Title: Where She Went (If I Stay #2)
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Date Published: April 2011
Rating: 5 stars
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 Juilliard’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.
Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.
If I Stay is one of my absolute favourite movies, so based on the assumption that the book is always better, I decided that it was about time that I read it, only to find myself disappointed by the novel. But my disappointment did not stop me from picking up the companion novel Where She Went. I needed know what happened to Mia and Adam. How did Mia recover from losing her family? Did she go to Juilliard? What happened to Adam’s band? And did they get their happily ever after?
Where She Went did not falter in answering those questions and more. Forman captured the aftermath of loss so well for both Mia and Adam. She brought attention to the different kinds of losses these two character experience. Not only do both of them have to deal with the death of Mia’s family members but they also have to let each other go in order to move on. It was heart-breaking and relatable.
Adam deals with losing Mia by channeling his anger into music and producing a platinum selling album for his band Shooting Star. However, fame leads him to become disconnected from the music and his relationship with his band member deteriorates.
On the other hand Mia spends the next three year go through the various stages of grief. When she runs into Adam in New York she has come to terms with the loss of her family and has realised that one doesn’t ever get over grief, but rather that you must learn to live with it.
If you’re up for an emotion read, then I recommend that you get your hands on Where She Went.