Where She Went by Gayle Forman (review copy) - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoilt for you.
If you had a second chance at first love... would you take it?
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 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, powerful 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. From Goodreads
After recently reading Just One Day and Just One Year, I knew I had to catch up and read the sequel to If I Stay. Now I wish I hadn't taken so long to read it.
It's been three years since Mia survived her car accident, and left Adam behind. Adam is still suffering from the loss of the girl he loves, and it's affecting everything; his relationship with his band and his girlfriend, his love for music, his health. When alone in New York for a day and wandering the streets, he notices that Mia has a recital across the road. Amazed, he goes to watch her, and discovers all the feelings are still there. Mia invites him backstage and so begins a night of reliving the past, rediscovering who they are, and learning if love can survive grief.
This is such a beautiful story! In almost alternating chapters, we'll have present day, and then flashbacks of some point in the past, before and after the accident, but not chronologically. Each memory chapter relates to something that happened in the previous present day chapter, a memory sparked for Adam, that we then get to see. Not only is it awesome to see Adam's view of their relationship, and see just how much he loves her, but it's great to see what happened once Mia woke up, even if it's summarised in a few pages rather than as it happened.
Adam's pain at losing Mia is such that every day is a struggle. He regularly has panic attacks and is on anti-anxiety pills. He's become distant from the band, and is disillusioned with the whole rock star way of life. The idea of going on a sixty-seven date tour has him near losing it. He's in his own little bubble of suffering, with unanswered questions about why Mia left him... and then suddenly there she is. Adam gets caught up in the flow of things from there; he doesn't think it's a good idea to be around Mia, but she's there, right in front of him, and he can't bring himself to walk away. And she seems to want him around, so what can he do? It's beautiful yet sad, this pull, this hold she unconsciously has over him, and she can't really see how much he's hurting. But as the night goes on, no holds barred honesty, the brutal truth is finally spoken.
This really is a fantastic story; it's beautiful and sweet, melancholic and sad. It really is awesome! However, I think I would have loved it more if I had read it before Just One Day. With the exploring of New York at night, there were some similarities with Just One Day, which I completely adored, and couldn't help comparing, and Where She Went didn't really stack up. I know I'm doing this book a disservice by comparing, and I shouldn't have, but it was automatic. So I was left a little wanting. If I had read the books in the order they were written, I'm sure I would have loved Where She Went completely.
Still, Where She Went is a lovely story, a great follow up to If I Stay; so awesome to see where Mia and Adam's lives took them. Also, when setting up this review, I noticed that there's going to be an If I Stay movie in August, and it looks amazing! So looking forward to watching it! And the trailer made me love Adam a little more.
Thank you to RHCP for the review copy.
Published: 28th April 2011
Gayle Forman's Website
My other reviews from the series:
If I Stay (If I Stay Book 1)