Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release Date: October 10, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Just One Day series
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I absolutely loved Just One Day and was so excited to hear Wilhem’s side of the story. Well I definitely didn’t like this book as much as Just One Day. It was still engaging and well written, but the whole book made me like Wilhem a lot less.
When Wilhem wakes up in the ER after being attacked by Skinheads he knows he is forgetting something. Then he remembers what it is, Lulu. He spends the next year in an attempt to find Lulu. At times he is driven to find her, at others he kind of drifts around trying to find her. In the end what he really ends up finding is his own purpose.
This book is from Wilhem’s perspective. Wilhem basically has lost any purpose to his life. His dad recently died and when his dad died his mother moved back to India. Apparently Wilhem’s mother wasn’t really the motherly type, and she pretty much left Wilhem to his own devices. Wilhem has money, but what he doesn’t have is any sort of direction. He seriously drifts, from country to country, from girl to girl. As soon as he starts having commitments to anything, he leaves and goes somewhere else.
I think this book made me like Wilhem a lot less, the boy is a total playboy and bounces from one girl to the next throughout the story. Wilhem has literally left a trail of broken hearts across the world. Every girl he visits loves him and tries to change him and get him to commit. Wilhem’s only redeeming quality is that he truly seems to be pining for the mysterious Lulu and he really misses her.
Wilhem is truly and completely lost both in an emotional and geographical sense throughout this book. I did enjoy reading about him trying to find a purpose to his life and I enjoyed reading about all the different places he traveled. It was also very nice to see Wilhem finally visit his mother and start to mend fences with her.
I think the biggest fascination I have with this book is how Wilhem lives his life. He has tenuous ties all over the world but no real ties anywhere. He travels wherever he wants and sleeps on couches and rooms with ex-girlfriends without a lot of thought to how his presence (or sudden absence) affects them.
Like, Just One Day, this book wraps up very abruptly and at a huge cliffhanger. It basically ends at the same scene as Just One Day does. I haven’t heard about another book in this series, but it would be nice to get some closure around Allyson and Wilhem. Of course, I would understand if we don’t. These two books seem more about the characters’ journey to find their purpose than about a journey for two characters to find each other.
Overall engaging and well written, I enjoyed it. It was a hard book to put down and a quick read. I will say I didn’t like this book as much as Just One Day. Wilhem is quite the player when it comes to the ladies and it made me think less of him as a character. I did enjoy watching Wilhem find some purpose for his life though and I enjoyed reading about his travels. Recommended to those who enjoy contemporary young adult, especially about traveling. I hope there is one more book in this series, it would be nice to have more closure about Allyson and Wilhem.