Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Posted 1 August, 2012 by Amanda / 17 Comments

Where She Went by Gayle Forman
(If I Stay, #2)

Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Format: audiobook
Read: 6/21/2012 — 6/25/2012
In Six Words: A necessary conclusion to their story.


Gayle Forman — Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook
Amazon — Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook
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Book Order

1. If I Stay
2. Where She Went 

Why I Started Reading This Series

I was massively bullied into reading this series by both Missie and Jess.  While Missie was the driving force behind reading If I Stay, Jess was the driving force behind my finally reading Where She Went.  As much as I feared picking up Where She Went (you really only have to read the synopsis to know you’re in for a wild [heh] ride), I think my fears were somewhat unfounded.  Yes, this book is emotional.  But it’s an emotional journey that is somehow necessary to take.  I wasn’t reduced to tears by Where She Went, but my insides did get torn up a bit.  Thank you, Jess, for your persistence bullying on this one!


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 StayWhere She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.
-from Goodreads

My Thoughts

If you read If I Stay, then Where She Went is a must read.  There is an ending and closure to If I Stay, but Adam and Mia’s story is far far from being over.  Like with If I Stay, I almost didn’t post a review here.  But it’s worth spotlighting because…. it’s ADAM!  And MIA!  And THEIR STORY!  You want to treasure it and love it and hold it dear.  And then you want to treasure your own relationships and love them and hold them dear.

Where She Went is intense. Intense is probably the best way to describe it. This stirs up plenty of emotions – just as If I Stay did — but they are different emotions. With Adam as the narrator, everything is edgier and sharper. Filled with despair. It won’t tear you apart the way If I Stay did, but it will involve emotional upheaval. But it’s an upheaval that is vital; almost as if you must first tear down everything in order to build it back up.

Gayle Forman has a way with writing stories that are hard to talk about because the stories stir up so much emotion and reaction that it is best when experienced, and there aren’t enough words to properly express the journey from start to finish.

As a side note: though If I Stay is definitely YA, Where She Went features Adam at 21 and Mia at 20.  I’ve classified this one as “New Adult” but I do believe that it would be appropriate for YA audiences that have already read If I Stay.

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Filed under: Contemporary, ESR: 8, Review: Amanda, ,


17 Responses to “Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman”

  1. YAY! You read it! And loved it! I think the reason I loved this installment more was because seeing Mia through Adam’s eyes was so frakkin incredible, and feeling his pain was gut-wrenching. I am wicked happy that GF decided to write it from his POV.

    • It really was like seeing the other side of the coin. We got to experience Adam. (I was going to write more in that sentence, but really, this book was about experiencing Adam, wasn’t it?) It was also amazing to see Mia and her recovery after the accident.

  2. Woot for book bullies! They’re such awesome pushers. While IF I STAY was great, WHERE SHE WENT was amazing. Sooo intense–pretty impossible to describe unless you’ve read it. Poor Adam. He just didn’t understand and his pain is palpable.

  3. I really enjoyed this series — If I Stay more than Where She Went. I liked that a lot of the focus was on Mia in the first on, whereas this one fell on Adam a lot more. Though, it still is way up there in my books.

    I’m definitely intrigued to check out Gayle’s next series coming up!

  4. “But it’s an upheaval that is vital; almost as if you must first tear down everything in order to build it back up.”

    LOVE that line Amanda! Missie has been trying to get me to read this books for a really long time and I’ve resisted because I know they will turn me into a blubbering, emotional mess and I’m scared to try them:) I fail at life. I so adore emotionally challenging books, so I don’t know what it is about these that makes me so nervous! I need to just suck it up:)

  5. Now I’m kind of sad that I haven’t read this series yet. I guess like you I have been waiting to read this series because of how emotional everyone says it is. I don’t want a crying read when I’m out in public or anything like that so I keep putting this off.

    Thanks for the great review, glad you did decide to review it here afterall.

  6. Uh… am I going to be in trouble if I admit to never having read If I Stay? I think… uh… *runs away*

    *runs back*


    *runs away again*