Book Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Where she went cover

Where She Went
by Gayle Forman
Goodreads | Amazon
Series: If I Stay #2
Release date: April 5th, 2011
Rating: I heart it

“I’m not sure that this a world I belong in anymore. I am not sure that I want to wake up.”

Where She Went follows Adam, who was Mia’s boyfriend in If I Stay, as he tries to come to terms with who he is and what his life has become in the three years since the events of f I Stay. How is it possible that this book is more intense than If I Stay? It isn’t as moving and I didn’t cry at all but there was this incredible gripping tension about the book. 

Adam (and Mia’s) anger and resentment felt very real.  What happened in the first book was a huge deal and it anger is a logical response.  I think that when we have generalized anger at the world (especially when we are young) we tend to take it out on the people that we love the most.  And that we know love us the most.  If you are mean to a friend or acquaintance you can’t be sure that they will feel the need to deal with you and your baggage anymore.  Generally, your family does.  Because Mia no longer has family Adam becomes the person in her life that she can take things out on.  For his part Adam takes his anger out on music because of her loses Mia, music is his strongest relationship.

“We were both music obsessed, each in our own way.  If we didn’t entirely understand the other person’s obsession, it didn’t matter, because we understood our own.”

As with If I Stay, music incredibly important to Where She Went .  Adam’s band has made it big after he and Mia broke up.  Mostly due to the album he wrote in the throes of a post breakup pity party.  I found it interesting that throughout the novel Adam’s relationship with music was as important and driving as any of his relationships with other characters.  Adam and music are having a rough time (as happens with relationships) and I found that I was really invested in seeing him love music again.

Forman really explore the idea of success.  How do we define it for ourselves and what happens when we are not satisfied with what we thought would make us happy? My main takeaway:  Being famous is creepy and will probably ruin your life.  I have this theory that there is only so much fame that a human being can take before they lose their minds.  For example: pretty much anyone who has even been significantly famous before the age of eighteen.  With the possible exception of anyone playing a Harry Potter character.  Because magic.

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it.

From Goodreads:
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.