by Gayle Forman
264 pages - Hardcover
Published April 5th 2011 by Dutton Juvenile
Source: ARC borrowed from Ms. Bethy (my tutor!)
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 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, 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.
If there was one thing I really hated about If I Stay, it was the ending. If I Stay was one of my best reads of 2010, but the ending seriously made me want to throw the book out the window. I adored Mia and Adam’s unlikely relationship so much. I wanted to know so badly what happened after Mia woke up; what they did a month later… a year later… Oh, was I obsessed! And now, here is Where She Went. The sweet things I dreamt of happening to them hardly did.
In Where She Went, we get to see Adam three years after Mia broke all her ties with him, leaving Adam a total wreck. I knew Adam truly loved Mia, but the sorrow he went through after she left him was overwhelming. He resolved to isolating himself in his room for months. And the songs that brought him fame were the product of Mia’s disappearance from his life. He became withdrawn to everyone including his band. And even though he was with another woman, it was apparent that his heart still belonged to Mia.
Forman’s writing is really beautiful. She made Adam’s anger and sadness almost palpable. After three years, you’d think he would have moved on from Mia, but no. His feelings for her were as intense as they’ve ever been. But this didn’t mean that he was still the same person like he used to be. The difference between the ‘then’ and ‘now’ Adam was very apparent that it made the flashbacks more painful. The sweet Adam was replaced by an angst-driven boy who struggled to live through everyday - someone who had to give himself a pep-talk to have the courage to stand up and live a normal life when nothing seems normal at all. He has always loved making music, but when he finally got everything he has ever dreamt of, he still felt incomplete. Without Mia, he was a total wreck.
But despite all the heartaches and tears that I shed, I am still quite satisfied with the ending. I had to let out the breath I was holding by the end of the book. I don't want give away any spoilers, so I'll just stop here, but not without saying first that Where She Went by Gayle Forman was truly an amazing read. I felt an overwhelming amount of emotion, from sadness to joy, but it's truly worth it.
Rating: 5/5 stars