Monday, May 30, 2011

Book Review - Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman

Title: Where She Went (If I Stay #2) 
Author: Gayle Forman
Year: 2011
Page: 264
Genre: Fiction - Young Adult

FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from
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 Juilliard'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.

First Sentence:
Every morning I wake up and I tell myself this: It's just one day, one twenty-four-hour period to get yourself through.

My Thoughts:

Why this book?
  • I really enjoyed the first book, If I Stayed, told from Mia's perspective. I cried my eyes out. I read it back in 2009 though and before I stayed to blog... I wish I had!
First thought:
  • Disappointed.
Cover Art:
  • Pretty. But not how I pictured Mia to be. Also, the photographer in me said, "don't shoot up people's nose! It's not flattering!"  But I loved the messy hair.
  • Clever - summed up the story and matched the style of the first book title
  • Still easy to read. 
  • I felt like it dragged on... I understood that the author didn't want to explain everything until later so that all the secrets weren't revealed on the first page
  • I could identify with Mia in the first book, and really liked her, Adam and Mia's family. In this book, I didn't like either Mia or Adam. Mia - she reasoning just didn't quite make sense to me (again, maybe because I am not a teenager anymore... and I supposed I haven't gone through what she had). Adam - while his destructive behavior was explained, it didn't mean I had to like it. I thought he was better than that.
  • Okay I supposed. At least I didn't feel like throwing the book across the room after I was done.
  • I think the reason I liked the first book so much was because I felt so emotional about it. I hardly felt anything when I read this one.
What I Learned:
  • How to get 5 stars from me when reviewing a book? Make me emotional (cry, laugh, whatever)
  • Lots of people still enjoyed this second book, so don't let my negative (or rather, "lukewarm or neutral") review stopped you from finding it out yourself. I'd definitely recommend reading the first book first.
Read this Author again?
  • Depends... I'm getting picky about YA books now... 

"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." 

Overall Rating:
3 Stars. Just okay for me.

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  1. I did like this book, and felt it was actually better than the first, because it showed more complexity in the characters. Then again, as you say, more complexity also meant not always good! I thought both of their behavior paths were understandable given what they went through. I did hate that cover though! :--)

  2. I had considered this series but decided not to. You are doing better then me with still giving lots of YA a chance :-)

  3. I actually liked this book more than the first book (and I loved 'If I Stay'!). I'm glad this book was told in Adam's perspective. At first I was a little leery, but I loved getting inside his head (even though he wasn't in a very good place).

    I'm also not a fan of the cover, I think it should have fit better with the hardcover version of 'If I Stay'.

    Jen at The Broke and the Bookish

  4. @Rhapsodyinbooks - just read your reviews, and I can see where you are coming from. I guess I just felt more emotionally attached when I read the first one. Whereas in the 2nd book, Mia and Adam weren't the same before (with good reasons) so I couldn't identify with them anymore...

    @Marce - I think I am becoming more selective with YA! I think I'll mostly just read YA dystopian (I know you don't like them :) I already don't like adult chicklit much, so YA chicklit is worse for me!

    @Jen - I actually like reading reviews whose opinions are different from mine, so I can see what I missed when I read the book!