Review: Where She Went – Gayle Forman

Review: Where She Went – Gayle FormanWhere She Went by Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay #2
Published by Speak
Published: April 17th 2012
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five-stars

It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

Review

I first fell in love with Mia and Adam’s stories when I read both If I Stay and Where She Went back in April of 2011. It was my first experience with Gayle Forman’s writing and I was head over heels for it. She wrote a heartbreaking story that made me feel sad and uplifted and broken and emotionally drained and hopeful all in the span of two books. She hit on all the right spots and I just fell in love. And then I saw the If I Stay movie and all of those emotions came back. I left the theater knowing one thing, I had to read Where She Went again. I had to go back to Adam’s story. And the truth is, I had all the same emotions coursing through me as I did the first time I read it, only this time it felt more real, like I knew these characters and I was an actual part of their story.

Where She Went is the second part of the If I Stay duology. It’s been three years since the accident that took away Mia’s family and Adam is off living his dream. He’s won awards, had platinum records, and a tour on the way. But Adam is no longer the same guy he was. His life is the shadow of what it should be and it all traces back to the accident that changed everything he believed in. Now he was a broken guy no longer in love with the music he used to eat, slept and dreamed about. Instead he is a guy just floating by. And then a random, chance encounter changes everything. And the past that Adam thought he was over and had left behind is suddenly right in his face leaving him no choice but to deal with his demons and decide if the past should be left in the past.

So when I read this book the first time I didn’t review it. I had a really hard time putting it into words and I don’t want to spoil either book for anyone. But I just need to get it out there how amazing this follow-up truly is. The truth is if I thought I was demolished by Mia’s story in If I Stay, that was nothing compared to Adam. Where She Went took the feels to a whole other level. My heart just ached for him and everything that had unraveled in his life. How he had to look put together almost all the time when he was just a mess inside. Basically Adam killed me in this book in the kind of way that was a punch to the gut. He just seemed so alone and detached and I hated seeing him that way. But I also understood it. Between the pressure and the guilt and the grief and the heartache he was desperate to not feel so alone which he always did even if he was in a room full of people. Adam was missing one thing and it was his heart which was shattered on a snowy road in Oregon years before. Killed me!

With all that said Where She Went is one of the most beautiful books I’ve read and read reread and that is a testament to Forman and the way she writes a book to make it feel real, how you feel a part of the story. I was affected the first time I read this book, but even more the second time. It felt a part of me and it left me feeling like things sometimes had a way of figuring themselves on their own. If you haven’t read either if these books I highly recommend that you do.

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  1. I completely agree! This book gutted me even more than Mia’s – Adam wears his emotions so blatantly, that it’s impossible not to feel *everything* that he does. And I hated what Mia did to him. (So, so satisfied with that ending though… my shipper heart can rest in piece).

    Great review, Andi! I don’t blame you not being able to review it the first time. 🙂

  2. I just loved Where She Went. If I Stay was really good, but WSW absolutely stole my heart and took my breath away. I just loved it so very much, and fell even harder for Adam when I read it! I too wanted to reread it post-viewing If I Stay, and your review has definitely convinced me that it’s a must!

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