I've had this book "Where She Went" on my shelves since SIBA last year (in fact, somehow I got two copies). I knew it was a sequel to "If I Stay", but I made no effort to get my hands on that book until just recently. When Jill gave me the talk, and informed me my life wouldn't be right until I read them both. Since you can read these beauties quickly, in a day or two, and it is so important they be read together, you're getting the one-two punch here at You've GOTTA Read This. See yesterday for the review of "If I Stay".
Disclaimer: Inevitably, as with many sequels, the review of this book will offer spoilers for "If I Stay". It can't be helped and I am sorry. I will be as vague as possible and still try to convey the nature of this book, yet if you prefer to go into the experience cold, just skip down to the last paragraph.
Synopsis: Several years have passed since Mia's tragic accident, and we are catching up on things from the point of view of Adam, Mia's high school boyfriend. Mia has attended Julliard with her cello, dumped Adam in the process, and is now a touring professional. Adam has become an international rock star, complete with drugs, babes and losing his sense of self. It is a mystery why Mia turned her back on Adam after everything they had been through, and it overshadows everything good in his life.
Then one evening, Adam impulsively attends one of Mia's concerts in Carnegie Hall, and the two face each other once again. For one night, Adam and Mia wander around New York City, talking about their lives, their dreams, their mistakes and regrets. Most importantly, they confront the emotionally-wrought reasons why their relationship fell apart.
My thoughts: While I thoroughly enjoyed "If I Stay", this sequel really hit the mark with me. It was a much more introspective, much smarter story, reflecting the maturity of the characters. For the first 50 pages or so, I had a permanent grimace on my face...where the HELL was Mia? Why isn't she with Adam? What could have gone so wrong? But then things fell into place, and I was immediately reminded of a beloved movie of mine, "Before Sunset".
(Begin a small digression) "Before Sunset" is actually a sequel to "Before Sunrise", both starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. In "Before Sunrise", this young couple meets in Vienna, and spends a night roaming the city, getting to know each other, falling in love, then parting ways the next morning. In "Before Sunset", they run into each other in Paris nine years later, after life has worn them down. Full of smart dialogue and nostalgic musings on what might have been, this sequel is romantic and sexy. (End of digression)
Once this connection was made in my mind, I was a goner. I smiled when Adam and Mia smiled. I wrung my hands when their conversation turned painful. And I began my mantra that I mutter under my breath with certain books..."this better end right, this better end right". Forman succeeds at delivering a satisfying book for young adults and adults alike.
You wouldn't have to read these two books together, and you could read this one first, but why? Get them both, and reserve your next rainy day for these two heart-warming books.
4.5 out of 5 stars