So, if you can remember a couple of days ago, I read, and looooved If I Stay by Gayle Forman. I read it so I could read Where She Went, the sequel. I wasn’t sure what to expect of Where She Went, except awesomeness, and probably a few tears.
There was awesomeness. And there were tears.
Where She Went picks up 3 years after the events of If I Stay. SPOILER ALERT!!!
*whispers* Mia lived.
If I Stay was told completely from Mia’s point of view. Where She Went is told from Adam’s. I thought this was a great way to change it up, which I will discuss in a little bit. As I said, it’s 3 years later and Adam is mega-super-star famous. He and his band have hit the BIG TIME thanks to the major angsty record the band put out after Mia’s accident and the repercussions of that. Now that Adam is Mr. Big Time with his Big Time Actress girlfriend, interviews, magazine covers, the pills, the booze, and a huge tour about to get underway in London. So you’d think he’d be on top of the world, happiest guy ever.
You would be wrong. Adam is miserable. Totally and completely miserable. He takes pills to help with the panic attacks. He can’t find the love of music that so consumed him any more. He doesn’t love his overbearing girlfriend, he doesn’t even want to spend time with her. His band, his best-friends who once had his back, want nothing to do with him. His life has been made wretched, by the fact that Mia went away and never came back. He reminds me of a caged cat, in the first few pages of a book. A pacing, raging tiger, looking for a way to break out of his cage and despairing that he will find it. Then, as he walks the streets of NYC, searching for that escape, he happens upon a concert. Being given by a young cello player. By the name of Mia Hall.
He decides to go in.
What happens next? I’m not going to tell you silly! You have to read the (both) book(s)! All I will say is that Forman again amazed me with her grasp of her characters, of their emotions, of how the things they go through feel so TRUE. And her writing is just as gorgeous as ever. How she can take all the passion, confusion, pain, and life from her characters and transfer it to the page. And Adam embodies it ALL. Witness:
I look at her there in the shadows of the shut-down city, her hair falling onto her face, and I can see her trying to figure out if I’ve lost it. And I have to fight the urge to take her by the shoulders and slam her against a shuttered building until we feel the vibrations ringing through both of us. Because I suddenly want to hear her bones rattle. I want to feel the softness of her flesh give, to hear her gasp as my hip bone jams into her. I want to yank her head back until her neck is exposed. I want to rip my hands through her hair until her breath is labored. I want to make her cry and then lick up the tears. And then I want to take my mouth to hers, to devour her alive, to transmit all the things she can’t understand.
And she can still wipe me out with the most simplest of sentences. This one will only make sense if you’ve read the first book:
And then Adam Wilde shows up at Carnegie Hall on the biggest night of my career, and it felt like more than a coincidence. It felt like a gift. From them. For my first recital ever, they gave me a cello. And for this one, they gave me you.
I wait with baited breathe for Gayle Forman’s next work.
This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own. Join us in discussing this fantastic book at our BlogHer Book Club.