Where She Went (If I Stay #2)
By Gayle Forman
Genres: Romance, Realistic fiction, Music
Rating: 4/5 stars
Book Summary: It’s the aftermath of Mia and Adam parting ways and from the get-go we can tell that things aren’t pretty. Mia left to start her career as a classical musician, and Adam is now a successful rockstar. And a rockstar in all ways: drinking and tabloid fodder.
But still, I find the need to remind myself of the temporariness of a day, to reassure myself that I got through yesterday, I’ll get through today.” – Adam, pg 3
Sarah: My initial reaction to this book was : Wait, What? I was so ready to read a happy romance…
Faith: And then the characters were all like:
Yay rainbows, ponies, and fun times! Nah, it was more like:
S: However, this time, the narrator was different.
F: Dun dun dunnn… it’s none other than – TEDDY. Ok I’m lying… and cruel. Sorry to break it to you but it was Adam. It was actually pretty interesting to see his point of view this time around but it was unexpectedly (personally) packed with emotions like an avalanche.
S: Yup, Adam was an interesting character. At first, I didn’t think I’d like him, because he felt too angsty, but as the pieces starting falling in place, my heart started falling apart. I thought he’d be a typical boozin’ rockstar, the kind of trainwreck everyone can’t stop watching. And it was true, in a sense; his emptiness felt like my emptiness.
F: I felt like I could really understand his pain and this book makes you realize all the more how real life celebrities are actual people too. The book starts off with setting the scene for the current state of Adam’s disintegrating life and he seems… different from the way remembered him last. However, as you read on, how it all went down slowly becomes revealed. This is one of the main features that people enjoyed from the first book “If I Stay”, so of course Gayle Forman had to bring that back. But this leaves you wondering: “What exactly did happen?”
S: We find out slowly, of course, because authors enjoy torturing us, that Mia abruptly left Adam three years ago. NOT. A. SINGLE. MESSAGE. (And Taylor Swift was complaining about a 25 second break up call). Adam basically became a modern day hermit. He moved back home, he stopped writing music and he got a ‘real’ job at a factory. And nothing changes…until the day a friend visits.
FILLED with emotions, he writes new music. New, anger-filled music, and an album called Collateral Damage.
F: I actually really liked the fact that there were song lyrics to go along with the book because his emotions were shown so much more poetically and I was able to almost hear the music with the lyrics. Although I know that he was writing out of anger, nearly every single song was filled with just so much of it and after I couldn’t really tell apart the different songs. It was sadness here and there. This was really a salty bittersweet kind of book.
S: I actually lurved the songs. MY STYLE right here, guys ;). I honestly wished those songs were real (ATTENTION GAYLE FORMAN: If you can find some band down to sing them, I’m down with buying that album).
F: Ok don’t get me wrong; I totally wished that these songs were real and was almost in tears because they weren’t: but if they were real it’s still plenty of sadness to last a life time. The lyrics were poetic and rhymed… I’d wonder why I’m not a successful author AND a songwriter if I were Gayle Forman.
S: TRUTH. Anyhoos… This book really was sad: the anger here, both Mia’s and Adam’s was palpable, and you really couldn’t decide who you felt bad for. (F: Myself; for having to go through all this pain that’s not even mine.) Mia’s anger, you ask?
F: Mia was a whole new set of emotion rollercoaster-ing. You couldn’t see what she was really feeling or seeing from her side of the story since the Event That Shall Not Be Named until well… later. All the miscommunication – or should I say no communication – between our two main characters left you empathetic as to why Adam felt the way he did about Mia. Without Mia as our narrator, I really felt that she was a cloud of mystery and I couldn’t figure her out. Nor her motives. (Except the musical aspect obviously.)
S: At the same time, when you really find out, you don’t know whether to smile, laugh, cry or frown. At this point, I became really frustrated. WHYYY. NOO. It can’t end like this ~ will all pass through your head. If you’re like me, you might even throw it out of the window.
F: I love how the author included a faux magazine article at the end about Adam so you get a glimpse into his future and how things end up along with a few extra songs. It helped because if the duo book series ended like it did, I probably would have still wanted to know a bit more to what had happened afterwards and an entire book dedicated to that issue would have been too much so the end extras did the book justice. I felt quite satisfied with the ending though there was so much raw emotion throughout the entire book series that I kept thinking that it couldn’t possibly be the end.
Where She Went was an enjoyable read and one that really made you feel for the characters. It’s short but with the way events played out, it worked; I could almost say that I liked this book better than the last!
😀 Sarah & Faith