Where She Went by Gayle Forman

So many feels in this novel.

After reading ‘If I Stay’, Gayle Forman’s last novel, I fell in love with her style of writing. She has such a way with words, a way of drawing you into the character’s emotions as if they were your own. I really like If I Stay and how Mia told her heart-breaking story, but Where She Went, Gayle’s latest book, was on another level of emotional. It is so full of feels it’s crazy.

The story starts three years after If I Stay, Mia has taken Adam on, on his vow and left for Julliard without looking back. A vow he had to keep if only she fought to live in the first book.

“If you stay, I’ll do whatever you want. I’ll quit the band, go with you to New York. But if you need me to go away, I’ll do that, too. Maybe coming back to your old life would just be too painful, maybe it’d be easier for you to erase us. And that would suck, but I’d do it. I can lose you like that if I don’t lose you today. I’ll let you go. If you stay”

From an outsider looking into his life Adam looks like he has everything anyone could ever ask for. He is a rock star and is dating a beautiful actress but what people don’t see is the pain and anguish he deals with from losing Mia. The pain, anguish and anger from being left behind without so much as an explanation has left Adam isolated from his band and feeling like the loneliest person in the world.

The story follows Adam seeing Mia again after three years. The sudden meeting leads them onto a treasure hunt of New York City. Even though the two have not seen each other in three years the love between the two feels almost like a coming home for Adam.

“The tremor in my hand has become so normal, so non-stop, that it’s generally imperceptible to me. But as soon as my fingers close around Mia’s, the thing I notice is that it stops and suddenly it goes quiet, like when the squall of feedback is suddenly cut when someone switches off an amp. And I could linger here forever.”

The main reason I love Adam so much is that Gayle has allowed us to see Adam at his worst, we saw him completely give up on everything. The story was believable because it took a while before Adam was able to use his pain to write songs that sky rocket his band to stardom. The events of the story are set in the present day but just like in If I Stay, Gayle likes to go back to the past to explain the loops that happened in the last three years. I usually don’t like back and forth in novels but this time I could live with it. It didn’t completely annoy me.

Another beautiful touch was the way Gayle shared the lyrics Adam wrote for the album that got him and his band famous. At the beginning of most chapters there is a part of a track from the album, my love for music wishes that I could actually go out and buy the album. It crazy how in love with a fake band I am, their songs are amazing.

You crossed the water, left me ashore

It killed me enough, but you wanted more

You blew up the bridge, a mad terrorist

Waved from the other side, threw me a kiss

I started to follow but realised too late

There was nothing but air underneath my feet

“Bridge” – Collateral Damage, Track 4I

I would suggested that you read If I Stay before embarking on this novel, but you will be able to follow the story if you don’t.

Where She Went Book Cover Where She Went
If I Stay Series
Gayle Forman
Young Adult
Speak
April 17, 2012
304

Picking up several years after the dramatic conclusion of If I Stay, Where She Went continues the story of Adam and Mia, from Adam's point of view. Ever since Mia's decision to stay - but not with him - Adam's career has been on a wonderful trajectory. His album, borne from the anguish and pain of their breakup, has made him a bona fide star. And Mia herself has become a top-rate cellist, playing in some of the finest venues in the world. When their respective paths put them both in New York City at the same time, the result is a single night in which the two reunite - with wholly satisfying results.

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