the language and it all becomes accessible and I’ve always been so held up by the language and technicality of it that I was afraid to go back and try again. I think I’d really like to try to read As You Like It now that I know more about it from JUST ONE DAY and see if I can make that connection as well.
Left Me Wanting More: Of Willem’s story, obviously. I quickly resolved that by reading JUST ONE YEAR, of course, but honestly, when I first read JUST ONE DAY, I did rate it five stars but still felt the tiniest bit of SOMETHING missing. Re-reading it, I felt like I really connected on all levels and it just made me fall in love with it in so many more ways than I already had.

Addiction Rating
BUY IT!

If you’re already read JUST ONE DAY, I highly suggest re-reading this one. I think going back through it helped me pick up so much more of those underlying themes and “missed connections”, if you will. If you haven’t read it yet, I really suggest it! (Clearly!)

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE JUST ONE DAY

(Click the cover to see my review!)

          The Beginning of Everything            Anna and the French Kiss

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

GFReadAlong_edited-2

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. 

bookreview1

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!

character_breakdown1

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!

addiction_factor1

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.

book_recommendations1

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!

 

Where She Went/Gayle Forman Read Along – Week 4

GFReadAlong_edited-2

Welcome to the first post in the WHERE SHE WENT read along, the third leg on the GAYLE FORMAN READ ALONG! A big thanks to Alexa at Alexa Loves Books for hosting this leg. You can find the schedule, questions, and chapter breakdown at her blog.

Week 1: August 15-21: Chapters 1-6
Week 2: August 22-28: Chapters 7-12
Week 3: August 29 – September 4: Chapters 13-18
Week 4: September 5-11: Chapters 19-23

We’ve just read the chapters for Week 4 of the read along and if you missed the questions or need help with any details, Alexa’s got it all for you!

Another big thanks to Alexa for hosting this leg of the Gayle Forman read along!! I had an absolutely amazing time re-reading Where She Went and the questions from this read along just had it an even better experience!

QUESTIONS: WEEK 4

In friendships or relationships, the two people in question have a common obsession most of the time. For Adam and Mia, it’s music. Tell me about an example of that in your own life, whether that be with your lover, best friend or family!
Shane and I both love traveling. I don’t know if I’d call it an obsession but it’s something that we both really enjoy and it’s become something that we do together — for holidays, celebrations, weekends, or special occasions — it’s something that’s become really important to us and something we love doing together. I think at times, we can both be pretty shy. At other times, we can both be pretty indecisive. So when we travel, it’s a time for us to experience something new together and have our own adventures!

Adam’s knowledge of Mia’s obsession with music was what prompted his split second decision to play Yo Yo Ma to remind her of it. How do you feel about their relationship armed with this new knowledge?
It shows that they really know each other and that even if Adam doesn’t know the perfect cello music to pick, he knows that that’s what Mia needs to hear. He knows that’s what will make her feel better. That’s where her heart belongs. That’s her comfort music and her home.

A good cry is necessary sometimes. Do you agree or disagree?
Oh, I totally agree. (I may or may not have had a good cry with this book.) Sometimes a good cry lets out old stress (or current stress) and it’s a way for me to get rid of emotions I’ve been holding in. Sometimes you just need to cry it out!

Mia’s big revelation — her gift to Adam — changes everything. With this new knowledge, how do you feel about Mia?
I love that Mia’s been thinking about Adam this whole time. I feel like… You know, I always knew it. WARM FUZZIES.

What so you think lies in the future for Adam and Mia? Will their history — together and apart — affect it in anyway?
They need to be together. They just do. After everything that they’ve been through, it’d be silly for them to reunite and then separate again. Mia and Adam. The dream team!

Sorry for the short answers this week. The end of Where She Went was so perfect and yet kind of wrecked me at the same time. 

Thanks again to Alexa for hosting WHERE SHE WENT! Next week, Jenna Does Books hosts the JUST ONE DAY read along! Join us to read (or re-read) before I host JUST ONE YEAR in October! Make sure you check out her intro post and join us for the emotion ride that is JUST ONE DAY!

Re-Read: If I Stay (If I Stay #1) – Gayle Forman

Re-Read: If I Stay (If I Stay #1) – Gayle FormanTitle: If I Stay (If I Stay #1) by Gayle Forman
Publishing Info: April 2, 2009 by Penguin
Source: Amazon
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 11, 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, 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

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck... A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

bookreview1

Gayle Forman is one of my all-time favorite authors and also a great writing inspiration. The beauty and emotion captured in her books are the reason I started the Gayle Forman Read Along… Well that and I needed a good excuse to re-read all of them because I’ve been meaning to do so ever since I finished JUST ONE DAY.

Re-reading IF I STAY was an interesting experience. I was really glad I got to share it with the people on the read along because there were some people reading not only IF I STAY for the first time, but any of Gayle Forman’s books for the first time! It was just really great to see them experience that. But also, one of my main fears of re-reading was that I wasn’t going to like it as much as my first read. While that kind of ended up happening in a way, I also fell in love with the book all over again.

It’s true that I didn’t enjoy IF I STAY as much as when I first read it. On my first read, I was simply blown away. It was the first Gayle Forman book I ever read and of course the beauty of her writing just swept me away, but I also think (and have discussed with other read along-ers!) that part of the reason I wasn’t as amazed on the re-read is because I knew exactly what was coming in Mia’s story. The initial read has a sort of suspense whether Mia will choose to stay or go, the surprise of the initial accident, and just little moments that a first-time reader isn’t expecting. I think all of those elements on a first read really makes the book amazing. It’s still gorgeous and heartbreaking and bittersweet the second time around, but those little surprises really make up a sizable chunk of a “wow factor” for this book.

Some things that I was able to pick up on my re-read that I hadn’t on my first read: a small little  hint at SISTERS IN SANITY! Mia makes a mention of a Portland band called Clod which was Brit’s band in SISTERS IN SANITY. I absolutely loved that because so much of SISTERS IN SANITY reminded me of IF I STAY. Obviously I had no idea on my first read since I only read SIS a couple months ago so I really, really enjoyed how those two books tied together! Very clever, Gayle!
I also think that already knowing the ending of the book helped me slow down and really get into the characters and their relationships. Whenever I get excited about the end of a book, I have this really bad habit where I can’t help but rush through what I’m reading to get to the end and see what the future holds in store for our characters. This being a re-read, the ending wasn’t a surprise to me so I really got to take my time and cherish the relationships that were blossoming as others ended, revel in Mia’s pain and sadness, observe things about characters and the setting that I hadn’t noticed before… I just really got to take in a lot more detail!

Um, HI — this also helped me rekindle my love of ADAM WILDE. Gayle……. thank you for Adam. I’ve already started the re-read of WHERE SHE WENT and I am SO in love with Adam. Of course, that’s a discussion for another day, but all of IF I STAY just really helped me remember how much I loved him and what a shame it was that I almost forgot!

If you haven’t read IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT yet, I highly recommend picking them up! They both instantly made me a Gayle Forman fan for life and will always hold a special place in my heart.

character_breakdown1

Mia Hall // Character Obsessions: Cello, spending time with her family, Adam Wilde.
Mia is such an interesting character for me. We get to know her (and her family) mostly through flashback stories as Mia is ultimately deciding whether to stay or to “go”. I feel like she’s two totally different people from before the accident and then after, which actually seems pretty natural considering what she went through (and sorry, I’m jumping there, already putting what I know from WHERE SHE WENT into play). She’s definitely always been a strong person, but there was always a little factor of doubt in her abilities and self-confidence. I think the accident changes her in the sense that she’s forced to appreciate what she has right in front of her (although that’s a bad way to put it because Mia really was always appreciative of her family) and not to let her self-doubt get in the way of anything she really wants.
Adam Wilde // Character Obsessions: Guitar, Shooting Star, music, Mia.
ADAM. Oh, Adam. He’s such a wonderful boyfriend to Mia and I absolutely melt when he interacts with Mia’s family, especially her younger brother Teddy. I love how he’s this edgy, almost-rock-star and he’s totally in love with a more conservative classical musician. They just fit together so well and their love of music really does bring them closer. I especially love that WHERE SHE WENT is from Adam’s perspective and… Well, we’ll get there!

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Gayle Forman. Oh, Gayle. I always love your books! I loved re-reading what made me first fall in love with Gayle Forman’s writing and lead to one of the ultimate book boyfriends, Adam Wilde!
Left Me Wanting More: Eh, not fair to say, but wow-factor. The re-read obviously wasn’t holding many surprises the second time around, but that’s purely because it’s a re-read!

Addiction Rating
BUY IT… NOW!

Oh, you guys know I could gush about Gayle Forman forever. Just do me a favor and buy IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT.

book_recommendations1

Books like IF I STAY!

     Where She Went      Just One Day

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