Thursday, November 3, 2011

Review: Where She Went (If I Stay, Book 2) by Gayle Forman

Publisher: Dutton
Goodreads Synopsis:

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.


I don't know what I was expecting when I started this book. Because there was a sequel, I know that there wasn't a happy ending and I was afraid that it was just going to get worse. So I was happy to find that I liked this book even more than the first one.
I didn't feel a big connection to Mia in the first book, but I felt more for Adam in this one. He's still upset over her and depressed, and I didn't think it was too much. I mean, sure, the part of me that's all for self-love and all that, thinks that he should have moved on a little bit, dealt with it better, but it mostly fits and it was done very well. He didn't seem whiny or anything to me. He was a bit depressing, but I liked it. I like those kinds of characters, though.
When I heard about this book, I imagined something more along the lines of Adam and Mia stumbling upon each other in a subway or something and having one night to try to work out their problems, and I imagined that they would fight and talk and all those things, but I was unsure if it would have a happy ending or not. I was really happy to find that this wasn't the case.
Instead, Mia is successfully being a musician and Adam is not successfully being in the band anymore because of how depressed he's been. It's sad how badly losing Mia hurt him. And Adam finds out that Mia is playing near him, and despite his promise, he goes to watch her play. I hadn't realized that his promise at the end of the first book was going to be taken seriously. To me it didn't seem like either one of them should take it seriously, that either of them would want to fulfill it, so that bothered me. But I see why it was important, and things played out like they did partly because of it. Then there are some awkward moments and painful moments as they try to talk and find themselves unsure how to do it.
Their relationship, as they start talking and start moving on from it, is so sweet. They're much more mature in this book, and they need t move on from some things and they do. They're so very sweet to each other and cute together. They belong together, and they know it. I loved seeing them together in the present in this book. There should be more couples like this in books.
The writing was pretty much the same from before. It flows easily and it keeps me compelled to read more.
The ending is very fitting to the story. It's showing that they are going to work things out and are going to stay together no matter what happens. And Adam does a bit of growing, as well. I liked that he went to go talk to his band with Mia, and that it shows us that he did work that out, instead of leaving it open to our interpretation.
This book was fantastic. It was definitely better than the first one.

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