April 05, 2011

Guest Review 2 in 1: If I Stay & Where She Went by Gayle Forman

If I Stay - Where She Went
by Gayle Forman

Publication date: April 9th, 2009 - April 5th, 2011
Published by: Dutton Juvenile
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: 4/5 - 6/5

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

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.
When a friend of mine gave me Where She Went, I still hadn't picked up If I Stay, although I had heard awesome things about it.
So, I read If I Stay first and I thought it was good, I liked it. The story behind it is very very sad, it's not for the faint-hearted. I fell in love with Mia's family so I was completely devastated when the accident happened. I am not sure I particularly liked Mia, though. I think she came off as needy and selfish at times, especially when it came to her relationship with her boyfriend, Adam. She acted like she was spoiled, which we know for a fact she wasn't, judging by her loving and cool parents and the way they raised her. So, I can't figure out what exactly went on with Mia. She seemed to have everything and be happy but still was unsatisfied for some reason, I think, like she wanted more.

Right after I finished If I Stay, I picked up Where She Went. I hadn't read the summary, so I was caught by surprise to see that it was written from Adam's POV.
Where She Went takes place a couple of years I think since Mia's recovery. Adam and his band is a world wide success now and Mia is doing very good in her career as a cellist. They had broken up after Mia left for New York and Adam is still crushed by it. Where She Went is exactly that: Adam's torment, as he tries to figure out the reasons behind Mia's cruel goodbye.
To say that I loved this book, will surely be an understatement. I was totally heart broken by the end, even though it was a satisfactory one, and it definitely is a book I will never forget.
Adam's voice was so unique, like nothing I have read before. Is it because he is a guy and I am not used to it in YA books? Maybe. Or maybe it was what he said that moved me, things that you rarely hear from a guy. We find out that what Mia and he had in high school was not a simple crush, which I guess we already knew from If I Stay. What we didn't know was that their break-up, initiated by Mia, would cost him so. He seems completely broken and trying to put his life together was very hard for him, only to realize that he is still not alright. He knows well enough that it's only Mia who can feel the void in his heart and soul and what he regrets most is not having a chance to tell her that. Until he meets her again. And they talk. They argue. They cry. They laugh. And in the end they both confess what has been eating away at them all this time, leading to a catharsis they were both aching for.

Ugh, I am so not good at speaking highly of something and all the praising words can't do this book justice. I LOVED it and it will always be embedded on my mind and heart.
If you still haven't read If I Stay and Where She Went, please please do! You'll be doing yourself a favour!
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This review can also be found @ Just Another Book Blog. We also want to give thanks to AtenRa for sharing her review with us and giving us a helping hand. :0) <3


  1. I know exactly what you mean! I held out reading If I Stay until I had a copy of Where She Went because I knew it would be a marathon reading and I wouldn't be able to wait to find out what happens. Even though I loved the end of Where She Went, I was sad to see it end. I fell in love with Adam, he is my new literary crush, giving Peeta a run for his money :)

  2. Where She Went is in my top five of young adult lit. I just wish I could change the last ten pages into a more realistic, what would have happened in real life kind of ending. But still a great book!


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