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Where She Went [Hardcover]

Gayle Forman
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 5 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.

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Review

"A stunning sequel, beautifully written, with characters that will capture your heart" I Want to Read That "A worthwhile and fulfilling sequel" Daisy Chain Book Reviews "As the story progressed I loved getting under the skin of the characters once again ... The final ending was awesome and I was really pleased with how it turned out" The Overflowing Library "Gayle Forman writes in beautiful, elegant prose that is so saturated with emotion it can't fail to give you the occasional lump in your throat" Sugarscape "Absolutely captivating ... filled with such heartbreak and sadness but also the same beauty and hope that stole my heart with If I Stay" Fluttering Butterflies --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Sequel. July 9 2011
Format:Hardcover
To follow up a book as heartfelt as "If I Stay" was a challenge in my eyes. However when I read "Where She Went" I was not only incredibly impressed but also touched by the way the author showed and expressed grief to a teen reader that would appeal and compel them to read the rest of the story. These two novels are a great showcase of values, growth and strength and should be on every families bookshelf.

Wonderful novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first! June 24 2012
By Avery Greaves TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Literally 5 minutes after finishing 'If I Stay" I rushed over to my local bookstore and picked up a copy of this book. Admittedly when I bought it I didn't read the synopsis and therefore wasn't aware that this book was told in Adam's POV therefore for a few chapters I was a bit thrown, but quickly adjusted to his voice. I found Adam's voice to be so raw, real, genuine, and a bajillion other adjectives of that nature. I had chills the entire time while reading this book due to him and his honestly.

While I did have a bit of difficulty connecting to Mia in this book, as I had in "If I Stay", feeling that she wasn't quite a developed as I would have liked, I did have a bit of an easier time in this book which I think can be attributed to Adam's perspective of her. Furthermore, the secondary characters of this series made more of an impact on me in this book than they had in "If I Stay"- from Liz to Kim to beyond.

That being said, while in "If I Stay" I really enjoyed the flashbacks as it allowed us to garner a better insight of Mia and Adam's relationship, I found myself growing increasingly frustrated with them in this book- I wanted to know what was happening with Mia and Adam in the here-and-now and not Mia and Adam of the past (similarly to how I felt in Laini Taylor's "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" with Akiva and Karou's relationship). However, I felt that the song lyrics which preceded some of the chapters more than made up for the iffy flashbacks and brought a certain je ne sais quoi to the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too Sept. 23 2011
Format:Hardcover
About three years ago, Mia and Adam went their separate ways - Mia off to Julliard and Adam off to live the life of a rock star.

Adam is about to start a European tour with Shooting Star. Since heading off on his own, he has attempted to push aside the emotions he still feels for Mia. Doing so has created a whole new set of problems. Adam is becoming cut off from his fellow band members, and the resulting pressure is becoming more than he can take. His days are filled with annoying interviews, meetings, and rehearsals that he only manages to get through with the help of prescription drugs and cigarettes. His equally famous girlfriend constantly berates him about living with a ghost from his past.

In New York City for a brief interview before leaving for the tour, Adam has an angry outburst due to questions from a nosy interviewer. Knowing he won't be popular, he takes off, avoiding his flight and, hopefully, the anger of his manager. His thoughts are filled with Mia, and when he stumbles across her name on the marquee for a Youth Concert series, he asks if any tickets remain. Fate intervenes and he finds himself sitting in the concert hall watching her perform.

After the concert he plans to slink back to his hotel and attempt to make up for his earlier bad behavior by contacting his manager. But on his way out of the concert hall, Adam is approached by an usher, asking him to follow him to Mia's dressing room.

What follows is a twenty-four-hour period of emotional ups and downs as both Adam and Mia confront the demons surrounding their complicated relationship. Adam relives the terrible months of watching Mia struggle to recover from the accident that killed her parents and her little brother. He knows he is the reason why Mia left.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! Sept. 6 2011
By J. Scully TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Adam Wilde is living the dream. His band is about to start the biggest tour of their career, their albums have gone triple platinum and he's half of the hottest celebrity couple around. The interviews, videos and recording sessions should be the icing on the cake, but for the "Wilde Man" they're torture. No matter how many pills he takes or cigarettes he smokes, the dream still feels like a nightmare. No one understands why the man who has it all acts like he's in hell. He knows what went wrong, but there's nothing Adam can do to make himself enjoy the life he always thought he wanted. Because it was a dream they made together, and it doesn't make him happy without her. But one day when fate intervenes, Adam finally finds the answers he has been searching for.

Even though "Where She Went" is a follow-up to Mia's story in "If I Stay", I think Adam's tale will be just as enjoyable for those who haven't read the first book. Gayle Forman has an incredible ability to write characters that almost leap off the page they feel so real.

Adam's story unfolds in both real-time and through flashbacks, but the two work together seamlessly to fill in the details of the past three years without ever felling jumpy or hard to follow. I really have no complaints with Where She Went. The characters are wonderful, the pacing is perfect and the story answers all the questions that readers are left with after "If I Stay". The only reason I gave this book one less star than "If I Stay" was that it didn't quite pack the emotional punch that Mia's side of the story did. But I think that's a result of reading these two books back-to-back, rather than there being anything lacking in "Where She Went".
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  662 reviews
46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where She Went reviewed by The Book Vixen April 5 2011
By Brianna (The Book Vixen) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Why I Read this Book: This book is a must read for anyone who's read If I Stay. In fact, if you've already read If I Stay, chances are you been anxiously awaiting the release for the sequel. There was a pretty big cliffhanger at the end of If I Stay and if you're like me, you need to know what happens next. And you get that closure in Where She Went.

What I Liked: If I Stay was a great emotional and thought-provoking read. And because I was late jumping on the reading bandwagon (I didn't read that book until late last year), lucky for me I didn't have too long to wait for the answers that are found in Where She Went. If I Stay was first published in January of 2009, so some people have been waiting over 2 years for closure. Well wait no more, the time has finally come! Today is release day for Where She Went.

I really liked that this book was told from Adam's POV (1st person narrative). If I Stay was completely Mia's story; her traumatic experience, her story, her flashbacks. In Where She Went, we finally get Adam's side of the story; from back when Mia was in a coma from the accident until now, 3 years later. It was good to see where and how Adam and Mia each ended up 3 years after her tragic accident.

Adam pours his heart and emotions into his lyrics and shares them with the world. Every other chapter leads with a sampling of Adam's lyrics. Angst, torment and bitter emotions drip from his words.

One of my favorite lines (that accurately describes Mia's present journey) is Gran's theory on why Mia was afraid of butterflies when she was younger:

"She said it was because one day I was going to have to go through a metamorphosis like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly and that scared me, so butterflies scared me."

What I Didn't Like: Adam was a bit annoying at times with his whining. His character has had to grieve and he's had some growing up to do. He knows that Mia hasn't had an easy road but the void is not easy for him to digest.

Overall Impression: Where She Went is a great companion novel. I got the emotional read I was expecting and the closure I needed. Gayle Forman brings a wide range of emotions to these pages, even the raw and gritty kind, and sometimes they come in waves. Have the tissues ready.
41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than "If I Stay" April 5 2011
By YA book lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I wonder if it is ok that I liked Where She Went so much more than its predecessor. I mean, If I Stay was all about people dying and lying in coma and there were hardly any tears in my eyes and here I spent hours sobbing over a guy's broken heart? Am I that much into emo guys?

Don't think that's the answer though. Super-emo Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls)'s Sam and Beautiful Creatures's Ethan didn't rock my boat and how could they with their obsessions over puffy coats, Scarlett O'Hara and leaky womb type poetry? Adam Wilde is emo of a different, Tom Mackee (The Piper's Son) kind. He is broken, messed up, hopeless, talented and he can love!

Adam's story was just so, so bitter. Throughout the book I felt that exactly like him, I was filled with pain and resentment towards Mia's decisions. The eventual release of all the pent-up anger (accompanied my uncontrollable sobs) was, I believe, as cathartic for me as it was for Adam. This book was a fantastic study of grief, loss and forgiveness. Beautifully, beautifully written.

Ladies, have you hankies ready for this one, 'cause I am tearing up again just thinking about it.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! April 11 2011
By Angela - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I was a little late to the game with this series. Despite everyones recommendation's, I didn't actually get around to reading "If I Stay" until a couple weeks ago! I don't know why I put it off for, but I'm so glad that I finally picked it up!!! It was great!

After reading the emotionally charged "If I Stay" I was afraid that the follow wouldn't be able to live up to the standards the first book set. My worries were for nothing. Adam's book, while completely different, was still just as emotionally charged and powerfully written.

This tortured, damaged Adam is a much different Adam from the light-hearted romantic that we met in "If I Stay", but I think I fell even more in love with him with each and every page. What is it about an emotional damaged bad-boy with a guitar?? Mia, having held him to his promise, has cut him from her life, but in doing so, it seems that it tore his heart out in the process. Adam is nothing but a shell, and getting through each day for him is a constant struggle.

I loved how as Mia and Adam reconnect the book would flash back to things that had happened over the last three years, or things that happened in the past when they were together. There shared history was always there in the conversations and it made the story very sweet and romantic.

As all the different peices of this story start to fall together, and you start to see them as a whole, you realize what a truly beautiful love story this book is. Mia's and Adam's past, present, and future all collide to make this such a wonderful read. I love Gayle Forman's writing, and I can't wait to read more by this author!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as thought-provoking, but better than If I Stay in many ways June 16 2012
By thehydrogenpoptart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
First Sentence: Every morning I wake up and tell myself this: It's just one day, another twenty-four hour period to get yourself through.

How I Acquired the Book: Borrowed from my town's library.

The Review (with MINOR SPOILERS): I suppose I should start off this review by saying that Where She Went is very different from its predecessor, If I Stay. For the first half, Where She Went was very slow, dragged in the plot, and felt as if it were some new trashy teen lit. While I was reading the first half, I kept thinking, "Wow, If I Stay would be better if it had stayed alone." Where She Went certainly was not the book If I Stay was. In my opinion, although it didn't change mine, If I Stay had the potential to change people's lives. However, I can't say the same for Where She Went.

While I thought the ending of If I Stay was a very nice and sweet ending, obviously, some others did not, and that is, I suppose, what prompted Ms. Forman to write this book. Where She Went picks up three years after Mia's tragic car accident that killed her family, but not her. But this time, the story's told from Adam's point of view. In the three years that have passed, he has become a rock star. Mia, meanwhile, has reportedly become "the next Yo-Yo Ma."

That was one major complaint I had with Where She Went: the whole unrealisticness of it all. (Hey, is that even a word?) Seriously, how, after three years, are they both supposed to be ridiculously famous? The improbability of that really staggers me, and detracted a lot from my reading experience. Even Adam describes it perfectly on page 228: "It's just: Kim. You. Me. We all came from this nowhere town in Oregon, and look at us. All three of us have gone to, well, extremes. You gotta admit, it's kind of weird."

Yes, Adam, it is kind of weird. Therefore I have no idea why your creator would choose to make it so weird.

Moving on: One thing that really annoyed me in If I Stay was Mia's character. She was boring. Period. Adam is a totally different story. He's much more emotional, and much more interesting to read about. Mia, of course, is still quite boring, but now that she's in the third person, it's not quite as bad. I totally preferred Adam's voice to Mia's voice.

Where She Went, at the core, is absolutely a romance novel. Gone are the thought-provoking questions that If I Stay raised; welcome, character interaction and thoughts. I don't think everyone who liked If I Stay will like Where She Went, but I definitely liked this book better. For romance lovers and lovers of Mia and Adam, this book is a dream come true. While the first half was sluggish and unforgivable, the second half redeems this book.

I really wish Amazon would let us give half-star ratings, because I really want to give this book 3.5 stars, and this is a positive review, not a critical review. As a reference, I think If I Stay deserves 2.5 stars. So if If I Stay left you begging for more of Mia and Adam, read this. Your wish has been granted.

-reviewed by a teenager. (I apologize for any teenagery and/or snarky comments in this review, if they have offended you. I understand they can be very annoying, just like teenagers themselves. In any case, thanks for dealing with them and thanks for reading this review.)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Followup! April 7 2011
By Lauren "365 Days of Reading" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
SUMMARY: After the terrible accident that changed her life forever, Mia parted with her then-boyfriend Adam (with little warning) and the two went their separate ways. Three years later, when brooding, cynical Adam stops in New York City with his highly successful band, Shooting Star, he stumbles upon Mia once again, and his wounds from the breakup are reopened. Will he finally be able to let go of the girl he once loved?

MY THOUGHTS: When I first heard that Gayle Forman's If I Stay would have a sequel, I was surprised. If I Stay ended on a pretty good note. Upon reading Where She Went, though, I was so grateful that Forman ended up writing a sequel--there was so much more to be discovered about Mia and Adam's relationship.

Where She Went is just as beautiful as its predecessor. Gayle Forman's writing is superb, and Adam's perspective was so raw and heartbreaking. It was interesting to see this side of him--the side that is broken and empty. It was like being introduced to an entirely different character. His journey through New York and his meeting with Mia was so sad, but the emotions that he expressed through the whole ordeal were amazingly true.

Mia didn't play as big a part in Where She Went as she did in If I Stay, but what she represented for Adam made her extremely important. I was so happy when the two finally met up again, and enjoyed their reactions to being reunited. The story takes the pair all over New York City, which perfectly parallels Adam's rollercoaster emotions.

Like If I Stay, Where She Went was filled with memories. These memories helped flesh out the story and made Adam's feelings easier to understand. Gayle Forman placed each memory perfectly--I never felt confused, and they were always full of emotion.

Fans of If I Stay will quickly devour Where She Went. Gayle Forman easily gets into the head of Mia's boyfriend Adam and delivers another touching story that hooks the reader right from the start. It was nearly impossible for me to put this book down, and when I did, it was to give a sigh of satisfaction at finishing a great book.
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