Author: Gayle Forman
Publication: April 17th 2012, Speak
Format: Trade Paperback, 274 pages
Source: Own Copy from NBS
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.
I just knew from the moment that I read If I Stay that it could've been the end. Cliffhangers and all, but then Where She Went presented itself and I had the gut feeling that I should read it. And it was one of the best and worst decisions of my entire life. My feelings died, leaped, died again and leaped again at the same moments. Where She Went was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
She kissed me goodbye. She told me she loved me more than life itself. Then she stepped through security.
She never came back.
The novel starts 3 years later after Mia wakes up from her coma, and we are taken to Adam as he navigates his career, without Mia by his side coz DUN-DUN-DUN! They broke up! Though I thought about it happening, I seriously did not think that they'd go through with it! UGH!
Adam becomes a total wreck of a human being. His sweetness and charm, suddenly plummets into an abyss of loneliness and his passion for music dwindles with his disinterest in keeping himself happy. And it's all thanks to Mia. But then an encounter with her brings about past memories; good and bad and emotions buried deep furies to explode. He spends the day with her to find out if she totally wiped him out of her life.
Who says I breathe music? Who says I even breathe?
Where She Went is a novel that burns with emotion and a powerful perspective courtesy of Adam. I did not expect that he'd become a total neurotic after the events of the first book. Easy Adam became a hard person to deal with and would trap himself into a void of his own remorse. The beginning got me really hating on Mia. Like, what did you do to poor, sweet Adam. But then I begin to think of the ending of the first book, and in general, of the events that spun out and I don't really blame her fully.
I have so many good things to say about how the characters evolved. Yes, 3 years is a lot, but I did not expect to see them totally making it huge for themselves. I really thought they'd be stuck in Portland or something. There's so much more character build-up throughout the story from Mia, to Adam, to Shooting Star, even through Mia's deceased family.
I don't know how to describe it without sounding like one of these cliched magazine articles but she seemed so at one with the music. Or maybe just happy. I guess I always know she was capable of this level of artistry but witnessing it fucking blew me away. Me and everyone else in that auditorium, judging by the thunderous applause she got.
Mia became a head strong girl, vibrant, happy even. She evolved from this girl who seems dismissive and reluctant but there's still that inherent softness to her.
Where did you go? Do you ever think of me? You've ruined me. Are you okay?
Adam is darkly humorous in this sequel and broken down on so many levels. There were times when I would stroke the page lightly and ask, "Adam, what happened to you?" I know, I know, the novel explains why but you really can't help it. Who knew such heartache could cause that much damage to a person? For 3 years. I guess I don't normally know since well, I never suffered from that painful kind of heartache *stabs self tho*
The depth of character was handled with precision that it made me feel nostalgic which is weird coz they are only in their twenties but they look like they are handling their lives well...in a way.
New York. Oh how I dream to be in it. Though depicted with the usual hustle and bustle, I'm still marveled by its culture and opportunities. I really, really love how the readers are taken into this short tour of New York. It makes me dream more about it. And the music! Gods! Where's the Shooting Star album when you need it!? The songs at Collateral Damage seem so angst-y and moving, I just wanna hear it to be honest! <3
"Hated me? Why?"
"You made me stay." She says it quietly, and it's almost gets lost in the wind and the traffic and I'm not sure I heard her. But then she repeats it louder this time, "You made me stay!"
And there it is. A hollow blown through my heart confirming some part of me has always known.
The way everything is meshed together: the problems that Mia has with herself and how she had to deal with Adam to make that decision that turns Adam to what he is, I just. It was amazingly handled. The time jump was done with justice. The mixture of nostalgically hurtful memories brought so much emotion to the book that you'd almost forget that it was just Mia and Adam. It was "their" story. All of them.
And it's like, Mia, don't you get it? The music is the void. And you're the reason why.
Gayle Forman was able to tap into the male's point of view like she was a man. I always enjoy reading a guy's point of view in stories. I also like writing stories with guy's POV's. I don't know. Swimming in waters that I've only had the pleasure of observing is fun, but with Gayle, I felt like I really was reading a guy make a point. Yeah, he was dramatic, but in his own, manly kind of way. Gayle breathed the male's psyche and made Adam as vulnerable as he can be.
It's no longer an angry plea shouted to the void. Right here on this stage, in front of eighty thousand people. It's becoming something else.
This is our new vow.
The ending was hopeful and happy which was great. I could not think of anything else to do with it. It was a great parting gift for all of us readers who invested our times with Mia and Adam.
Where She Went touches the heartstrings, tugs it with all its might but learns and helps to mend it in the process. A must read!
About The Author:
Gayle Forman is an award-winning author and journalist whose articles have appeared in such publications as Jane, Seventeen, Glamour, Elle, and The New York Times Magazine, to name just a few. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
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