Please, please, please read If I Stay before you read this post or the book I’m talking about. (Actually, you should read If I Stay anyway. It’s an amazing book.) Where She Went is the sequel, and you definitely need to read the first book to put everything in context.
I read Gayle Forman’s award-winning novel If I Stay nearly two years ago. At the time, I was awed by the story’s quiet intensity, and this book has stayed with me ever since. I have recommended this book to countless people, both teens and adults, and I haven’t heard a negative comment yet. Mia’s story, of choosing whether to live alone or join her family in death, is one that makes all of us think and wonder what we would do in a similar situation.
Just this week, I began reading the sequel, Where She Went. This story follows Adam, the boyfriend who stood by Mia’s side during the accident, and subsequent surgeries and therapies. Now, however, it’s three years later, and Adam’s life is falling apart. He and Mia are no longer together, and ever since they parted ways, his life has been in a downward spiral. On the surface, everything looks great. He’s a world-renowned “rock star,” he has the popular Hollywood girlfriend, and he’s got more money than he knows how to spend…but he’s never been more alone, and he’s close to his breaking point.
As Adam is walking down a street in New York, a poster catches his eye. Mia’s face is staring back at him. She’s playing a concert at Carnegie Hall that very night. Call it fate, coincidence, or divine intervention, Adam buys a ticket to Mia’s concert, and the two come face to face for the first time in three years. The night that follows this meeting will bring up some painful memories, demons that need to be laid to rest, and a small hope for redemption. Adam and Mia will finally talk about what happened, why she stayed, and, eventually, why she left him. Can Adam and Mia put the past to rest? And is there hope for a future beyond the pain of the past? Read Where She Went by Gayle Forman to find out.
I don’t feel like I’ve adequately captured how gripping Where She Went was. I had to read the last quarter of the book with my glasses off because I couldn’t stop crying. Reading about what happened in Adam’s life was devastating, and hearing how Mia coped with what happened to her and her family was enlightening. I feel safe in saying that I like this book even more than I did If I Stay. It was absolutely wonderful.
For more information on Gayle Forman and her superb books, visit http://www.gayleforman.com/.