Saturday, January 26, 2013

Review: Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman

Where She Went

Date Read: December 25 - 26 2012
Release Date: November 4th 2010
Publisher: Definitions
Source: Bought
Genre: Contemporary
My rating:  (Not enough stars)

“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.”


“Instead of dropping me like a one-night stand, you could’ve had the decency to break up with me instead of leaving me wondering for three years…"

I actually liked Where She Went even more than If I Stay! Gayle just has this way with words (I know, I keep saying that) that manages to bring out all these emotions in me. I thought If I Stay was a hard review to write, but Where She Went has taken me over 2 days! Ah but so worthwhile :D

Along with Mia’s absence, we see what fame has really done to Adam – despite being a famous rock star and essentially achieving his dream, Adam is a wreck. He’s paranoid, emotionally distant and music is a chore for him. Seeing him like that made my heart ache so much. And yet I couldn’t hate Mia or blame her for any of that. Anybody that’s read If I Stay will remember the fateful words Adam spoke to Mia.

“I'd make that promise a thousand times over and lose her a thousand times over to have heard her play last night or to see her in the morning sunlight. Or even without that. Just to know that she's somewhere out there. Alive.”

For me, reading Adam’s voice was more painful than Mia’s in If I Stay despite how bleak If I Stay was. As Adam and Mia spent their night in New York together, Adam’s thoughts were plagued by his memories of three years ago but especially the question of why Mia left. Each thought is filled with this pain and longing and left me wondering how a love like theirs couldn’t withstand everything. But I think that’s the amazing thing about Gayle’s stories – she doesn’t sugar coat anything; it’s reality.

“There are so many things that demand to be said. Where did you go? Do you ever think about me? You've ruined me. Are you okay? But of course, I can't say any of that.”

Following the brilliant structure of If I Stay, Gayle utilises the flashbacks to take us back to those three years Adam went without Mia, but more importantly, those two years he did spend with her. For all of Mia’s insecurities, we see Adam’s love and devotion to her. The flashbacks build up to the bittersweet present and the confusion both feel at having come together on such a (fateful?) night after so long. Music also played a big part in this book. Using lyrics at the beginning of a chapter to imply or foreshadow events isn’t uncommon. But getting those lyrics right is another thing completely. Gayle did the amazing job of writing her own lyrics based on Adam’s band and ohmygoodness were they meaningful! The way everything is layered so that when you peel them back you’re left in awe of what each layer means and how it all comes together, retaining the whole text’s integrity? Yup, this is one mind-blown reader.

I didn’t think it was possible to FEEL so much – both him and me (as the reader). I felt everything that Adam felt: his anger, his grief, his angst and his heartbreak. His actions over the past three years as a result of these emotions were definitely questionable but I could never be annoyed with anything he did. The character building was simply superb.

“And it’s like, Mia, don’t you get it? The music is the void. And you’re the reason why.”

Reading Where She Went made me believe that true love exists.
But do second chances? READ AND FIND OUT ;D

“You don’t share me. You own me.”


  1. This book . . . ah SO MANY EMOTIONS! And there I thought If I Stay was a teary read. Hehe. Just LOVED this book.

    Anyway great review! I'm glad you enjoyed it too. :D


      Yeah I cried in If I Stay. I was an emotional wreck in Where She Went.

      So much love for Gayle Forman omg

  2. WOMAN. My heart is breaking just from reading your review! Words cannot describe how much I LOVED this book!!!! And yes, TRUE LOVE DEFINITELY EXISTS. MIA & ADAM'S RELATIONSHIP IS EVIDENCE!!!!

    Oh and that last quote "You don't share me. You own me". OMG HDAUDHIUSHDUIAHSIHH MY HEART!!

    Anyway, fab review Jaz<3



  3. That Gayle...she's good at making you FEEEEEL. I loved this one, too! Hope you enjoy JUST ONE DAY if you haven't read it yet.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. She is omg! So many emotions whenever I read her books. I always cry at least once!

      And yes I finally got Just One Day! Cannot wait for Just One Year <3