Book Review: Just One Year by Gayle Forman

12842134Just One Year by Gayle Forman


“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.”

Jen’s Review

A truly perfect companion to Just One Day(If you haven’t read that book yet, goooo! What are you waiting for? Scoot, scoot!) Like its predecessor, Just One Year was moving, eye-opening, and one hundred percent entertaining. I couldn’t put it down all weekend. It. Was. Addicting.

My favorite thing about Just One Year was that it was from Willem’s POV. I didn’t feel like I really got to know him during Just One Day. He was there and then gone in the blink of an eye. And he’s such an enigmatic character. You want to be around him. You want to stay in his presence and learn all there is to know about him. So, it was satisfying to read his “side of the story” after his magical day in Paris with Lulu, and walk with him down his own path to self-discovery.

What made this book even better was the added element of knowledge. We already know the ending, and we already know what Lulu’s side of the story is. So that means we already know the consequences of Willem’s decisions and actions–how each one will lead him away from Lulu, rather than closer to her…And trust me, there are parts where the two of them are literally feet apart and don’t know it. It was wonderfully frustrating and made their reunion at the end all the sweeter.

My only, only, only nitpick: I’d hoped for a longer reunion between Willem and Lulu at the end. The only time we’ve gotten to spend with them together was during the first half of Just One Day (not even a full half, actually). Surely it wouldn’t have hurt to add a few extra pages or even a chapter to give the reader a chance to enjoy being in their shared presence again?

 I guess Gayle Forman will just have to write one more book about Willem and Lulu/Allyson? She can call it, Just One More…Yes, that sounds good. Let’s do this. Get out those magical typing fingers, Gayle! 😉

This is an outstanding book you won’t want to miss. Read it!

Read it, read it, read it, read it!

 Jen’s Rating

4 Star

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

8490112Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor


“Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.
When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?”

Jen’s Review

As a book nerd, one of my least favorite questions is, “What’s your favorite book?” It’s an impossible question to answer. I don’t have a favorite book. But I do have favorites. And Daughter of Smoke & Bone is one of them.

When I first started reading Daughter of Smoke & Bone, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. Simply put, it was weird. The protagonist, Karou, rocked blue hair, liked to draw monstrous creatures in her sketchbook, and collected teeth from both animals and humans. Yes, teeth. However, I quickly fell in love with the weirdness. It was hard not to when the characters were so likable, the premise so original, and the writing so skillfully done. And let’s not forget the fiery-eyed angel, Akiva. Oh Akiva…Ladies, he’s a book crush waiting to happen. Trust me!

Just take my word for it. Daughter of Smoke & Bone has everything a story should have: depth, romance, wit and adventure.

Jen’s Rating

5 Star

Read more about Daughter of Smoke & Bone here.