There are spoilers for If I Stay below. Don’t be stupid and read this and spoil yourself for If I Stay and then come back and yell at me for spoilers.
Usually, I’m wary of sequels, especially when the first book ends perfectly. I get worried it’s a money grab, half the time when a sequel seems unnecessary. Or that the sequel will pale in comparison to the original. Friends, Where She Went by Gayle Forman, sequel to If I Stay is legit.
Instead of receiving Mia’s viewpoint, Where She Went is told through Adam’s viewpoint. It is just as gripping as If I Stay. You see, Where She Went takes place several years after If I Stay. It’s set in NYC (HOLLA!!). Mia is a famous cellist. Adam is a rock star. They’ve broken up in the years between If I Stay and Where She Went. The reason is given in the book and totally not a cop out, either. Anyways, Adam’s not satisfied with his life, even though he has it all, money, a hot girlfriend, and fame. You see, he’s totally living that ‘the girl who got away’ situation. Right, so the majority of Where She Went takes place in one day and it’s completely fantastic. And just a heads up, I’m about to state the obvious. The characters in Gayle Forman’s book are older, so if you are looking for a read with college-aged protagonists, even if they aren’t in college, Where She Went is for you.
Gayle Forman’s writing style is easy to tumble into. It isn’t too terribly complicated to read and perfect for reluctant readers, as the plot and characters are compelling. Where She Went is a one sitting type of book. I found myself unable to put it down, even for a second.
What I loved the most about Where She Went were the characters. Adam is genuine. He’s still the fabulous guy from If I Stay. However, fame and breaking up with Mia has hardened him. Yet, we see how he becomes a completely different person around Mia, when he reunites with her after not seeing her for years. And I love that, because it is authentic. Plenty of us become different people from our public places when we are around those close to us, those who know our essential selves. And I know that sounds new age-y, but roll with it for this review. I’m a different person at work and the grocery store than I am with my boyfriend and my best friends. I loved that Adam is still carrying the torch.
And Mia, she’s wonderful and heartbreaking and still passionate about classical music.
Friends, Where She Went does have it’s sad, tearjerking moments, but it’s ultimately a feel good book about how life has a funny way of working out and the people we carry in our hearts are always truly a part of us, whether they are in our lives or not. This book is absolutely a worthy follow-up to If I Stay and cements Gayle Forman among contemporary YA authors to watch.
Disclosure: Gifted by Deb at Debbie’s World Of Books. Now everyone be awesome and visit her blog and comment on her reviews because SHE ROCKS.