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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Title: Where She Went
Series: If I Stay Book 2
Author: Gayle Forman

Release Date: 1st April 2011

My Rating: 5/5

It's been three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life. And there years he's spent wondering why.

When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.

Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good - or can you really have a second chance at first love?

What I thought of If I Stay:
"This is a beautiful and heart-wrenching story that is not only about love, but also about what makes a family, the meaning of friendship and the magic of music."

My Review:
I'm warning you now, this is going to be a long review because I absolutely loved everything about Where She Went. It picks up three years after Mia awoke from her coma in If I Stay and, unlike If I Stay, Where She Went is entirely from Adam's perspective.

Adam is in pain. After his band became the biggest thing in the music biz, thanks to the songs he wrote about the hurt and confusion he suffered after Mia left, Adam is hounded day and night by reporters and the paparazzi. Everyone wants to know the story behind the music, but Adam and the band aren't talking. Adam just wants to be left in peace. His love of music has dwindled and he floats through life with the aid of prescription drugs and cigarettes to calm his nerves and anxiety. He's lost all connection to everyone around him, including the band and always feels alone, even when he is surrounded by people.

I can't help but think about how, when I was younger, I'd read about the legions of artists who imploded - Morrison, Joplin, Cobain, Hendrix. They disgusted me. They got what they wanted and then what did they do? Drugged themselves to oblivion. Or shot their heads off. What a bunch of assholes.

Well, take a look at yourself now. You're no junkie but you're not much better.

Adam is heartbroken and I found it really interesting to experience this from a male's point of view, as most YA's I read where someone is suffering, is from a female perspective. Throughout the book, we are given the opportunity to see back before Mia's accident and see some of Adam's memories, but also what has been happening with him, and how Mia's accident changed his life, up until the point where we meet up with him in New York. I was really pleased to see Forman explore the effect the accident had on Adam because while what happened to Mia was terrible, people often forget or don't even notice the effect an accident can have on those around the victim.

Where She Went is an emotional roller-coaster ride for Adam and I really wanted him to burst out with his feelings of pain and abandonment to Mia as soon as he saw her, but of course then we wouldn't have a story or the anticipation of waiting to find out what was going through Mia's mind when she left. When she does finally relinquish her reasons, everything comes crashing down around Adam and he has to face some truths he has tried to forget. Quite often I found I had a lump in my throat and towards the end I really had to stop myself from letting some tears leak out.

Mia's words rattle something loose in me and suddenly there are tears all over my damn face again. I haven't cried in three years and now this is like the second time in as many days.

"It's my turn to see you through," she whispers, coming back to me and wrapping me in her blanket as I lose my shit all over again. She holds me until I recover my Y chromosome.

I am totally and completely in love. Not only with this masterpiece of a sequel that Gayle Forman has written but also with Adam; oh how I fall for musicians! And yay for young adult novels with older protagonists (Adam and Mia are now twenty-one). Forman has also spoiled us by including lyrics from Adam's songs at the beginning of each chapter. Where She Went surpasses the brilliance of If I Stay, has a place on my all-time favourites list, and is my current favourite contemporary book of the year.

On a personal note, I love that now, having visited America, I get so much more out of a book as my own experiences help enrich the story. When Adam and Mia wander through New York and different places are mentioned, my own memories of those places come flowing back. I love reading books that are set in cities I have visited. I had the same gushy feelings when I read Anna and the French Kiss.

What I say next basically tells you what happens at the end of Where She Went so do not read any further if you don't want the ending spoiled!
I would love to read another book in the life of Adam and Mia and have it called 'What We Did' but I have a feeling Gayle Forman has finished writing Adam and Mia's story. *sigh*


  1. Loved this review so much, Jess! So excited to read it after I re-read If I Stay, haha :) Is there going to be any more about Adam/Mia after this or is just the two books, do you know? xoxo

  2. I loved this sequel! I really hope that Forman continues Mia and Adam's story. Great Review and Fabulous Blog! Keep up the great work :)
    (Thanks for following!)

  3. 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:


    Sorry to bother you!

  4. If anyone is interested, Gayle Forman has written a blog post as to why there won't be a third book.

    Best to only read if you have read Where She Went:

  5. I'm trying to decide if i should read this book. Does it have a happy ending?

  6. I once had a magnificent spouse wife pair working with me. He taught the accordion and she taught the piano. Both were amazingly clever and informative, however they were finished alternate extremes when it came to expert educating and managing the tyke's music interest. Ending passage in music


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