If you’re reading this review, I’m going to assume two things: first, that you’ve read the first book called Just One Day. And that you’re like me and obsessed about what-happens-after-he-opens-the-door ending of that book and couldn’t wait to get your hands on this followup.
And you won’t be totally disappointed. This is the story of the year after Paris from Willem’s point of view, starting the morning he left to get breakfast for Allyson, aka Lulu. You won’t get to relive the perfect day in Paris again, but he refers to it often. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to have your copy of Just One Day nearby, so you can compare a few near-misses (Mexico!) in Willem’s story.
I really liked learning about Willem’s story. In the first book, he’s this hot, mysterious boy who was well-traveled, liked trading life philosophies and spoke several languages, including flirt. But you got a sense he was treading in deeper water, and this book explores his history, family and unmooring from his childhood. What’s more of a rite of passage than that point in your life when you realize you can’t “go home” ever again.
Willem stumbles backwards into a lot of pretty awesome situations (Bollywood) and some bad spots (food poisoning in Mexico), in his journey to working out his lot in life and future. Is he even worthy of Lulu, who he’s built up as the most meaningful relationship ever?
And it all leads to, as we know, his eventual opening the door to Lulu, who introduces herself as Allyson. And we all freak out.
For months I created scenarios about what happens next. Is there a conversation? A kiss? A high-five? And I paid close attention to what month I was reading and how many pages were left. Was Gayle going to give us the answers?! Nope, that scene maintains its mystery. Gayle builds a vague sense of what lies in their futures, but she does not give you what you want in terms of that reunion.