REVIEW: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Title: Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)
Author: Gayle Forman
Format: ARC, 257 pages
Genre: Young Adult
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
Published: April 5, 2011 by Dutton Juvenile

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 Julliard'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.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

Why I Read this Book: This book is a must read for anyone who’s read If I Stay. In fact, if you’ve already read If I Stay, chances are you been anxiously awaiting the release for the sequel. There was a pretty big cliffhanger at the end of If I Stay and if you’re like me, you need to know what happens next. And you get that closure in Where She Went.

What I Liked: If I Stay was a great emotional and thought-provoking read. And because I was late jumping on the reading bandwagon (I didn’t read that book until late last year), lucky for me I didn’t have too long to wait for the answers that are found in Where She Went. If I Stay was first published in January of 2009, so some people have been waiting over 2 years for closure. Well wait no more, the time has finally come! Today is release day for Where She Went.

I really liked that this book was told from Adam’s POV (1st person narrative). If I Stay was completely Mia’s story; her traumatic experience, her story, her flashbacks. In Where She Went, we finally get Adam’s side of the story; from back when Mia was in a coma from the accident until now, 3 years later. It was good to see where and how Adam and Mia each ended up 3 years after her tragic accident.

Adam pours his heart and emotions into his lyrics and shares them with the world. Every other chapter leads with a sampling of Adam’s lyrics. Angst, torment and bitter emotions drip from his words.

One of my favorite lines (that accurately describes Mia’s present journey) is Gran’s theory on why Mia was afraid of butterflies when she was younger:

“She said it was because one day I was going to have to go through a metamorphosis like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly and that scared me, so butterflies scared me.”

What I Didn’t Like: Adam was a bit annoying at times with his whining. His character has had to grieve and he’s had some growing up to do. He knows that Mia hasn’t had an easy road but the void is not easy for him to digest.

Overall Impression: Where She Went is a great companion novel. I got the emotional read I was expecting and the closure I needed. Gayle Forman brings a wide range of emotions to these pages, even the raw and gritty kind, and sometimes they come in waves. Have the tissues ready.


The Book Vixen’s Rating:

4 Frogs

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. It does sound like a book I should read, and it also sounds like very good YA

  2. Blodeuedd - It's very good realistic YA :)

  3. Great review! I also liked that it was Adam's P.O.V.

    I thought the lyrics were a great touch. You could totally see what he was feeling at the time versus in his present. Really interesting detail.

    I wasn't bothered by Adam though. I sort of understood why he was upset, that it was almost harder to lose Mia without any answers as to why than if she had died.

    I loved the line you picked. It is perfect!

  4. I just reviewed this too! I guess as it's the release date reviews will be popping up everywhere! o.O

  5. I did have my issues with him too, but by the end I grew to like him which was a relief!

  6. I swooned over Adam - love his hot mess of a life!

  7. This sounds like something that I would like.


  8. Ok, ComaCalm, do not be shy, you are running this wonderful Read Along event for this novel ;), invite us all!!!

    ~ Sorilla

  9. I loved this book! I cried the whole way through. I thought Adam was amazing was very pleased when they finally got their HEA.


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