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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

[REVIEW] Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Where She Went

Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: YA Romance, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Series: sequel to If I Stay
Published: April 5th 2011 by Dutton Juvenile
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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.

WHERE SHE WENT is different from IF I STAY in a way that reading it didn’t feel like a punch in the gut. It was more like a steady dull ache in my chest that lingered all throughout the book. It wasn’t a sudden head-on collision with grief the way the first book had been. It was a methodical pain – constant and always present. Every page reeked of sadness that’s almost unbearable. There’s just so much regret, guilt, anger and loneliness in this book. Honestly, I almost put it down after skimming the first few pages and discovered that Adam and Mia weren’t together anymore. And boy, am I ever glad that I picked it up again and braved it to the end. 

I liked that the sequel was told from Adam’s perspective. It showed him in a different light. And I think it’s only appropriate that the story was told from the point of view of the one who was left behind. It opened a lot of hanging questions, especially that there had been no closure between Adam and Mia. I was hanging on to every page, hoping and dreading the moment when they would eventually meet again. All the angst and bitterness made me want to curl up and cry, but this book is just too good to put down. 

I enjoyed the flashbacks of their past together. I learned more about how Adam’s relationship with Mia’s family had been, and how their deaths affected him. When I read IF I STAY, it didn’t occur to me that even though they’re not Adam’s family, he lost them, too. He was also grieving but managed to still take care of Mia. WHERE SHE WENT cemented my belief that Adam’s love for Mia was so deep that it also extended to her family. I was also amazed by the fact that Mia’s leaving made Adam write a lot of songs. The lyrics were especially beautiful. Sad, yes, but beautiful. 

Gayle Forman did not disappoint with this worthy sequel of IF I STAY. To say that I loved WHERE SHE WENT would be an understatement. It moved me to witness a love so deep that it could change a person’s life. Adam’s love for Mia changed his life and left him broken when she left. And in the end, this same love brought them where they need to be – together.

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Julie @ Books and Insomnia

Julie is a Filipina blogger who pretends she has insomnia so she can stay up late reading. When she's not buried in books, she can be found watching anime, drinking chocolate-flavored instant coffee, lurking on the internet, daydreaming and talking about herself in third person. She loves purple and anything sweet!

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