Sunday, February 5, 2012

Guest Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

This lovely review was written by my mom, who enjoys reading YA just as much as me. You can find her over at Out on a Limb: Shy Writer Goes Social. Thanks Mom! =) 

Title: Where She Went
Author: Gayle Forman
# Of Pages: 208
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: April 5, 2011
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 5 Hearts


(From Amazon)

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.

 Her Verdict

I just finished reading this book for the second time, despite the fact that I have a substantial TBR pile of books that I’ve yet to read once. There are so many reasons to love Where She Went. Here are mine:

  1. Authentic male POV.  I love the fact that the first book, If I stay, is told from Mia’s perspective, and the sequel is written from Adam’s. What’s not to like about getting an unguarded glimpse at the depth of Adam’s feelings for Mia?

  1. Emotion. This story is packed with it. We get to see Adam’s vulnerability as he struggles with the stress associated with fame, the heartache of losing Mia, and the guilt from the request he made of her when she was in a coma.

  1. Time Frame. The story unravels during a twenty-four hour period, at the end of which, both Adam and Mia will have to go their separate ways, adding an urgency and energy that kept me turning pages, unable to put it down.

  1. Setting. The “here and now” part of the book takes place in New York City, and the author describes it with such detail that it’s like a living, breathing addition to the plot. I’ve never been to NYC myself, but after reading this book, I feel like I have.

  1. Flashbacks fill in the gaps adding some of the history between Adam and Mia, as well as what’s taken place in the three-year-gap between the time Mia left for Julliard and the present when their paths finally cross again.

  1. Lyrics.  The album that catapults Adam and his band, Shooting Star, to super stardom is the one that was born of his heartache over losing Mia. The way a snippet of the lyrics is used at the head of several chapters adds another layer of interest to the story.

  1. The ending.  I love that the ending is actually the ending. No cliffhangers here. 


  1. I really like the idea of an authentic male POV! Too often, male POVs end up being too sappy and clearly written by a girl. I've heard really good things about this book. The first one didn't interest me that much from the synopsis but I think I'll try that to read this one! I bet this book will make me miss NYC though! Also hooray for the lack of cliffhangers. :D

    1. Elena,
      I hope you give it a try. It's a great read.

  2. I really enjoyed this book too--If I stay is one of my favorites also! Both take you on such an emotional journey.

    1. I liked If I stay, but I like Where She Went even more. Probably because by book two I was already invested in the characters. I agree, they were very emotional.

  3. Awesome review! This book is one of my favorite read all time. The story is so beautiful, and the characters are very likeable. I agree that Where She Went has a really authentic male POV. I feel as if I've known Adam very much when I read this book! The ending is perfect. <3

    1. I agree on all counts, Hilda. I need to look up the author and see what else she's got out.

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