Monday, May 9, 2011

Where She Went Review

Where She Went - Gayle Forman
*April 5th, 2011 Dutton Juvenile

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.

Where She Went is the perfect sequel to Gayle Forman's Bestselling If I Stay. The follow-up is just as poignant, just as bittersweet, and just as beautiful.

I'll admit - when I first heard about Where She Went, I was a little doubtful about how Forman would pull it off. If I Stay functioned so well as a standalone that it was hard to imagine a sequel that would be not only of the same caliber (or better) writing-wise, but also an additional piece that would add to the story. With Where She Went, Forman more than managed to pull it off brilliantly!

Although the follow-up is clearly a continuation of the same story, there are a number of fundamental differences. For one thing, the setting takes place three years later. For another, it takes place in the busy, bustling metropolis of New York. But most importantly, Where She Went is told from Adam's perspective. This, as it turns out, is one of the best things that could've happened to make the sequel as great as it is.

Sure, in If I Stay, we're managed to meet Adam. But everything we learned was filtered through Mia's perceptions, everything told through a biased lens. With Where She Went, we get Adam, raw and real. It's great to get further insight into the enigma that is Adam, the way that he dealt with the aftermath, the inner turmoil he experienced, the emotions that were released in unhealthy ways. The characters - not just the main ones, but all of them - seem almost closer now, having been experienced through an additional medium.

The interactions between Mia and Adam, the way that the events of the past three years are revealed, the fact that this next part of the story, too, occurs in a very short period of time... Forman executes it all with the same precision, skill and beautiful writing present in If I Stay. If I Stay and Where She Went hardly read like two separate novels - if anything, they're perfect complements for each other, two parts of one whole.

With a great sense of pacing, beautiful prose and intricate character relationships, Forman's deft writing skill has been proven yet again. This is definitely one YA author to keep an eye out for!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

So krazy
Eeer

Doesnt matter

Marilyn Jeulin said...

Thanks for the review, I am definitely going to try and get this book as soon as I can.

Lynn Colt said...

I loved If I Stay. If Where She Went manages to live up to its predecessor, I'll definitely check it out! Thanks for the review :)

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