Where She Went

Where She Went by Gayle FormanWhere She Went by Gayle Forman
If I Stay # 2
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Number of pages: 264
My copy: paperback, from Fully Booked

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.

* * *

If I Stay was one of the books I really loved last year, and news of the sequel made me squee enough to guarantee a post. :) It was a very, very long wait, though, before I could get my grubby hands on them. When reviews of the book start popping up every now and then as it nears the release date, I was even more intrigued. I wanted it, but because of my Lenten book buying fast, I had to wait a bit more.

I remember reading If I Stay in a day — it was that hard to put down. I remember shedding a few tears over some parts, and that feeling of relief and happiness when the book finished on a positive note. Where She Went brings us three years after Mia’s accident, in Adam’s point of view. Adam is alone, lonely and jaded amidst all the fame that he and his band, Shooting Star, is getting. Something is missing, and when he almost breaks down on one interview before he goes to London for a sixty-day tour, he finds what it is, or rather, who is missing: Mia.

But the problem is, Mia is unreachable. She just graduated from Julliard and is about to start touring herself. Adam finds himself in one of her shows, and to his utter surprise, she invites him for a walk, after three years of zero contact. Elated, confused and still angry, Adam joins Mia as he finds out what happened, or did not happen between the two of them.

I will agree with everyone: this book is packed with emotion. It may not be as morbid or as tragic as If I Stay, but it’s sad in a way that you just want to hug Adam and try to make him feel better. It’s kind of sad when you see a guy feel so down and out, and hopeless. Girls are often more emotional, so seeing a guy so broken? It’s just hard not to feel sad for him too. And we know that his reasons for being broken is valid…but the thing we want to know is, what exactly happened?

This book kind of reminds me of 500 Days of Summer, where I felt more sympathy with the guy rather than the girl. But Mia isn’t Summer because I also understand why she wanted what she wanted. What she did wasn’t very nice, but still, she needed it. And sometimes, when we think we do some things so we won’t hurt other people, we still end up hurting them more. And that’s what happened to Adam.

I liked how the story unfolded in Where She Went, and how it all ties up neatly with If I Stay. The ending scene felt a teensy bit cheesy, but still perfect for Adam and Mia’s characters. This book left me with a very satisfied, albeit slightly wrenched, heart. :) It’s a very good sequel. :)

Oh, and a funny note. I was reading this book while watching a Blessed John Paul 2 documentary. I can’t help but shed tears every time I watch a JP2 documentary (you should see me during his beatification! Crying rivers for no reason!), and this book played on those emotions and made me cry more. I was a sight. :P I will have to try and reread this (and If I Stay) next time without other things that could make me cry to see if it still has that effect. :P

Edited to add: After some thinking, I realized something else. The story arc for these two books could be used as a Filipino movie, the ones I love to watch. No wonder it resonated with me so much. :P

Rating:

Other reviews:
Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf
Books With Bite
Chick Loves Lit
G-Reads!

Where She Went

Lately, I’ve been feeling kind of iffy about sequels, and series, in particular. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just that I always feel pressured to get the entire series when I find out that the book I’m reading is a part of a series. I like having more time with fun characters, but I am finding standalone books more and more attractive lately that I’d really rather read those than start reading a series that I’m not even sure I will like. Except maybe for the highly recommended ones.

However, I may make an exception for this one. If I Stay by Gayle Forman is one of my best reads for this year. It’s that kind of book that left me almost wanting for more, but also quite satisfied with how the story ended. I really wouldn’t mind leaving the story that way, but I also won’t think it’s an overkill if there would be some kind of sequel. Imagine my surprise and delight when I found out from Adele of Persnickety Snark that there will be a sequel for this book entitled Where She Went. :) Squee!

First, let’s look at the cover:

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Gorgeous, isn’t it? It perfectly complements the paperback cover, and Mia looks so different and so…I don’t know, free?

And then the jacket copy (if you haven’t read If I Stay yet, major spoiler warning ahead):

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. I want to touch her to make sure it’s really her, not one of those dreams I had so often after she left when I’d see her so clear as day, be ready to kiss her or take her to me only to wake up with Mia just beyond reach.

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

It’s been three years since Adam’s love saved Mia after the accident that annihilated life as she knew it . . . and three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.

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, powerful prose that defined If I StayWhere She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

This is absolutely…wow. I’m guessing this will be told in Adam’s POV this time? I wonder what exactly happened that made Mia walk out of Adam’s life? Did she do what Adam told her at the end of If I Stay? What happened in between?

So many questions, and such a long wait until this gets released. Where She Went will be out on April 19, 2011. In the meantime, there was a Where She Went blog tour, which provided teasers for this book. The complete list can be found in Gayle Forman’s blog. This will definitely be one of the books I’ll be looking out for in 2011. :)