sequel to If I Stay
Book of the Month for April :)
I was insanely lucky to read an ARC of this novel (may have come at a cost of 'soul and brain' via Twitter*), but the day it arrived I immediately sat down and read it (after a squee-rampage).
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 Juilliard'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.
My Expectations: I'm not really sure, I mean it would be hard to live up to If I Stay but I thought it would be freaking wonderful.
Delivery: It was freaking wonderful. I seriously adored it. How does she do this??
Put-down-ability: 1/10 I read it in immediately. Like there could have not been more immediacy to my actions.
Barrel of the gun, rounds one two three
She says I have to pick: choose you, or choose me
Metal to the temple, the explosion is deafening
Lick the blood that covers me
She's the last one standing
COLLATERAL DAMAGE, TRACK 11
Where She Went has been difficult for me to review to say the least. It still feels like the novel is shifting around in my heart as I can easily say I couldn't stop thinking about it once I finished. There is a certain quality to this book that makes it just beautiful. It’s a sentimental smile on a dreary day. Taking place three years after the first book, it was so effortless to slip into Adam’s mind and become swept up in the book.
I wish I could go out here and say the novel is perfect, but I don't think I can. While it's not perfect, I do think I can support the fact that I think it's a breathtaking, starting with the very crux of the story: Adam. Oh Adam Wilde, you have skyrocketed up my list of supermegafoxyawesomehot** fictional boys so easily that I'm afraid my standards are falling. And then I read your story again and I know you more than deserve your spot there.
What makes the book come alive is the characters. I loved the way Gayle Forman slammed Mia and Adam’s worlds together in a fateful reunion. The simmering emotions crackle and pop, sometimes with subtlety and other times with an explosion. The tentative chemistry between the two was spectacularly done, and I loved finding out piece by piece the events that occurred in those three years (similar format to If I Stay) but most of all, I loved the voice of Adam. He's angry and tormented, and I am beyond impressed with Forman's ability to craft such a distinctive voice that captures the character's soul.
Much like the format in If I Stay, readers get flashbacks of what happened between the two, and I devoured these so quickly that I might’ve choked. This book is just as, if not more about what happened in the three years (it's called "Where She Went" for goodness sakes) so obviously I just loved finding out the less-than-perfect events that tore Adam and Mia apart; and this very process works in reverse as Forman manages to piece them back together, one New York stop at a time.
Where She Went is a brilliant sequel with emotionally honest and beautifully crafted characters. It’s a sequel well worthy of its predecessor, and readers will fall in love with Adam and Mia all over again, like they do with a favourite song.
Rating in HP Terms: Outstanding
Recommended for: lovers of contemporary YA, people who enjoyed If I Stay, most insane and sane people.
Acknowlegements: lovely, 4/5
9.3/10 – because I simply LOVED it. Loved the characters, the writing, the plot. I loved the lyrics of each chapter, and the fireworks between Mia and Adam. I loved the simplicity and the complexities of a novel with such high expectations, yet it’s one that manages to be amazing in an understated manner. Forman has really nailed the voice of Adam, and pretty much this sequel. It's gourmet literature***.
author website / twitter
*please know that despite my jokey tone, the fact I got a copy of this in no means affected the content of my review, my review is completely my honest opinions.
** AVPM anyone??
*** Is this catching on yet?