Thursday, May 12, 2011

Decisions Part 2

Where She Went

Written by: Gayle Forman

Released: April 5, 2011 by Dutton Juvenile

Summary: 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.

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.

Before I read the summary, I had assumed that Mia would be the narrator of this novel like she was for the first. I was then a little disappointed to find out that it was her boyfriend from the first novel, Adam, who was narrating this time but I wasn’t disappointed once I started to read. In fact, I think that I enjoyed reading this novel more than I did the first.

It was incredibly consuming to read about the after effects of the fatal crash from If I Stay. In that novel, you see the distress that Adam is under – while seeing everything from Mia’s point of view – but with this book you really get to see just how deep those feelings went. It also fills in the gaps between that book and the events of this one. Like If I Stay, a lot of it is told through flashbacks.

Adam is such a broken character. Like Mia in the first novel, he’s suffering from life-altering decisions and is unable to fully move on until a decision is made. However, unlike Mia, his decisions aren’t necessarily life or death. But he’s also under a lot of pressure from all sides of his life and as a result is almost not as recognizable as the same character from If I Stay.

I was immediately sucked into this novel and the result was staying up way too late to finish reading it on my e-reader. The night before I had just finished reading If I Stay, so the events and characters were fresh in my mind – which I thought was a good thing but not necessary in order to follow what was happening – and I needed to know what the next step in life was for both Adam and Mia. So I warn you, with this story there isn’t going to be a “good part” to stop reading; it’s a non-stop rollercoaster of emotions and reunions.

I loved Adam and all I wanted to do was hug him. He’s so unlike the character the reader was introduced to in the first novel that the change is almost shocking. And once you read about everything that he had gone through up until the current time in the novel, you can see how easily it was for him to become a completely different person. Then there’s Mia. I am still in awe of how strong a character she is and how seemingly easy she was able to move on with life. I say seemingly because as the story unfolds you also find out her side of what happened after she made her decision from the first novel.

This is the type of novel that I will definitely buy (once it comes out in paperback – it has to match the format I have If I Stay in) and read again. It’s also the type of novel that I will praise to everyone and recommend to all. I’m giving it a 9/10.

My thanks to netGalley and everyone who made it possible for me to read this e-book.

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