Book Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

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.

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14 Responses to Book Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

  1. bermudaonion (Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion
    says:

    I have this book but want to read If I Stay first. I’m glad to see it’s just as good.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Kathy – yes, you should definitely read If I Stay first – they’re both wonderful!

  2. Melissa
    Twitter: avidreader12
    says:

    I posted on this recently and I loved it! I agree it was a wonderful follow up to If I stay and gave so much more insight into the main characters. Great review!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Melissa – I really look forward to whatever she writes next – she’s a wonderful author.

  3. S. Krishna
    Twitter: skrishna
    says:

    I loved IF I STAY, and I, too, was apprehensive about the idea of a sequel. I’m so glad it worked well! I’ll definitely be reading it soon.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Swapna – I know – at first I really wished she wouldn’t write a sequel, but now I am so glad she did.

  4. Marg
    Twitter: MargReads
    says:

    Lots of people have been raving about how good this book is lately. I have If I Stay waiting for me to pick up from the library at the moment. I have high hopes for both books.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Marg – I’m glad you’re going to get a chance to read If I Stay! Hope you don’t have to wait too long for this one, either. šŸ™‚

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  6. ComaCalm
    Twitter: ComaCalm
    says:

    Me and Christina are hosting a Read Along for this book and I was wondering if you or anyone else would be interested? You can find out more about it here:

    http://comacalm.blogspot.com/p/read-along.html

    Sorry to bother you!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      ComaCalm – I already read it, but I will definitely link to our read-along in my Saturday links post. šŸ™‚

      • ComaCalm
        Twitter: ComaCalm
        says:

        Thank you! That’s the idea – everyone who’s read the book gets together and discusses it! Like a book club but more flexible.

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