Review

Where She Went by Gayle Forman | Book Review

where she went

WHERE SHE WENT BY GAYLE FORMAN
RELEASE: 2011
PUBLISHER: Dutten Juvenile
SERIES: If I Stay #2
FORMAT & SOURCE: Purchased from The Strand Bookstore *swoon*

HEY HEY HEY! If you haven’t read If I Stay #1, and plan on reading it, SHOO! The rest of this post is going to get a little spoilery for you.

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. –Goodreads

CONFESSION: I was worried that I wasn’t going to love Where She Went. There was a lot of hype surrounding this book and I didn’t want to be let down. BUT I’m happy to announce that I loved this SO MUCH MORE than If I Stay. I was more connected. I was more emotional.  I could not put this down. I read Where She Went in a few hours over the course of one day…. in bed… next to a plate of food. There was some serious cry-eating going on.

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First thing is first: Holy heck does Gayle Forman know how to write romantic tension! It’s ALL THERE– the the perfect pace, the build-up, the will they?/won’t they? It’s excruciating in the best way possible. Then there’s this moment (if you read Where She Went, then you maaaaaybe know what I’m talking about)…this moment where everything collides in a series of perfect word choices that left me gasping for air and then fanning myself as tears streamed down my face. It’s possible that I was being a little dramatic, but really– it’s well-written.

There is no cheesy eye-rolling type stuff here, folks. What I’m learning to appreciate about Gayle Forman is that the language that she uses in her stories MOVES well. There’s no wasted word or detail. It’s romantic, but nothing too flowery or gag inducing.

My first impulse is not to grab her or kiss her or yell at her. I simply want to touch her cheek, still flushed from the night’s performance. I want to cut through the space that separates us, measured in feet–not miles, not continents, not years–and to take a callused finger to her face…

But I can’t touch her. This is a privilege that’s been revoked.

I loved that this story is told in Adam’s voice. He was my favorite character in If I Stay and I’m so happy that we get to see his perspective here.  Adam started off Where She Went a little too whiny and emo and woe-is-me for my taste (I mean c’mon- you’re a rockstar, kid. Get over it), but I quickly started rooting for him (and character-crushing on him a lot). He was so well-developed that my heart just broke for him during most of the book.

Sure, Where She Went is built around the lost romance of Adam and Mia. But to me, there’s a lot more to this story than the question,  “Will Mia and Adam get back together?” To me this story was more about wounds–  how we deal with those wounds, how we change because of those wounds, and how we heal. Gayle Forman gets a standing ovation for this one.

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SPECIAL GUEST APPEARANCES BY: NYC | The Brooklyn Bridge | Bowling| Rock star livin’

HEAVY BOOT THEMES: Grief | Resentment |A little bit of pill poppin’

PEOPLE WHO MAY POSSIBLY WANT TO HUG THIS BOOK: People who wanted to hug If I Stay| Those looking for a fast-paced beautifully written romance-y type story-line | People who fall in love with guitar players all the damn time

RATING: 5 thumbs up

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10 thoughts on “Where She Went by Gayle Forman | Book Review

  1. great review… and love that beautiful gif. way to execute my dear! haha!

    this is one of my favorite books EVER, so i am thrilled that you loved it so much! i really connected with these characters and more than enjoyed going through this journey with them.

    and well, adam is freaking hot and has tattoos. had to say it. it just wouldn’t be right not to. 😉

  2. I agree that, though there is romance her, the romance isn’t really the point. There’s a lot more going on.

    I also love that this is a book about college-aged kids, They’re both pursuing non-traditional paths, but it’s nice to see a book about this age group that doesn’t involve wild frat parties and whatnot because that certainly wasn’t my college experience.

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