Monday, March 17, 2014

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

It's been three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life.

And three years he's spent wondering why.

When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.

Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good - or can you really have a second chance at first love?

Oh. My. Goodness. No words… As I’ve said before, the Just One Day series was not my favorite. If I Stay was good! Where She Went? ASTOUNDING! If you don’t like this book then you have no soul. Just kidding, not but really…

Hands down I can say that I loved this one even more then the first and I really liked the first! May even be the best contemporary book I have every read.  Just read it. READ IT DAMIT!

~Spoiler Free Review~

Writing:  Gayle Forman outdid herself. I fear for Forman that Where She Went will forever be a hard act to follow. The writing is raw, powerful, chaotic, torturous, passionate, and simple. Forman had my emotions on a rollercoaster that I couldn’t get off. Her powerful style explores torment, ache, and the optimism of possibility that is just out of reach. Beautifully written! Foreman has blessed her readers with everything one could possibly want in a sequel and then some. It’s clear to me that Forman obviously has a talent for making a character so real that you can feel their ever emotion. She’s a brain ninja. Forman got into my head, made a mess of it, and left me to pick up the pieces. I understood Adam more so than I have EVER felt in touch with a male protagonist. Maybe even more so than Harry Potter… (gasp!)

I LOVED the musical lyrics scattered throughout the book. If I wasn’t already right alongside the characters already this would have sealed the deal. Since I was already 100% present though, these lyrics just made it all the more real! This was genius as these lyrics were another form to express the pain and loss through song. I have a recommendation:

Dear Gayle Forman,

I’m a big fan.
Thank you for reading my review.
Please make the Shooting Stars album!

Thank you,

Characters: I will always treasure these two characters. My heart goes out to Adam right from the bitterness on page one. I can honestly say I felt every bit of sorrow, despair, and rage with Adam throughout his journey. Adam is intense, damaged, and flawed.  It’s the things he only admits to himself that are so vulnerable. I could literally feel his self-destruction. The lyrics to his songs were both loving and haunting. For me, he was a very tangible and tainted character that did not come across as unrealistic, or cheesy, or juvenile. I believe every expression of his love for Mia and was rootin’ for him throughout the whole book. He is broken, ruined, miserable, talented, and oh so loving! Seriously, this boy can love…

Oh Mia. WHY!!! (Deep breaths… count to ten)

 I went from liking Mia in book one, to hating Mia, to loving and understanding Mia. I was surprised at how much confusion and resentment towards Mia was building up in me and it wasn’t until the bridge that I wanted her to get what was coming to her, and then I understood. The clarity that Mia brings to this book is breathtaking. All things considered, Mia is strong, compassionate, and genuine. If I could choose a book character to have as my own daughter, I would choose Mia! She’s a fighter, she’s a lover, and she’s a survivor.

Plot: This book was a fantastic display of loss and forgiveness. One of my top couples of all time, whether or not it is a happy ending or not, my lips are sealed.  I will add that I got the closure I desperately needed. This is not what I expected for a sequel after If I Stay but I was not left disappointed in the least bit. Again, I enjoyed the format with the flashbacks that were easy to follow. This is Adam’s story, his journey, his memories through flashbacks of the past with Mia, and without. We get to see the man that Adam as become, and what he wants to be. We see his devastation, watch his rising fame, and share an open-wound that is healed by music, but never fully closed.

Great storyline, great flow, great design.

Overall, it was amazing. I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but this will definitely be going in my list of top-books-I-read-this-year. This story really got under my skin and I had to read it all in one sitting and I couldn’t put it down. If Adam and Mia’s story ends here I would say that it was well done. I would love to see another book however I don’t want it to be a letdown… why wreck a good thing? I only want another book if it can somehow trump this one. Sometimes I stumble onto books that touch my life in a way no other books can, THIS is one of those books. I’m sure it will be a re-read for me throughout my life. Forman, I am forever grateful for Adam and Mia’s story. Where She Went is a must read for everyone!
I definitely want to read more from Gayle Forman in the future. I can’t wait to see what else she has up her sleeves. Since I’m both hot and cold on Forman’s work please comment and let me know if you have read anything else by her that you would recommend. I want more…

“You were so busy trying to be my savior that you left me all alone.”
“I needed to hate someone and you’re the one I love the most, so it fell on you.” 

It was amazing.
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