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 This is a privilege that’s been revoked.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 Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the
flame of rekindled romance.
FUN FACT: From the minute I found out there was to be a sequel to If I Stay, I was haunted by dreams of it. Well, no, I’m not serious. But it was #1 on my books that I’d do anything to get my hands on. Humiliate myself, do things that could get me into trouble with anyone, or whatever, I was down for it. As long as in the end, the reward was a copy of Where She Went.
To find the words to talk about Where She Went coherently – without the use of words like, ‘OMG’ and incessant gushing – would be like digging through my Broca’s area (the part of the brain that processes speech and language) and trying to find the words that could do justice to this brilliant sequel to If I Stay. Many have argued that If I Stay ended in a good place and there was really no need for a sequel and to those people, I only have one thing to say: What about Adam’s side of the story? Yes, we all loved Mia and cheered for her while she stumbled over each obstacle set in her path, but did we once stop to think about what Adam was going through? About how what Mia was going through was killing him inside out? I guess you can allude that to Ms. Forman’s skill as a writer that made us completely disregard Adam’s plight. Nonetheless, it was there. It was there through all of If I Stay and you can see it leap off of every single page of Where She Went. When you suffer a tragedy, one often asks the question: Why? One looks for an explanation that can make some sense of what happened, but rarely is there a black and white answer to be found. Well, Mia is Adam’s tragedy. And Where SheWent does a fantastic job of bringing to light the effect of and the aftermath of the accident on Adam.
As always Ms. Forman’s hauntingly beautiful prose captures the reader’s heart and soul and makes it a visceral experience. I could wax poetic about the plot or summarize the book or the events that take place but instead I’m just going to tell you some of my favorite things about the book that hopefully you may relate to as well.
- It’s set in New York City. (Mia @ Juilliard. Adam, for music label business). You can’t go wrong with that setting. Ever. Ms. Forman, in one night, manages to create a vivid panoramic view of the city that never sleeps. Literally.
- Ms. Forman makes Mia & Adam yell out in fury, and anger, and agony, and makes them cry in the middle of the night (or really early morning) on the Brooklyn Bridge. (Who does that?)
- This time, both Adam and Mia are on an equal footing. They’re both popular in their own right. Sure, Adam maybe more popular because of his rock band but Mia is well known in the classical circle as well. (She plays at Carnegie Hall at the age of 20—major accomplishment).
- When Adam goes to see Mia’s concert in casual clothing (and all the other people are dressed up – coz you dress up when you go to a classical concert or Broadway show) and he feels like a fly on the wall, I love his accounting of the concert and how at the end that one bit he says, gets to me. Every. Single. Time. “Tonight I won’t kiss her. Or touch her. Or even see her up close. Tonight I’ll listen. And that’ll be enough”.
- Ms. Forman really gets inside Adam’s head and one can’t help but see that Mia may have been physically hurt, but it was Adam who suffered the worst kind of mental trauma.
- (SPOILER) The scene where they have a mini concert all by themselves in Mia’s apartment. I could just imagine it in my head. (That is one scene I want to see brought to life, by the way).
- Every chapter has lyrics from songs in the album “Collateral Damage” by Shooting Star (Adam’s band). Both fictitious. By the time the book ends, you want them to be real. You want to find a record label that will sign them and produce those songs. Well, I wanted that to happen.
- It’s Adam.
- It’s Mia.
- It’s Gayle Forman.
- I don’t think there’s anything left to say. WHAT MORE REASONS COULD YOU WANT TO READ THIS BOOK?
Where She Went is an accumulation of heartbreak, anxiety, first loves, broken loves, and a story of second chances, deserved or undeserved- that is dependent on the reader. Yes, some of you won’t like the choices Adam and Mia make to get to where they do at the end of the book (don’t want to spoil it) but I think once you’ve read it and had time to process it, it should make perfect sense.
(Care to guess where this is?)
Times I’ve read Where She Went: 4 times (hardcopy). 3 times (Audiobook). Waiting for NookBook to show up on April 5th @midnight.
I should also mention that when friends tell me they haven’t read If I Stay, I kind of go all, ahem, nutso (okay not really) on them and MAKE them read it. It is my life’s mission to have every single person I know read that book. I *need* them to, or I won’t be able to sleep in peace. I’ve been told I can be quite intimidating when it comes to If I Stay and now Where She Went. Honestly though, (I swear!) I am not trying to be scary or rude or whatever, I just want people to read a great book and enjoy it for their own sake. They just don’t know what they’re missing out on.
Where She Went audiobook read by Dan Bittner (Highly, highly, HIGHLY recommended. He’s the Adam in your head). I know what you’re thinking right this second: “Obsessed much, Mitali?”
Yes, I completely am. I am in love with this book and the author. Every time someone asks me who my favorite author is, I give a vague response or just say J. K. Rowling, coz you can never go wrong with that. However, now, I have taken to responding to that question with: Gayle Forman.
Available wherever books are sold April 5th!
Available wherever books are sold April 5th!
Until next time,
Until next time,