Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Where She Went by Gayle Forman (If I Stay Series #2)

Where She Went (If I Stay Series #2)

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

The highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed If I Stay
Picking up several years after the dramatic conclusion of If I Stay, Where She Went continues the story of Adam and Mia, from Adam's point of view. Ever since Mia's decision to stay - but not with him - Adam's career has been on a wonderful trajectory. His album, borne from the anguish and pain of their breakup, has made him a bona fide star. And Mia herself has become a top-rate cellist, playing in some of the finest venues in the world. When their respective paths put them both in New York City at the same time, the result is a single night in which the two reunite - with wholly satisfying results.
And don't miss Gayle's newest novel, JUST ONE DAY and the forthcoming companion, JUST ONE YEAR.

My thoughts:
I didn't read the inside cover before I started reading, so I didn't realize the book was going to be from Adam's perspective this time instead of Mia's.  The first paragraph made so much more sense after I realized the change!  Being inside Adam's head gave the story a whole different feel.  The first book ended with Mia waking up, but you knew there was a whole lot of healing, both physical and emotional that was going be needed, the whole focus the first time around was whether or not she was going to allow herself to wake up or if she was going to join her parents and brother who lost their lives in the accident.  I wish I remembered the details of the accident more too, but I've already forgotten the details from the first book about that.

Adam has been widely successful, but doesn't seem to like himself or his life very much.  He is no longer close to his bandmates and is dating a successful actress that he does not seem very connected to.  After Mia left and cut off contact with him he floundered and gave up on his music and college.  He moved back home and took up smoking.  He changed.  When he started writing music again and the band recorded it, success came, but he seems to have put up a wall between himself and everything else, always having the ghost of Mia and the undealt with pain from his loss of her.

Mia and Adam's night in NYC, seeing all her favorite spots while talking in circles around the important issues of their past and present, reminded me a bit of Before Sunrise, but with two people who shared a long history and a lot of emotion, who can't quite figure out how to really talk to each other again.  He is haunted by the fact that, while Mia was in a coma after the accident, he told her to stay even if she didn't stay with him.  he told her he would let her go.  But it turned out that letting her go was much harder than he ever imagined, while Mia nurses some anger that he asked her to stay, while also being glad for the life she has been able to build and have.

How do you talk to someone after years apart when their public persona looks so successful and fulfilled that you don't think they will welcome your intrusion?  How do you honor someone's wishes when you aren't fully certain what they are?  How honest can you be with another person?  How do you let go, move on, or find your way back and how do you know which one of those is the right thing to do?  Through this one night together these two characters go through it all with a lot of flashbacks to gain insight on how Adam got through the last three years.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142420898
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 4/17/2012
  • Series: If I Stay Series , #2
  • Pages: 304

Meet the Author

Gayle Forman
Gayle Forman is an award-winning, internationally bestselling author and journalist. She is the author of Just One Day and Just One Year, and the companion e-novella Just One Night, as well as the New York Times bestsellers If I Stay and Where She Went. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughters.

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