Saturday, November 15, 2014

Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Original language:  English
Series: If I Stay #2
Genre: Young Adult, Drama, Death, Contemporary
Published: January 2011 by Speak
Pages: 264 (paperback)
Source: purchased

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.
 (Content from Goodreads)

 My Thoughts
This book was amazing. Just to make that clear before I start writing the actual review. And I should also mention that I have never read If I Stay, I only saw the movie but I didn't feel as if I missed some points of this book. But I also wouldn't go into this book without knowing If I Stay at all. The bad point of watching the movie and then reading the book is, as always that you (me) stop imagining characters. I had the actors' faces in my mind all the time and I imagined them doing the stuff, not some characters I imagined. 
I really liked that it was out of Adam's point of view, although before reading it I was a bit pissed because of this. I didn't like Adam at all after watching the movie. Yes, he is kind of nice but their relationship was super frustrating - They liked each other a lot and kept arguing all the time. Argh! But after reading Where She Went I started understanding Adam more and more so I didn't mind the different point of view. 
What I did mind was the three year difference: I'm usually not a big fan of memories and flashbacks and Where She Went was no exception. More than once I caught myself thinking about skipping a chapter or two but then I told myself it's probably important for the main storyline which I clearly wanted to read and to know everything about. Still I did not enjoy whiny Adam and his annoying Bryn girlfriend. Their chapters appeared way more detailed than the other ones and there was a lot of information I didn't really care about.But towards the end of the book the flashback lessened and the focus was on what happened now.
When they meet again Adam and Mia are both shortly before starting a tour. Adam  is not happy with his life, the fans and his girlfriend. We don't know about Mia's life when the book begins. Then they meet, because Adam decided to go to Mia's concert that evening. It was really realistic in my opinion that they were kind of awkward with each other and didn't instantly fall into each others arms and started kissing. It was the opposite of If I Stay. I felt a bit bad for Adam and sympathized with him because Mia appeared kind of rude and mean. 
They start walking through New York together and I could imagine every step, every tree, the cabs - everything. And I've never been to New York, so a big big like for this. And then the misunderstandings began and I was constantly shaking my head and mumbling to myself (Now I'm happy that I mostly don't read in public transport). There were so many things that could have been cleared out easily and they just didn't tell each other. It was incredibly frustrating! 
I just love Gayle Forman's writing style, the words she uses etc. One of my favorite things in this book were the chapter beginnings with the lyrics of the songs Adam wrote. To me they explained his feelings way better than the flashback chapters.
There are a lot of lyrics in the back of the book and the ending is kind of left open and it's just wonderful! (By the way, is Gayle Forman some kind of master in open endings?)

So I would definitely recommend this book to everyone who has at least a little patience with whiny people (can't actually say this is always me, but I wasn't patient with Adam either so whatever) and likes drama and tragic love stories. 

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