Title: Where She Went
Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: YA fiction, contemporary fiction
Publisher: Dutton Books
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: ARC from the publisher
First line: Every morning I wake up and I tell myself this: It’s just one day, one twenty-four-hour period to get yourself through.
Three years have passed since Mia decided to stay, decided to live. And three years since she left for Julliard, leaving Adam and their relationship behind. Adam’s band has become a huge hit during those three years. He’s living the rock star life he always dreamed of – and he’s miserable. Adam and Mia meet in New York City the night before they both are leaving the country. Is one night long enough to get the answers he’s been seeking for three years?
I was extremely excited when I discovered that Gayle Forman was writing a sequel to If I Stay – excited, and apprehensive. Could it possibly be as good? And would I enjoy a book told from Adam’s point of view as much as I loved reading Mia’s story? I need not have worried. Forman has given us the next chapter in the Adam and Mia story, and written the story in the same simple, elegant style as her previous novel. Adam has much to reveal about the three years since Mia’s accident, as well as the background of his and Mia’s relationship. I couldn’t stop turning the pages, and devoured this book over the course of two days.
The book alternates between chapters in the present time and chapters that explore what has happened to Adam during the time since book one. He is a wreck. After Mia left him, he poured his anger and hurt into writing angst-filled songs that resonated with the fans of his band – but they didn’t purge him of the pain. Neither did the rock star lifestyle he thought he had always wanted. Because no matter how famous or rich he becomes, he can’t shake the questions, the need to know why Mia left him.
One of my favorite things about both of these books is the way Forman writes about music. She gets what music is to these two people – the way it feeds them, drives them, even hurts them at times. The scenes that involve music are, beyond a doubt, the strongest in Where She Went.
Fans of If I Stay need not worry: Where She Went is a worthy follow-up, giving not only Adam, but fans, resolution. Adam and Mia are two characters who will stay with me for a long, long time.