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Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Title: Where She Went
Series: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Doubleday Children's
Publication Date: 28 April 2011

Synopsis: 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.

Review: You really must read If I Stay first - this may contain spoilers:

I normally wait to publish a review closer to the publication date if I am lucky enough to receive a review copy. However, on this occasion I just have to write about it straight away. It is such a fantastic book, I couldn't put it down. I read it in one sitting late, late into the night with tears streaming down my face (joy and sadness). I kept promising myself I would go to sleep after one more chapter, then after the next, then the next (you get the picture) until 2:30 came and I finished the book with school the next morning (4 hours sleep does not a happy Emma make).

Although I enjoyed If I Stay I have to say that I did not really connect with Mia on a personal level, her personality and upbringing just felt so alien to me. As you can see from the synopsis this book is written in first person narrative from Adams perspective. Now you may think that if I couldn't gel with my how on earth am I going to gel with Adam (him being a boy and all) I wasn't expecting to either but gel I did. Everything he felt I felt right alongside him, his anguish at losing Mia, his disillusionment at the direction his life and music has taken, right down to his frustrated outbursts with snooping reporters and his need to be physically close to another person.

The writing just flowed off the page, musical/lyrical in its own right. Song lyrics from Adam's band appear at the top of each chapter adding to the emotions evoked. The music references were genius (most of the bands I know and love, others I will be hunting out as I am sure I will love them)  and at the end it really felt as if Adam had reconnected with who he was/wanted to be. Being a great believer in soul-mates it was as if Mia and Adam needed to be together in order to be whole.

Full sensory immersion was achieved due to the tactile descriptions and sensations. My friend and awesome author Keris Stainton came to mind a lot when reading this with the tour of NYC as Keris is obsessed with NY and her new book is also set there. Gayle Forman's descriptions and little details adding to the whole picture really made it feel as if I was there alongside Mia and Adam. I will never think of the statue of liberty the same way [ : D ]

I hate to sound cliched but this is one book that I think is a MUST read - so if you only buy one book this year, make sure it is this one.


  1. Oh Gawd, I cannot wait for this book. I loved If I Stay, although I totally get what you mean about not completely connecting with Mia.

    This is a must read for me too. I am positively green with envy towards lucky peeps who got an early copy. lol! Just kidding, just a little jealous! ha! x

  2. If I Stay was one of the best YA I have ever read, so this one is top of my list to read when it comes out. I loved Mia's story, just so heartbreaking. I can't wait to read Keris's book now too.


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