Where She Went – Gayle Forman
Pages: 260 (ARC)
Publisher: Doubleday Children’s (Random House)
Release Date: 5th May 2011
Other Titles in this Series: If I Stay
From Goodreads: 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.
This review is in a very different style for me as I also submitted it for a creative writing assessment. Let me know what you think!
Gayle Forman’s long-awaited follow up to If I Stay is just as exquisitely written as its predecessor. I’ll admit to being a little hesitant at first as Where She Went is set three years after Mia’s story began and seen through a very different pair of eyes: Mia’s boyfriend of If I Stay, Adam.
Forman writes Adam’s anguish in simple but evocative prose than still retains a musicality that lifts her words off of the page, leaving them floating in the air around you. It is so raw and tangible that I feel Adam’s pain myself as he remembers Mia’s abandonment of him, his alienation of his band mates and the loss of the Hall’s. The anger that his sadness brings him; the anger that turns him to girls and a reliance on anti-anxiety pills is almost palpable and it makes me wonder of the effects that a person can really have on another.
This man has everything he has ever dreamed of: money, fame, success and thousands of screaming fans, and yet all he wants is Mia. Instead of the pleasure that Shooting Star’s success should induce in him, it has only resulted in pain, stress and isolation for him. This may reflect the idea that the album that made his band famous was written by him in reaction to Mia’s abandonment and so the snippets of the songs on that album that are present at the beginning of every other chapter give you an even deeper insight into the mess of Adam’s mind and how damaged and broken Mia’s leaving for New York left him.
It is amazing how Forman can provide her readers with so much. There is three years of uncharted time in Adam and Mia’s lives since they were left at the end of If I Stay and yet as I turned the last page I of this novel I felt that I had walked with them every step of the way. I had been at the edge of the stage at every Shooting Stars gig, I had watched Adam auction off his beloved guitar, I had roomed with Mia through Julliard and played alongside her at Carnegie Hall the night they were reunited. Where She Went covers such a tiny time span; a little over twenty-four hours. Twenty-four hours in which old lovers fall back in love, where secrets are spilled, huge messes are mopped up and there story starts again.
Because that’s what I feel Where She Went has done for Adam and Mia. In previous book we left them on a knife edge. Mia had chosen to stay because of Adam’s plea and Mia had awoken from her coma with months of physiotherapy and healing to do as well as grieving for her entire family to get through. Although they were together again, would they stay that way? And though they didn't, Where She Went provided the opportunity for two beloved characters to recover from their ordeals and start again. The end of this book is only the beginning of a new chapter of their story.