*This is the continuation of the story that began in If I Stay. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading If I Stay, you might want to skip this review.*
If I Stay was one of the most emotional books that I have ever read. I read it in one sitting, but the story was still on my mind long after I finished the last word. Where She Went picks up three years after If I Stay. Adam and Mia are living out their professional dreams, he’s a rock star and she’s a concert cellist, but they are living their lives separately now. Told from Adam’s perspective, Where She Went is a heartfelt, honest depiction of grief, love, and letting go.
I love that this book is told from Adam’s perspective. It allows the reader to get inside the thoughts of the male protagonist, to get to know him a bit better, and to understand his feelings. Even though Adam’s found success and is living the rock star lifestyle, his life seems empty. He’s struggled over the last three years to understand why Mia was able to just shut him out of her life completely, with no reason as to why. He was aching without her, he missed her, and wanted to still be with her. But with his heartache came the big break for his career. His pain led to some of his best song writing, which in turn, led to his band’s big breakout success.
With all of the success, fame, paparazzi, and women, Adam still felt alone. He shut himself down, separated himself from his bandmates, and was just going through the motions of his life. He didn’t really seem to be actively living it anymore. His loss had changed him.
When Adam’s schedule puts him in New York City at the same time as Mia is performing, the temptation to watch her is too big for him to pass up. Fate seemed to play a part in the two of them being at the same place at the same time.
Throughout the book, I was dying to know why Mia just cut off ties with Adam. I knew that she had loved him, and after losing so many people that she held dear, I thought that it would’ve brought them closer together. But grief does different things to different people. In their instance, it tore them apart. When Adam finally gets to speak to Mia and spend some time with her again, it not only feels a little awkward after all their time apart, but it also still feels right. While Adam and Mia tour around New York, they catch up on their time apart, reminisce, and Mia finally shares what drove her away from him.
Where She Went is an emotional read. I felt the pain and the loss that the characters felt, and I wanted to see their issues get resolved. I didn’t exactly know where the story was going to lead. I wasn’t sure if their reunion was going to be a second chance for them, or just a way to finally get their answers and say goodbye. Once again, Gayle Forman has written a book that speaks to the heart. Her thoughtful words have brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. This is a series that won’t soon be forgotten.