Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Just One Last Comment

Click for my thoughts on Just One Day and its sequel, Just One Year.

For the most part, I enjoyed Gayle Forman's two book set, Just One Day and Just One Year. It was a love story, but also a story of self-discovery and identity. The two books complemented each other well and they told everything about the story that needed to be told. But at the same time, when you reach the ending, you want just a tiny bit more. You want confirmation of what will happen in just the next hour or day or so, just that.

So that's where this ebook-only novella comes in. Just One Night. Although that title goes along with the "Just One" trend of the two full books . . . I'm not a big fan of it. Again, it sounds not just like a love story but like a romance--which is maybe what this novella morphs into by the end. A tad too much, I would say. Amazon says it's about 43 pages, so it is short. I wouldn't call it so much a novella as an epilogue. You have to think of it as an epilogue, not as a stand-alone story.

Stylistically, it's a little problematic for something so short. Or maybe it is problematic because it is so short; I don't know. But while the two books were told from the first person, this one is from the third person and it switches (sometimes rather quickly) between persons. It isn't just Willem and Allyson, either; we also hear from the other characters, and it's kind of a lot for just one short space. The words don't always flow as naturally as Gayle Forman's writing usually does. And given that she has such a talent for beautiful writing and expression, that's a bit disappointing, even for "just a novella."

But all my complaints aside, it was nice to have just one last moment with these characters, just one last glance to see that they were happy and ready to move into the future. To know that they had grown throughout the space of pages and that they were going to continue to grow and to do and to live. After all, it is "just a novella."

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