Where She Went Gayle Forman
There's been a reoccurring theme when it comes to this book. I had several discussions about it when it was announced and it's come up in several reviews-- why? Why did the most wonderful If I Stay need a sequel? It didn't!
So, because of that, I wasn't going to read this. BUT, a friend really, really wanted it so I picked up the ARC at midwinter to give to her and well... it was already in my hand, I might as well read it first, right?
I eat my hat.
Maybe If I Stay didn't need a sequel, but this one is so good. There's so much to explore about what happens after your survive-- how you recover and how you move on with your life in the face of such tragedy.
It's been 3 years since the accident that killed Mia's entire family. 3 years since she boarded a plane to Julliard and New York and never looked back.
Adam's band is now famous and embarking on a world tour. He's living with his movie star girlfriend. He knows Mia needed to move on, but she's left a giant hole in his heart and life and he's not coping. He's chain smoking and popping anti-anxiety drugs like nothing else. And, the reporters all want to know what happened that made him write such lyrics on their break out album, but Adam (or anyone in the band) refuses to betray Mia like that. They haven't heard from her in years, but they are still protective and won't let the media make hay out of her tragedy.
Then, with the rest of the band already in London, Adam takes one last day in New York and there's Mia. And they have one night to try to reconnect and deal with everything that's happened.
So you know how If I Stay alternated between the scenes in the hospital and everything that happened before? This one alternates between Adam and Mia's night in New York and what happened in the missing years.
This is such an excellent portrayal of surviving, and the guilt of surviving. I also really appreciated Adam's awkward position-- he knows his loss is nothing like Mia's. Mia just lost her entire family, but... Adam was close to them, too. Adam also lost them, but won't let himself admit that he's also grieving, because his loss isn't as great as her's.
Overall, it was just as good, if not better than If I Stay. Surviving is only the first step and there's so much more that needs to happen before you can start living again.
ARC Provided by... publisher at ALA Midwinter
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