“Let me premise this review with my thoughts on If I Stay, because you just can’t read Where She Went without first reading If I Stay. I read both books in two days. I wish I had the patience of dragging it out, but this story demands your attention and keeps you captivated until the end. Even then you’re wishing there’s a third book, but you’re completely satisfied after the second. It’s simply perfect.
I’m overwhelmed with how beautifully written this book is. The story is so real and scary and loving and heartbreaking… The book flows so easily. I didn’t think such a short book could be so deep. That you could connect with any character enough to really feel any meaningful emotion. I’m in awe, seriously.
This story takes us on Mia’s journey. She’s a 16 year old high school girl, with quirky parents (Kat & Denny), adorable younger brother (Teddy), say it like is best friend (Kim) and rocker boyfriend (Adam). The book start off with us meeting all the characters before the accident and then through Mia’s memories we get to know everyone even more and how important they all are to her. The way the author had put Mia in her “limbo” state was beautiful. It’s sad, but still so beautifully written. I found myself trapped with Mia mesmerized as everything unfolded before her. Needless to say the book was too short, but at the same it wasn’t. I wanted more, but what was given was just enough. Very thankful “Where She Went” follows.
So now I go into Where She Went with gusto. Is Mia alive? What happen??? I have racing questions. I’m pleasantly surprised to hear Adam’s voice and then I’m crushed to find that Mia and Adam are no longer together. Adam’s story speaks just as Mia’s from present to past and back again. In his memories we’re taken on his journey of the loss of Mia’s family, to the loss of her and then to his super stardom to fame. My heart just breaks for him as he’s devastated over loosing Mia’s family who he loved as his own and then finally losing Mia. I find myself just as angry and bitter as he is. What happen? What the heck happen??? They were so in love… What happen???? These words keep echoing in my head as I was reading the first the first chapter. I finally surrendered to the story. The writing is just as beautiful as If I Stay. Gayle Forman tells this story in such a way I was grieving with Adam throughout the book.
So Adam is essentially dumped by Mia, goes into hiding for several months, wakes up and decides music is over for him and starts a job as a data entry operator where his Dad works. When a visit from Kim of all people out of the blue ignites the anger he’s been suppressing. In his anger he begins to write music again and brings his band back together. The album is all about his pain, grief, love and loss of Mia. His band becomes super famous; he has a very beautiful actress girlfriend and all the money he could ever want, but he’s not happy… Not just, not happy, but down right miserable needing anxiety meds, alcohol and cigarettes to get through life each day. Yeah he’s a mess to say the least.
It’s been years since Adam as seen Mia. So when Adam stumbles upon a concert Mia is preforming in, he decides to secretly sneak in and listen to her music one last time. Mia hears from the crew back stage that the famous Adam Wilde is in the crowd listening. At the end of the concert she sends an usher to ask Adam to join her backstage. So I think, “Oh happy days… they’re going to reunite and all will be better”. Is that really what any reader wants? Well yeah, but no one in real life ever find it that easy and Gayle knows this.
We’re then taken on Mia journey after the accented and how it effect her. She loved Adam, but needed time. As the story continues I start to fear that maybe, just maybe I’m not going to get my happy ending after all. I start thinking well I guess Adam’s gets his closure and they both move on to live happy, successfully lives. I don’t like it. I don’t want it. But some books I’ve been reading lately haven’t ended with “And they live happily ever after”. So I’m bracing myself for it…
You have to read this book to find out how it all ends. You’ll be in tears in both books and go on an incredible journey of death, love and life. ”
Jenny wrote this review Wednesday, April 17, 2013.