Title: Where She Went
Author: Gayle Forman
Publication Year: 2011
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult
Source: Ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley
From the cover:
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.
A few months ago, I was floored when I listened to If I Stay as an audiobook. It was simple but beautiful, touching in a way that not many YA stories are. When I heard that there would be a sequel, I kept my eyes open. And so, when Where She Went came up on NetGalley, I jumped at the opportunity to read it. It was quick – I read the entire thing in a few hours in one evening.
Just like in the first book, Forman manages to really touch the reader with a style of basic storytelling that lets the events and emotions take over from the writing. It’s a great experience to read a book and just be able to relax into the story, to listen to the characters and let them express what is happening without being too caught up in overly complicated prose and description.
I wasn’t sure at first how I would feel about the story being told from Adam’s point of view, since I had felt so connected to Mia’s voice in If I Stay. To be honest, it mostly worked, with a few little things that didn’t work for me. For example – it was really frustrating not to be able to tell what Mia was thinking and why she had made the decisions she made for so long in Where She Went. While it was interesting to read about the experiences and emotions that Adam had been through and felt, it was incomplete without being able to really understand what Mia had done. It was all worked out in the end, but still … personally, I would’ve preferred knowing more about this right from the get-go.
I don’t want to say too much about the plot, because I feel like it gives too much away, whether or not you’ve already read If I Stay. If you haven’t, though, you should – and then you should read Where She Went as soon as possible afterwards. Together, these books are really brilliant and tell a fantastic story with an emotional depth that’s uncommon in young adult literature. If you haven’t already, definitely do so when you get a chance. You won’t regret it.