Book Review: Where She Went

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Author: Gayle Forman
Published: Random House Children’s, 2012
Pages: 260
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Series: If I Stay #2
Read more about it on Add it on Goodreads
4 out of 5 stars
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Three years have passed since Mia and Adam last saw each other. Three years of Mia slowly trying to piece herself back together and become the cellist she was always meant to be and three years of Adam wondering why he was left behind by the girl he loves and coming to the realisation that music is no longer filling the void. When they meet once again, will Adam finally get the answers he seeks? And will Mia finally unleash all that shes been holding in all these years?

When I read If I stay, I found myself a little disappointed due to the fact that I didn’t fall in love with the book – I liked it, but I just didn’t love it. It came as a surprise to me then, when I decided to pick up Where She Went and found myself pretty much instantly liking it. I found it a little strange, at first, now reading from Adams’ POV, but definitely preferred it compared to reading from Mias’ POV, like in the first book. However, despite preferring this change, I do kind of wish that there were dual POVs; I kind of feel that at times Mia fell a bit flat for me – just a little, though. I would have liked to have seen Adam through her eyes.

Adam’s been having a rough time and at times I felt his pain – there was something very raw about it. Although, yes, he could come across as an arse at times, this didn’t lead to me disliking him. He is angry and lost and I truly did feel for him – he is kind of his own worst enemy sometimes though. I loved reading the lyrics to his songs – this was a really nice addition. I especially liked the inclusion of the songs at the end of the book. Just like in the first book there are flashbacks, which I enjoyed…but I found myself wanting to go back to the present time to see what unfolds.

“‘I know.’ She sighed. ‘What a freak! The granddaughter of a retired Forest Service biologist who’s scared of camping.’
‘That’s just the half of it. You’re a classical cellist whose parents are old punk rockers. You’re a total freak. But you’re my freak.'”

Another flight from here to where?
Crammed in a sardine can with not enough air
We’re on the map, I know that much
But the directions I really need are in your touch

This book went by in a bit of a blur, having read it in just one day. I really wanted to know what happened after the first book left off and found myself invested in how the story was going to unfold. I was really rooting for Mia and Adam to be happy – I’m so glad that Mia had found some happiness in those three years. It was very much a case of, will they? won’t they? situation, but I promise I won’t spoil anything by revealing what happened.

It was a satisfying sequel, for me, and if you long to know where the years take these characters, then definitely read it.

What about you, my Dear Readers? (Yes, I’m still calling you that.) Have you read this series? Did you prefer this book compared to the first? The song lyrics are a great addition, right?

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8 thoughts on “Book Review: Where She Went

  1. I didn’t even know If I Stay had a sequel! So this definitely came as a surprise to me 🙂 As well as that I am glad that you loved this one even more than the previous book! When the sequel in a series gets better it always all the more enjoyable.

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  2. I loved this one!! I confess, the first book made me choke up. But I listened to audio and it actually had cello playing between chapters and in the emotional moments and I totally got my feels twisted in a knot. DARN MUSIC. 😄 But really, it was beautiful. I loved Adam’s POV in Where She Went, too!! I think dual might’ve helped? Because Mia did seem a little…callous, I guess? Zomg, I ship them so hard though.

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    1. Cello?! Omg, I would have been crying! Maybe I’d like it better with audio? Music is very important I think in TV and movies because it can really make a scene. I often remember the music playing in a scene and is usually what helps to make me cry, so in an audio-book with all the beautiful words… I’d be a mess.

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  3. It’s been three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life. And three years he’s spent wondering why.” — WAIT, WHAT?!

    Haha, sorry for that outburst and pointing out the obvious, but I was just really, really shocked (this is the first time I’m reading the blurb for Where She Went, heh)! I was under the impression that everything was tied up nicely between Mia and Adam in the first book (that ending sort of hinted at it??), but it looks like I was wrong! Mia, what the hell?!

    Um, back to the review. xD Yeah, I totally relate to how you felt about If I Stay. After seeing countless of positive reviews for it and even seeing that super emotional trailer for the film, I was really excited for the book, but I didn’t fall in love with it either. I actually wasn’t planning on picking up the sequel, but THAT BLURB. I am too curious now — especially since it’s written from Adam’s POV, which I think will be interesting to read, since he’s such a sweet character. It’s a shame that Mia came across as one-dimensional at times, though.

    I think I’d really feel for him in this book as well, because he stuck with Mia while she was in that coma and was even willing to move all the way to New York just for her — and here I find out that she actually left him after all that. I don’t know what happened, but I’m glad that the author did a great job conveying his pain.

    Okay, now I kind of need the book asap thanks to your review. 😉 I need to know how it all ends!

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    1. Haha. No worries. The first book is a little misleading, as it does give the impression that everything’s okay between them.

      I think I saw the film trailer before I read the book and it made me tear-up so I was really excited to read the book, but sadly it didn’t quite meet my expectations.

      I’m pleased my review has made you want to read Where She Went; I hope you like it! 🙂

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  4. I swear I either see people LOVING this book or HATING it, and it makes me pretty interested in reading it!

    To be honest, I was pretty disappointed when I read IF I STAY, because so many people had told me how beautiful it was, and that I would cry, and that it would break my heart etc etc etc. And then I read it, and it was okay. I liked it enough, but I didn’t cry, and it certainly didn’t break my heart.

    And then i read the blurb for this book and I was kind of like … what the heck? I mean, it was insinuated that Mia came back for Adam and then they’re broken up? It just seemed like a case of the: sequel just to have a sequel.

    I must admit, I want to know what happened in their lives, and I think it would be good to read from Adam’s perspective (although, for some reason, I really thought this book was in dual POV, but obviously I was wrong). I also kind of want to see if I fall into the LOVE THIS or HATE THIS category, haha!

    I’m glad you liked this one, though! 😀

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    1. Yeah, I expected to love If I Stay, but sadly didn’t love it as much as I wanted to.

      I know, right? It seemed like Mia and Adam would stay together. I’m also interested to know what category you would fall into. 🙂

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