April 2024
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Review: Where She Went, Gayle Forman

where she wentThis is the sequel to If I Stay. The review will contain spoilers for that book.

Mia may have stayed in her life after she lost her whole family, but that didn’t mean she was going to keep everything in her life the same. In fact, she left her native hometown almost as soon as she could, when she was accepted into Juilliard. Her boyfriend, Adam, was left behind, and even three years later, he’s never quite gotten over the blow. His new rock star reputation hasn’t helped at all; in fact, he usually just wants to be left alone, not interrupted on the street. But when Adam and Mia’s paths cross in New York City, he is forced to face where she went, and where he wants to go himself.

Like most others, I found If I Stay to be an incredibly powerful book that had me eager to read the sequel. While that book was really self-contained, I was entranced by the concept of the other side of the story, Adam’s story. I didn’t know how much I would like him, but I loved him in this book. He was tormented, but justly so, I think; I actually found myself wondering if he’d have been so tormented if he hadn’t become famous. Certainly part of his need for Mia seemed driven from his need for a life as it was before stardom and groupies, although not all of it.

Other than the star main character, I found myself really enjoying the rest of the novel as I went through it. Adam was tortured, yes, but in a way that I could almost understand, and sympathise with; the writing is smooth and the plot is easily sped through, not that there is much of one. A lot of the book is Adam mulling over the last three years and, finally, exploring New York City and feelings past with Mia – both of them catching up and trying to understand where to go next.

Ultimately, however, the ending wasn’t really what I’d hoped for. Well, it was, but it somehow didn’t fulfill the promise of the rest of the book. I was looking for something that was, I think, more powerful, and we didn’t get that here. I wanted to whole-heartedly love every piece of this book, believe me, but I also wanted something *more*.

Regardless, Where She Went is a very good read, emotionally wrenching in parts, worth trying if you do wonder where Mia went after the ending of If I Stay.

All external book links are referral links. I received this book for free from Amazon Vine.


6 comments to Review: Where She Went, Gayle Forman

  • I really liked the two of these books together, and thought that they worked really well together.

    Yours is not the first review I have seen where there was an issue with the ending. I read it a while ago and don’t remember it bothering me!

    I am really looking forward to reading Forman’s next two books too!

  • I have this book but have put off reading it because I thought I should read If I Stay first. It sounds like it’s the better of the two books.

  • I have both of these books, and I am hoping for a readathon soon so that I can grab them both up and read them back to back. I am sorry that this one left you wanting though.

  • I really wanted to try this series, but my library never did buy the books. I should suggest that they do!

  • I actually really liked this one. No it doesn’t have the power of the first one, but I did like the ‘mood’ of the book as Adam, (and Mia) had to properly come to terms with the accident and the aftermath.

  • I keep saying I am going to read this one but it just hasn’t happened. I loved If I Stay!