Review: “Where She Went” – Gayle Forman

September 12, 2014 Book Review, Initial Reaction 1

 Review: “Where She Went” – Gayle FormanWhere She Went by Gayle Forman
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Published on: April 5th 2011
Published by: Dutton Books
Pages: 264
Series: If I Stay #2
Genre: YA Romance
Format: Paperback

Buy UK . Buy US. Goodreads




This book is part of the If I Stay series. You can find my reviews of the rest of the series via the links below:

If I Stay (If I Stay #1)
Where She Went (If I Stay #2)

If I Stay (Movie Review)

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(summary from Goodreads)

It’s been three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life.

And three years he’s spent wondering why.

When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.

Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good – or can you really have a second chance at first love?

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I was wondering how this book was going to be done, and once I found out there was a three year gap I was really hoping it would be the same present day/flashback layout as If I Stay. I really wanted to know what had happened with Mia after she woke up in the hospital, how she dealt with the immediate aftermath of her families death. So I was very happy when we got it all, present and past all from Adam’s point of view.

“You asked me to stay. You begged me to stay. You stood over me and you made a promise to me, as sacred as any vow.”

When I first started reading I felt like someone else had written it. This Adam that I was reading about was not the Adam I was used to. He was so damaged, his love for music and life just gone. It was hard and totally heartbreaking. In the first book we are always thinking about Mia and what she is going through and how amazing of a boyfriend Adam is in supporting her thorough her tragedy.

“You don’t share me. You own me.”

But who supports him? He makes a comment in the book that he had his own grief at Mia’s family’s deaths, he practically lived there, they were like his family. But because they weren’t related he didn’t feel like he was allowed to have that same grief as Mia had and because he immediately started to help look after her, he never got that time to properly grieve or to move on.

“I needed to hate someone and you’re the one I love the most, so it fell on you.”

I had wondered if Mia was going to remember her experiences from If I Stay and I’m happy to say that this query was answered in this book. Adams memories of asking her to stay and his guilt at his selfish request are a big part of the story for him. He spends a lot of time dwelling on his promise to let her go if she needed, his big sacrifice, but one that was easier to say then it is to do.

“But still, I find the need to remind myself of the temporariness of a day, to reassure myself that I got through yesterday, I’ll get through today.”

I was prepared in this book. I really had no idea how it was going to end and there were points during the book when I would be like ‘right they are getting together’ and then something would happen and I’d be like ‘oh no they are moving on.’ I’m not going to lie, I wanted them together. But I had accepted that they might not be together. There were some beautifully written scenes which were very much ‘moving on’ scenes in which they forgave each other for the past and talked about the lives in the future separate from each other.

“Letting go. Everyone talks about it like it’s the easiest thing. Unfurl your fingers one by one until your hand is open.”

 

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Final Thoughts

It was written beautifully and left me in a complete emotional puddle from the amount of emotions I was made to feel all at one!

Re-Readability: Definitely

I would recommend this book to: YA contemporary, YA romance, inspirational reads, books with great quotes, books about love, second chance romances, healing romances

 

Have you read Where She Went? What about If I Stay?

Which was your favourite?

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One Response to “Review: “Where She Went” – Gayle Forman”

  1. Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

    When I first read this book I wasn’t in love with it. I thought it was okay and then I reread it and it was almost like I was reading a totally didn’t book. I love it so freaking much now. I loved Adam’s story. Even after I knew what was going to happen I was such an emotional puddle too.