Where She Went by Gayle Forman | Review

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Where She Went by Gayle Forman lying in a garden bed surrounded by vibrant green plants

5 stars


“A day might be just twenty-four hours but sometimes getting through just one seems as impossible as scaling Everest.”  

I was quite intrigued when I heard there was a sequel to If I Stay, titled Where She Went, because I considered the ending of If I Stay fairly satisfying. Sure there were some questions about how she would react to her life and if she would remember her out of body experiences. However,  I didn’t entirely require those answers to think the book was great.

Where She Went proved that yes, yes I did need those answers, because this book is phenomenal. Better than the original which isn’t something that happens often. The great thing about this book is that it isn’t a rehash of the first book, its entirely different and very original. This book is told from Adam’s perspective after Mia leaves for Juilliard and never comes back, and the whirlwind his life becomes. By focusing on Adam, we get more character development, plus a fresh perspective on the events from If I Stay.

Just like If I Stay, Where She Went is told in chapters that alternate between the present and flashbacks. The flashbacks mostly consist of Adam’s life immediately following the aftermath of the first book, with Mia waking up and trying to get her life back to what it was as best she could. But one day she leaves and never returns and Adam implodes. Adam’s perspective is very raw, and a very real depiction of someone suffering through loss, grief and depression – as someone who has and still suffers with these emotions the genuine depiction was appreciated.

“Letting go. Everyone talks about it like it’s the easiest thing. Unfurl your fingers one by one until your hand is open.” 

I implore people to read this book, because it answers those questions you might have after If I Stay. But not immediately and not in the way you would expect, it’s a natural progression. Gayle Forman handles the male voice well in my opinion, and you can feel the love and care she has taken to make sure this book is just as good as the first. Part of me was sad when I finished this book, because that meant the series was over and I thoroughly enjoyed the final book, but the little newspaper excerpts at the end made my heart melt a little.

Let me know your thoughts regarding this book or series below.

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