Tag Archives: Gayle Forman

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Where She Went

““A day might just be twenty-four hours but sometimes getting through one seems as impossible as scaling Everest.”

The sequel to If I Stay is set three and a half years after the car accident that killed Mia’s family and put her into a coma. It is told from the point of view of Adam, Mia’s boyfriend during If I Stay. Adam’s band, Shooting Star, has risen to the top of the Billboard charts and granted him the fame he’s always wanted. But one night he spends in New York changes his life– and his opinion on music– when something he’d never expect happens. (I can’t say too much else about the plot without ruining the first book.)

Where She Went is just as great as its predecessor, which is a pretty big deal considering how awesome the first book was. You can really see the change of character in Adam from the first book to the second; it’s like he’s become a whole new person, leaving behind every trace of his old life for what he thought would be much better.

But, as always, I have one complaint. Gayle Forman has a tendency to use half of her books to tell the real story, and the other half as flashbacks. If I Stay was full of them, which was understandable since Mia was in a coma, but I think Where She Went took it a little too far. Being set three and a half years after the first book makes a huge gap in time, which is, understandably, filled with flashbacks. But there are also flashbacks of before the events in If I Stay, and then flasbacks that you’ve already heard in the first book but for some reason need to be retold by Adam. It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

Don’t mainly focus on my complaining, though. It’s a very minor complaint, one I was debating whether to even include in this review, and it really doesn’t take away from the great story. I’d recommend anyone who read and enjoyed If I Stay to read Where She Went immediately after, because I had my doubts about the sequel being worth anything at first, but was proven wrong (as I usually am when I question books).

I’m going to use the end of this review to inform any of you If I Stay fans that the film version is in production (hopefully soon), starring Chloë Grace Mortez (who starred in Kick-Ass and Let Me In) as Mia. Even though she’s nowhere near the Mia I had in my head as I was reading, she’s an incredible actress and I know she’ll do the part justice.


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If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay

“Please, Mia. Don’t make me write a song.”

The day started out great: a snow day had been issued, and Mia Hall and her family were going to spend the day visiting her grandparents and some family friends. But in an instant, they are involved in a crash that claims the lives of her parents, and lands Mia and her brother under intensive treatment in the hospital. During an out-of-body experience, Mia realizes she will have to decide whether to continue her life or end it all.

If I Stay is one of those really tragic books that you can’t help but read over and over again. Half of the book is Mia’s experiences as she wanders around the hospital; the other half tells of flashbacks from before the accident. It’s really suspenseful, mainly due to the fact that for most of the book you don’t even know if Mia’s brother is still alive, nor do you know if Mia will decide to let herself go or force herself to live without her parents. But I really love the element of music featured in this book, from Mia’s classical cello style to her family’s and boyfriend’s punk-rock obsession.

Mia goes through serious hell in this book, besides her parents’ death. Some of the flashbacks and memories she tells of are really depressing, and involve a lot of death as well. Also, the car-crash scene is very graphic, so if you’re squeamish, I’d advise you to either skip over those pages or just don’t read the book at all. It probably wouldn’t be a good idea, considering there are full explanations of her parents’ appearance after the crash.


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