Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
My Summary: Three years after the accident that killed Mia's family - and very nearly claimed Mia's life as well - Adam is anything but happy. Having skyrocketed to fame after writing an award-winning album, Adam is living with his celebrity girlfriend, selling out to please the record label, and popping pills to keep himself from freaking out daily. Adam is a mess, and he's been one for almost 2 years - since Mia left him without a word of explanation.
Then, on a stroll through town the night before the beginning of another tour, Adam sees a poster for a performance at Carnegie Hall; he buys a ticket and watches in amazement as the girl he once loved plays for thousands of people, having recovered completely from the accident. Awestruck and heartbroken, Adam plans to leave ASAP - until an usher approaches him, saying that Mia's asking for him in her dressing room.
My Thoughts: Oh Mrs. Forman, why do you enjoy tormenting my little piggy heart the way you do?! First, with If I Stay - I've never cried as much as I did while reading this book - and now with Where She Went, where I couldn't help but wish someone would just hug Adam and tell him everything was going to be all right again soon?!
If there's one thing I know, it's that Gayle Forman can write heartbreaking novels. If I Stay was one of the very first contemporary YA novels I ever read, and it was because of If I Stay that I fell in love with the genre.
On to the book: I found the songs at the beginning of every chapter really helped you understand how Adam was feeling, even when he didn't say it; they were definitely a great addition to the story. Also, I love the writing style the author utilizes - she tells the story in a forward way, while at the same time showing you what happened to lead the characters to where they are. And Mrs. Forman's writing is fluid and lyrical - poetic and yet still real and believable. And poor Adam... you can't help but feel his heartache and desperation, and just reading about his life after Mia makes you angry - 'how could she do this to him?!' was a question I asked a few dozen times.
Final Thoughts: I definitely recommend If I Stay and Where She Went to anyone who enjoys contemporary literature, and definitely to anyone who loves a good love story. Make sure you have a box of tissues handy when you start reading!