Book Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

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PLEASE NOTE: This is a review for a sequel in a series. I try avoiding spoilers as much as I could, but I cannot guarantee that I could avoid giving out too much. You may jump to the end of the review to see my summary and rating. You can also check out my review on the first book, If I Stay.

Click on the image to open the book's Goodreads page

Click on the image to open the book’s Goodreads page

favoriteTitle: Where She Went
Author: Gayle Forman
Publication Date: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Speak
Series: If I Stay #2
Format: Paperback
Acquisition: Bought

Purchase at: Amazon

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.

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I was so enamored by If I Stay that I read this sequel right away after reading the first book, and this one definitely did not disappoint with the same level of beauty, intensity, and emotions. I think it’s even better than the last, or maybe I’m a little biased because this one is told in Adam’s perspective. I actually didn’t expect that, but I’m usually a big fan of books written in the male perspective.

Where She Went picks up three years after If I Stay and I was surprised by how much had changed. Adam’s success has gone off the charts. His band had gotten really popular to the point of playing in HUGE crowds, and Adam has gotten into a relationship with a famous actress.  Needless to say, Adam has riches and fame, and sadly enough, he’s not one to take all the attention and pressure easily that he needed a lot of space and anxiety pills to get him through each day. And he’s definitely not over Mia. He was spiraling down, and I could feel all of his depression and pain. I wanted so much to comfort him or help him.

Mia, on the other hand, had left for New York to study in Julliard to pursue her career as a cellist. I knew that she’s very passionate about her music, and it’s something I greatly admire from her. I know it’s also one of the few good things left in her life. However, what I didn’t really like about her was how she just abandoned Adam without any explanation. I found her to be a little unfair. I guess she has her reasons, but she should at least have had the decency to tell Adam instead of simply disappearing.

Adam had really lost his way when Mia left him, and that was strongly evident in each of the chapters. I think the only good thing about Mia leaving Adam was giving him enough hurt to write powerful songs that lead to his band’s success. I like how the lyrics for the songs were featured in a lot of the chapters, and it’s quite obvious how the songs were about Mia. I deem this swoon-worthy because of the intensity of Adam’s feelings for Mia.

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OVERALL, Where She Went is a gorgeously written sequel to If I Stay that has been truly painful but also uplifting. It shows how it is still possible to lose ourselves doing things we love when we lose our perspectives. But it also shows that we don’t have to remain that way. Where She Went is one of the few sequels that I loved better than the first book, and it left me hopeful that things can still go right even if they have gone wrong. It gave me reasons to laugh, smile, and love. The short series was definitely worth all the time I gave and emotions I felt, and I would definitely re-read it over and over again.

RATING:

5-star

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Disclaimer:

  • This is all based on personal opinion, and as much as I’m open to other people’s opinions, I hope you understand that this is based on what I feel. I avoid giving out spoilers as much as possible, too.
  • I do not own most of the images I use, and some may be subject to editing.
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8 thoughts on “Book Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

  1. I went in to Where She Went thinking it couldn’t be as good as If I Stay. Was I wrong. You are so right that the emotional intensity is still there in this second book. It was so good.

  2. Omaygahd. I have to agree with what you said. Where She Went made me feel so much emotions here and I was left speechless after knowing what happened to Mia and Adam. I guess it’s really better than the first book. I really loved the two books though. 🙂

  3. Agree completely! I was so enthralled by Where She Went, that it over shadowed If I Stay for me. The intensity definitely went up a notch or two in Adams POV.

  4. I still have to read this one, I have read the first book of the series, but haven’t really got the time to read this one yet unfortunately. This one seems like a good one and I have heard that the sequel might even be better than the prequel. Great review 🙂

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