BOOK READS: A Review of ‘Where She Went’ by Gayle Forman

Genre: Young Adult Fiction Published: April 2011
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Published: April 2011

After liking If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)  a lot, I can’t wait to have my eyes on its sequel. But maybe because of too much excitement, I ended up getting frustrated while reading the first 50 or more pages of the book. Is it just me?, or sequels are really not as great as their prequels?

Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)  continues Adam and Mia’s story after a tragic accident that killed the latter’s entire family, her mom, dad, and younger brother Teddy. The novel is set three years after Mia ‘stayed’ in the physical world and chose not to die because of Adam.

Adam described his frustration and anger towards how their love has ended ‘informally’. Through his point of view, he narrated what happened before and after the accident and how he struggled to find ‘himself’ after Mia woke up and left him and their relationship hanging.

I don’t like the first half of this book. Sadly, for me, Gayle Forman lost the effortless and cohesive transition displayed in her first book. The first half of the book is quite boring and it feels like Adam’s shifting storytelling isn’t effective as Mia’s. Adam’s feeling isn’t as unlike Mia’s. Maybe because I am a girl and he’s a boy? I am not quite sure.

On the other hand, I liked how Adam explained why fame brought him towards a ‘black hole’ of incompleteness and unhappiness. He told how he, as a rock star, goes against his passion just to please his agent and his fans. He also reiterates the issue of having no privacy at the expense of being famous.

I got hooked with the book when finally, the confrontation between the two long lost lovers has finally erupted. It took awfully so many unnecessary scenes before it happened, but when it did the Forman that I know was back. The lines and arguments are realistic and can really hit or melt one’s heart.

Forman’s brevity is really commendable. She uses short but powerful lines that give so much life to her characters. And I can’t deny that this novel brought back the ‘teenage-shivers’ and I can’t help but smile and blush.

“I am scared to lose you.” – Mia to Adam
“I hate you… because you made me stay.” – Mia to Adam
“I know I needed someone to hate, and you’re the one I love the most so it fell to you.”– Mia to Adam
“You don’t share me. You own me.” – Adam to Mia

“In the calculus of feelings, you never really know how one person’s absence will affect you more than another’s.”
“There’s a world of difference between knowing something happened, even knowing why it happened, and believing it.”
“Quiting’s not hard,. Deciding to quit is hard.”
“Concert doesn’t mean like standing up like a target in front of thousands if strangers. It means coming together. It means harmony.”

The story ended as I expected but I like the last scene which highlighted and brought back where Adam and Mia started, music.

If you want to know how Adam and Mia’s story, this is a MUST read for you.

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