Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Penguin, April 5, 2011
Summary from Goodreads:
It's been three years since the devastating accident ... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.NOTE: If you haven't read If I Stay yet, you probably don't want to read this review until you have!
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, 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 loved If I Stay (you can check out my review here). I thought it was a wonderful story and all the ends were tied up enough for me that I could appreciate it as a stand-alone novel. All the questions brought up in the book were answered quite nicely. The futures of Mia and Adam were not so clear, but that's to be expected. I would have been perfectly content if Gayle Forman never wrote a follow up novel.
But she did, yay for us! So Where She Went is like a bonus novel, because, unlike other novels with sequels, we didn't know this was coming! Right there this novel's got tons of bonus points, because we readers are allowed back into Mia and Adam's world to see how their lives have changed as a result of the car accident that took Mia's family away from her.
Where She Went takes place three years after the accident in New York City, and is told from Adam's point of view. Adam and his band mates are steadily making names for themselves in the world of rock music, and Mia, we learn, had indeed gone off to Juilliard as planned. Shortly after arriving in New York, Mia broke off all contact with Adam, and Adam took this kind of hard. As a result, his relationship with the band is quite strained, and he's taken to staying in separate hotels and even flying on different flights when they tour. Which is how Adam winds up wandering around Manhattan alone one summer evening. And discover a concert hall where Mia just happens to be performing that evening. And of course Mia just happens to discover that Adam has discovered her, and a result the two spend the evening catching up and revisiting past pain.
I don't want to give away too much of the story, because you really need to read it for yourself. Gayle Forman has given us a gift with Where She Went--she's allowed us to revisit Mia and Adam as if they were old friends we've lost touch with. Their individual griefs are still so fresh and raw, and while it's a true joy to see these two characters reconnect after so much time has passed, it's also heart-breaking to realize how much pain these two are still in. It's a wonderfully realistic story, and I recommend it highly--but only AFTER you've read If I Stay! Matter of fact, I re-read If I Stay and read Where She Went in one evening, back-to-back. If you can manage it, I definitely think that's the way to read these novels.
ARC won in contest.
Enjoy your reading!