Book Reviews

[review] Where She Went – Gayle Forman


Release Date: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 260
Format: Hardcover
Source: Personal copy

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.

Discovery: After finally finishing If I Stay, I immediately–and I do mean immediately–went to the bookstore and bought Where She Went.

+     Intensity. Where If I Stay was poignant and pensive, Adam’s story is deeply devastating. The pages bleed with his emotion. It’s commonly assumed by people that artists feel too much (Van Gogh is just one depressing example out of many) and in this case, they would be right. Adam Wilde’s torment is a silent kind, which he himself has difficulty voicing. The reader quickly realizes that only one person can understand him, and it’s the one person he can’t bring himself to be with. All in all, these factors make for an explosive and emotional book that I devoured in a single hour.

+     Romance. Contemporary romance is something I’ve always struggled to enjoy, because it can feel very cheesy and uncomfortable to read. It’s also rife with cliched dialogue, which is one of the biggest turn-offs in my reading experience. Thankfully, Gayle Forman succeeds with another beautifully-written story of love in all its forms. Just when I thought I’d reached a threshold for adorable and emotional moments between Mia and Adam, another one would break through my defenses. I was reduced to speechless hand-waving and head-holding. The pages fairly sizzled as Adam and Mia talked and wept and existed with each other for the first time in three years. To be honest, I couldn’t take this book in all its unashamed, gritty glory, dear readers. It was simply too much for my fragile heart to handle–it was so very real.

The final say: Gayle Forman concludes Mia and Adam’s story with emotional gentleness and incandescent prose, ensuring that readers’ hearts will never be the same again.

Rating: Excellent.

Be sure to visit Gayle Forman at her website and follow her on Twitter @gayleforman.

You can check out Where She Went on Goodreads and order it over at Amazon and Book Depository.

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3 replies »

  1. My sister and I fell in love with ¿If I Stay¿. Yes I was the one who cried constantly from the beginning of the book but we both came out of this book breathless and heartbroken. The idea of losing my family is unbearable and reading how she went through it? Just open up my heart and slice it will you?

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