Series: If I Stay #2
on April 5th 2011
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.
Adam and Mia seemed like the perfect couple in If I Stay. So what went wrong? Where She Went told from Adam’s point of view a few years after Mia opened her eyes at the end of the first book. She stayed – but not with him. Now Adam is a famous musician complete with paparazzi following his every move and a feud with his band of rock star proportions. All his dreams came true… so why is he unhappy? After a chance meeting with his first love, Adam starts to reevaluate his life and try to remember all the things which made him happy back when he and Mia were together.
I adored Mia and Adam in If I Stay and I was slightly disheartened to hear that they had broken up. But Gayle Forman makes it work in Where She Went. The issues of first loves, heartbreak and the bittersweet feeling of being dissatisfied when your dreams come true are all central themes of the book.
The choice of Adam as narrator is an interesting one. He’s painfully unhappy at the beginning of the novel which contrasts nicely with his flashbacks. He was happy when he was with Mia but she’s also caused him a lot of pain. He can attribute his success to her despite she not being there to share it with him. Present day Adam was not the easiest to read due to his emotional state but his feelings are realistic and relatable.
For me the strength of this book is the authenticity. Most stories don’t have a happily ever after – especially after such the emotional and physical trauma Mia suffered in If I Stay. Realistically, Adam and Mia wouldn’t have lasted together and I liked Forman addressed this. The reasons behind their drift apart made sense and felt right based on everything we knew about these characters. But I also liked their reunion. Time had passed and life had changed Adam and Mia yet for all that was different, whilst reading their night together in the present I remembered all the reasons why I liked them in the past.
If I Stay worked perfectly as a standalone but if you want to see what was next for Adam and Mia – I definitely recommend Where She Went. It’s emotional, romantic and full of all that wonderful heartbreaking drama that Gayle Forman writes so well.