Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman


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The stunning sequel to Gayle Forman’s international best seller, If I Stay – Now a major film starring Chloe Grace Moretz. If you had a second chance at first love …would you take it? It’s been three years since Adam’s love saved Mia after the accident that annihilated life as she knew it …and 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, powerful 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.

Sure, I enjoyed this book. I’d go as far to say I liked it. But loved it? Eh. Unfortunately, this book felt so flat and unoriginal to me. I actually really liked the concept of If I Stay, just because it’s not very often we’ll see a book written from the perspective of a ghost girl. But I felt like I’d read Where She Went way too many times before.

“But I’d do it again. I know that now. I’d make that promise a thousand times over and lose her a thousand times over to have heard her play last night or to see her in the morning sunlight.”

I really liked reading this from Adam’s perspective – it shook the series up and really worked. But I have to say, I had some problems with both characters. I didn’t appreciate how Mia treated him and I didn’t appreciate Adam’s attitude to most things, to be honest. I know we’re all flawed, but if so then this should have been more realistic overall and less like a fairytale. I felt flickers of emotion and warmth towards the couple, and I am happy with how it ended, but in the end I could have probably put this book down and never picked it back up again. It was predictable, and I just didn’t feel invested in the story.

“Or even without that. Just to know that she’s somewhere out there. Alive.”

Having said all this, I did enjoy reading this book. It’s quick to read and heartfelt from both characters. I did connect and feel emotion for them in parts, but overall I just felt…mediocre.

2.5 stars


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Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman


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Everybody has to make choices.
Some might break you.
For seventeen-year-old Mia, surrounded by a wonderful family, friends and a gorgeous boyfriend decisions might seem tough, but they’re all about a future full of music and love, a future that’s brimming with hope.
But life can change in an instant.
A cold February morning . . . a snowy road . . . and suddenly all of Mia’s choices are gone. Except one.
As alone as she’ll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all.

This book has been on my shelf for way too long, and I’m glad I finally picked it up. I actually really enjoyed this book, I found it so easy to read and ended up getting through it in a few short days.

“And that’s just it, isn’t it? That’s how we manage to survive the loss.”

I’ve never read a book quite like If I Stay. It switches between the MC being in a coma and ghost-like state, and flashbacks of how her life was before the accident. I actually really enjoyed the flashbacks, and it made the pages speed by! I found this book quite comforting in a way, and the flashbacks made me feel so close to Mia, her family and her friends.

The only criticism I have is that she didn’t seem very real? I know, I know, she is literally a ghost. But it wasn’t that that bothered me. I just found her dialogue/thoughts really strange for her age sometimes, especially in the flashbacks when she was still a child. I can’t remember an exact example, but one piece seemed so odd that I actually read it out to my boyfriend. Staying on this theme, the book was so cheesy that it came out with some really weird fantasies – including Mia playing her boyfriend like a cello, and even going as far to run her cello bow over his body. If anything, this made me feel so embarrassed and awkward?

“Because love, it never dies, it never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it.”

But my complaints are only small. I did enjoy this book, it just wasn’t perfect for me!

4 stars


May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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