QBD Reviews: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

wji5dlphvzfutwk1cgjxrm5awe5pymk1amiymhzjqzg1tnpnee9eutvoreuwtwpnnvgzqxdym1l4tgtwuvj3pt0yegxjm1zqytnnI quite enjoyed this sequel to If I Stay. Sometimes a sequel can be a let-down but not this one. I liked how this story was told from Adam’s perspective, his thoughts and feelings of life after Mia “woke up”.

Through Adam’s memories and encounters with people in the present day we find out about his journey over the last two to three years. Adam was there for Mia during her rehabilitation after all the surgeries, he saw her off to Julliard music school in New York… then nothing. We hear that Adam’s rock band is world famous but we don’t hear about Mia, leaving us to wonder what happened to her.

Then unexpectedly the day before he flies to London for the start of a new tour, Adam sees that Mia is playing at Carnegie Hall and he buys a ticket. He is blown away by her performance – and even more surprised when she invites him backstage to catch up. They spend a fun evening together visiting “secret” parts of New York that Mia has discovered.

They re-connect, communicate, share anger and grief and eventually decide they should try again to be “Us”. Nothing is easy but they never stopped loving each other. Each fills a void in the other; they make sense together.

There were tearful places in this story – not quite as many as in the first novel – but I loved how the author gave us a different view that still tugged at our heartstrings. I really liked the resolution, it made sense. Adam had become disillusioned even with the music he loved. He was becoming separate from other people, just going through the motions of existing rather than living. It took meeting Mia again to wake him up to why he plays and writes songs. I think it was important to hear this story from Adam’s perspective and I liked how his voice was heard. The take-home message for me was that fame and fortune mean nothing without personal connection to other people. Love is still the most important thing.

~ Kerryn, QBD Northland


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