Monday, August 15, 2011

Review: Where She Went

Where She Went, by Gayle Forman. The summary:
It's been three years since Adam's love saved Mia after the accident that annihilated life as she knew it . . . and three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard's rising star and Adam is L.A. tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock start 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.
“Where She Went” is the sequel to “If I Stay,” and usually I’m not big on sequels, but this one had been getting good reviews and it had an awesome cover--and let’s face it, I judge books by their covers ALL the time. I had read “If I Stay,” like six months ago, and since I’m absolutely terrible at remembering details of books past a week after I’ve read them, I really had no remembrance of what went on in the book besides the basic storyline and that I didn’t like the it as much as I wanted to. So going into “Where She Went” I was a little skeptical, but basically I was a blank slate.

That said, I ended up thoroughly enjoying the book. It’s not often that I find books that I like with male main characters--for some reason, I usually prefer female leads. But I really liked Adam. And honestly, I’m not entirely sure why I did, since he’s bitter and withdrawn. I guess it’s because since it’s from his perspective, I got to see WHY he was acting that way. I mean, I have no idea what it’s like to be so crazy famous that you have paparazzi following you all the time, but Adam is written well enough that even though I can’t connect with that lifestyle, I could connect with him.

And speaking of well written, this book totally is. I absolutely love the author’s style. It’s simple but so, so powerful. And because of that, the emotions in the book come across crystal clear. I could feel Adam’s frustration and sadness and anger, practically like they were my own. This was honestly one of the best books I’ve read in a while in terms of writing believable emotion. Here’s an excerpt to show you what I mean. It’s from the beginning, when Adam runs into Mia for the first time in three years:
My first impulse is not to grab her or kiss her or yell at her. I simply want to touch her cheek, still flushed from the night’s performance. I want to cut through the space that separates us, measured in feet--not miles, not continents, not years--and to take a callused finger to her face. I want to touch her to make sure it’s really her, not one of those dreams I had so often after she left when I’d see her as clear as day, be ready to kiss her or take her to me only to wake up with Mia just beyond reach.

But I can’t touch her. This is a privilege that’s been revoked. Against my will, but still.
I only had one problem with the book, and I can’t really decide whether it’s a major or a minor issue. But I couldn’t stand the way Adam’s happiness was so dependent on Mia. It’s like when she wasn’t in his life, he didn’t have a life, and I just think that’s kind of . . . I don’t know. Pathetic, I guess. I understand that he loved her, but really, the whole time I just wanted to shake him and tell him to find closure for himself rather than waiting for Mia to give it to him.

But generally, this was a fantastic book. Although I can’t remember much of the first book, I think it’s safe to say that I liked this one better. At least, it’s already sticking with me more than the first one did, so that’s probably a good sign.


  1. I haven't read If I Stay but just the summary of this book makes it sound wonderful. And the quote is great. I can see what you mean about beautiful writing.

  2. Great review! I was on the fence about this book but I might reconsider reading it now!

    And also wanted to pass along this to you :)

  3. Great review! I bought this e-book a few months ago from a website called all you can books but I haven't read it yet. But you made me very curious about this book and I'll certainly read it as soon as possible.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...