Where She Went by Gayle Forman
The sequel to If I Stay tells the story of what happened in the three years since the accident that killed Mia’s family and left her choosing between life and death. The three years since Mia headed to Julliard and left Adam behind, completely. Now Adam is a rock star living in LA, riding on the fame that his songs of heartbreak and anger created. Songs that were inspired by his loss of Mia. But the life of a rock star is not working out well for Adam. He has to take medication to calm himself down, is no longer traveling or living with his band, and worries that he may have to leave music behind entirely. In one final evening before he leaves on a long tour, the impossible happens and he meets up with Mia at one of her concerts. The two of them explore Mia’s New York, and explore the accident and devastation that caused them to pull apart.
This sequel is just as beautifully written as the first book. Forman excels at exploring emotion, writing it in such a way that it causes readers to feel it inside their own skin. Without overwriting at all, Forman creates a lyrical and sparking prose that rings with truth and feelings. In this second book, she explores betrayal, abandonment, grief and success.
The characters have nicely grown since the first book, showing that the three years have changed them but not enough to leave readers behind. These young adults bear the scars of their previous relationship, scars that imprint so many of their choices and reactions. And then we have the city of New York, which is almost a character herself. The background to the reunion that serves as action and adventure for the characters.
A compelling, surprising and haunting sequel. This is one that fans of If I Stay will be satisfied and enthralled by. Appropriate for ages 16-18.
Reviewed from copy received from Penguin Young Readers Group.
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