Publishing Info: April 5, 2011 by Penguin
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 2, 2013
Related Posts: If I Stay (If I Stay #1), Where She Went (If I Stay #2), Just One Day (Just One Day #1), Sisters in Sanity, If I Stay (If I Stay #1), Just One Day (Just One Day #1), Just One Night (Just One Day #2.5), I Was Here, Leave Me, I Have Lost My Way
Picking up several years after the dramatic conclusion of If I Stay, Where She Went continues the story of Adam and Mia, from Adam's point of view. Ever since Mia's decision to stay - but not with him - Adam's career has been on a wonderful trajectory. His album, borne from the anguish and pain of their breakup, has made him a bona fide star. And Mia herself has become a top-rate cellist, playing in some of the finest venues in the world. When their respective paths put them both in New York City at the same time, the result is a single night in which the two reunite -- with wholly satisfying results.
I am SO glad that I re-read WHERE SHE WENT. I remember adoring both IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT the first time around, but I had forgotten how emotional these two books were, especially picking up Adam’s point of view in WHERE SHE WENT.
Adam’s point of view is so… raw. He doesn’t hold anything back in his narration and I really felt everything he was feeling — small and … well, enormous. He’s got some BIG FEELS in this book. Sometimes it was hard to watch and to see him in that much pain and constantly try to push it down or shove it away. For reasons I can’t explain, I feel like it was that much more emotional because it was a male POV. You guys… Adam is 100% my favorite male POV of all YA. No wait. Of all time. His voice is so genuine and I feel like reading WHERE SHE WENT from his point of view captures all of the feelings that he’s holding back from the entire world. That’s pretty big stuff.
I love catching up with Mia and Adam three years later and seeing where they are in their lives. This is a pretty significant jump in time from where we left off in IF I STAY, but Gayle Forman knew what she was doing. This is where the real story picks up again and we get a lot of the details from what happened in the past three years in flashbacks. Now usually, I don’t like flashbacks. Actually, no, that’s not true. Usually I’m very picky with flashbacks because a lot of the time I feel like they’re not necessary and could have been summed up in dialogue or recounted by the main character. I do, however, love the flashbacks in IF I STAY/WHERE SHE WENT. They felt totally natural to the story and contained a lot of important information that we need to know for the present-day story.
Once again, I find that music supplements a story to help draw me in even more. Just that one instance where Adam borrows an iPod and scrolls through a playlist… When I see music I love in a book or I can just hear a single song and imagine the characters listening to that one as well, somehow I just get that connection and it really adds to my reading experience. As far as the Shooting Star music goes, I could take it or leave it. I usually don’t get anything from fabricated lyrics because I have no connection to them… It doesn’t usually detract from the book, but it doesn’t really do anything for me!
I get ALL THE FEELS from WHERE SHE WENT. I loved every second of my re-read and I really enjoyed the male POV from Adam. Everything was so emotional and raw and it was just a really different feel for me. So glad I got to re-read this one!
Adam Wilde // Character Obsessions: Songwriting, numbing the pain, getting through the day.
Poor Adam. But oh, I love him! His emotions in this book were so incredibly strong and I loved that instead of him feeling closed off — like he is to the world — the audience in WHERE SHE WENT really gets to see every little bit, every piece, every emotion that he goes through. WSW solidified him as one of my favorite male characters of all time (for the second time).
Mia Hall // Character Obsessions: Cello, Julliard, remembering her family.
Mia feels totally different in WSW. Not in a bad way like “wow, this is a totally different character” but more that I can see what she went through and those strong pieces that were always there are now the more obvious ones than her shy side. I think I just loved Adam so much that Mia really took a backseat for me!
Kept Me Hooked On: Adam Wilde. I cannot believe I ever forgot how much I love Adam Wilde. This re-read of IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT totally rekindled that love and helped me not to forget!
Left Me Wanting More: Adam Wilde? Haha that’s not fair to say is it? I could read many, many more books with him as the main character/narrator. I absolutely love his POV and I wish I could read so much more of it!
BUY IT… NOW!
WHERE SHE WENT is pretty brilliant… One of the best sequels/companion novels out there. Gayle’s writing is flawless in the book and I loved every minute of this re-read.
Books Like WHERE SHE WENT!
You can also check out my post “12 Books to Read If You Liked IF I STAY” for more recommendations!
4 thoughts on “Re-Read: Where She Went (If I Stay #2) – Gayle Forman”
I liked If I Stay, but I LOVED Where She Went! It’s the only sequel I can think of that I liked so much more than book 1. I agree with all the sentiments in your review. I read a lot of YA dystopian, high fantasy, and sci-if. It’s rare that a contemporary grabs my attention. But I’m so glad this series did because WSW is such a FABULOUS book! 🙂
I read Where She Went a few months ago. I totally understand what you mean about all the feels. When I read If I Stay and Where She Went, I felt so much. The books were hopeful, sad, devastating, loving, and so much more all at the same time. I had so much trouble trying to explain what was so amazing about these books, because the books are all about the feels.
Also, I want to give a shout out to the audio books for these two books. The readers do an amazing job of expressing the feels.
I really like If I Stay but Where She Went was my favorite. Loved it! I agree Adam’s POV was so emotional. He is one of my faves as well. Great review!
I’ve been meaning to read this and just got overwhelmed with reading and ended up not doing the read-along. Your review has convinced me that I have to read it SOON!