“After having really enjoyed If I Stay, I was pretty stoked to read the sequel. Even before starting out, I definitely thought it was rather odd to write a sequel for a book like If I Stay. The whole question of book one is whether Mia will choose to live or not. And while, I suppose she could have chosen to leave and the sequel could be about the afterlife or everyone reacting to her death, that's really not likely, and it's definitely not the case. So, bold move.
Another bold writing move was the change of the narrator from Mia to Adam. Even though Adam was a big part of If I Stay, I never got a real read on what he was like as a person; I could tell that Mia loved him and that he was a pretty good guy and that was enough. Then, I started reading Where She Went and I found myself hating him and the book in general, largely as a result. Adam's just a stereotype at the outset: a super successful rock star, who, whether intentionally or not, is hogging the spotlight, thus causing a rift with the band. He also pops pills, chain smokes and has trashed at least one hotel room. Plus, he has a hot actress girlfriend, which is an improvement on the one night stands he had before her. I could not stand all of this, even though I understood that it was him falling apart after Mia. At least fall apart in an original manner.
The book definitely picked up when he and Mia began interacting. After having read the flashbacks from If I Stay of their relationship, the reader has an idea of what they were like together, and now it's amazing to see them so stilted and awkward. They have grown and changed and are weighed down by all of the words unsaid.
My favorite aspect of the novel is definitely the one last night before they were both to depart on their tours. It has a Before Sunrise feel to it. I love that movie, so it's not surprising that I would dig that element here. While such a brief time period could be limiting, it has an interesting way of being very freeing, since it's your last chance and you just need to get things out. I thought that was very well done.
All and all, having finished the book, I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. It might be too optimistic, but, then again, maybe it works just right considering all the crap the characters had to go through to get there. Perhaps time will tell as I think back on the book. Either way, this is not a book you will want to miss reading if you enjoyed the first, even though it is quite different. I can offer a couple of readalikes too, both selected for characters overcoming grief (and the stupid things they have done in their grief): Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly and Adios, Nirvana by Conrad Wesselhoeft.”
“This book was so fantastic. I read it so quick. I could read it again and again. So well done. I love the characters and their pain and joy......”Laura P wrote this review Friday, May 6, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Well executed follow up to Mia and Adam's story. I liked that it was from Adam's point of view, drawing a clear picture of the months following Mia's accident to the present. ”Erin wrote this review Wednesday, May 4, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“okay!”Kate (Kata) wrote this review Wednesday, June 1, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I havent read this book yet, but I loved her last book, It was amazing!
*Summer reading list !”
“Absolutely love it. I have no words to express the emotional rollercoaster this book took you on. A great ending to an incredible story. Raw, emotional, real, one of my absolute favorites! ”Frantic Fangirl wrote this review Tuesday, May 3, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
One of my most anticipated books of 2011 does NOT disappoint. Gayle Forman takes us on a story that is just as gripping, heartbreaking, and fantastic as If I Stay.
As I was reading Where She Went, in the back of my head I was thinking, "How can I possibly write a coherent review for this book? It's too good!!" But I wasn't really worrying about that, because from page one I was immediately sucked into this raw, emotionally gut-wrenching book. The characters are just as real and flawed and wonderful as we remember, and I love them so. much.
Sometimes a book is so freaking amazing that you're torn between writing down all your favorite quotes and just sitting down and devouring it in one sitting. I chose the latter; I read it the day I got it, and when I was finished I stared at the page and willed more words to come, because I just didn't want it to end.
Plot: Grabbing and well-paced.
Characters: Love them. Lovethemlovethemlovethem.
Writing: BRILLIANT. Gayle Forman is one of my favorite authors.
Ending: *stays silent, because I don't want to spoil anything*
Kid friendly? Pretty. There's some swearing, mentions of sex, and smoking.
Should I read it? Read If I Stay first. But if you have then OH MY GOD YES.
Overall: 5 STARS!”
“Forman was genius to tell this sequel from Adam's perspective. I was enthralled by his voice and the confusion and pain in his story. I'm not sure that I found the ending completely satisfying-- a bit too pat to be honest. That said, the last page seems to set Forman's readers up for another chapter in this story. Perhaps this time, she'll tell the story in alternating chapters of Adam's and Mia's voices??”Teacher Lady wrote this review Sunday, May 1, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I raced through this book so quickly and really liked it a lot. I remember If I Stay - it was amazing! I loved every moment of the first book. Where She Went doesn't disappoint either. I don't want to say too much about the book, since people might not have read the first one, but I can tell you that this book is from the point of view of Adam, Mia's boyfriend. He fills the reader in on the aftermath of Mia's accident and what has been happening since then. I raced through this book so quickly. I really loved Adam's character and voice. I enjoyed learning about the other characters from the first book and what had happened to them, too. I also like reading about what Adam was feeling and going through, because while Mia and her immediate family were obviously most affected by the accident, tragedies impact everyone involved. Adam was a part of what happened, too. This book was great. If you haven't read the first one, you should pick both up today. Cover comment: I hate that there is a girl on the front of this book. It won't appeal to boys at all because of this....at least not at first glance. I get that it matches the new paperback, but I think guys would like this book and even the first one...wish more books came with covers that appealed to both genders. ”Jenny W wrote this review Saturday, April 30, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No