REVIEW: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • Author Website: Gayle Forman
  • Pre-order: HERE
  • Rating: YYYY1/2

  • 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.


    IF I STAY by Gayle Forman is one of my top five favorite reads of all time and when I need cathartic tears to flow, it is my go-to book. In fact, it is a cherished book among many readers and I could go on and on with accolades for IF I STAY because it is so amazing, but that is not why I am here today. The much awaited companion novel to IF I STAY, entitled WHERE SHE WENT found it's way into my eager hands and I stopped everything I was doing so that I could read and savor my newest bounty. It was as if I was starved for literary ambrosia and I could not stop until the last word was consumed. I was in heaven.

    I am not sure how I can go about this review without revealing too much, but I will try my best. Initially I had no knowledge that a sequel/companion novel was in the making until last spring. I never thought that much about Mia's and Adam's story going any further. Then as the idea set in the seed of possible scenarios planted itself within my brain and I became obsessed. Yet, nothing could have prepared me for what I encountered within the pages of WHERE SHE WENT.

    This story takes place three years after Mia's horrific accident in which she lost her entire family, but now the story is being told through Adam's POV. And if you have read the synopsis you know that Mia and Adam are no longer together (I'm not spoiling anything here). His perspective on their lives apart is grittier, darker and more destructive but by no means as painful than it's predecessor. As you begin you cannot fathom why Mia and Adam are apart, it is even a mystery to Adam who is now a successful rock star living the American dream. As he trudges forward, lost and riddled with anxiety his mind goes back to those months after her accident, replaying and dissecting each moment until he is numb and empty. The night before he is to leave on a European tour abroad a moment of fate occurs and Adam and Mia are brought together again. Their encounter leads to an evening traveling throughout the city of New York, revealing their lives apart in moments filled with memories, hurtful truths and confessions. But what will the light of dawn bring for them? only time will tell.

    As I read WHERE SHE WENT I felt a weight settle in my chest. Adam's pain and loss was so palpable that certain passages left me without the ability to breath. I was so overcome with emotion that I was left bereft of tears. I understood Adam's anger, sympathized with Mia's decisions and was a willing captive to their journey. I truly enjoyed the music lyrics that introduced certain chapters it is one of my favorite bits that add to the magic of this book. Gayle Forman is an amazing talent and she has returned with a story that is filled with love, anger, heartbreak and hope. In the same beautiful lyrical style as before while returning us to a couple that we can never forget.

    I recommend WHERE SHE WENT to all of those that enjoyed IF I STAY for it was a story that needed to be told and was well done. I will be the first to admit that it did not grab me in the quite the same manner as IF I STAY had, but It is a story that I will always remember and cherish.

    8 comments on "REVIEW: Where She Went by Gayle Forman"

    Cass (Words on Paper) wrote: October 23, 2010 at 11:01 PM

    OMG!!! What a great review! I'm glad you got to review this early, and am still jealous, but anyway...

    Glad to know that this one isn't just dark and gritty; that there is a revelation and an ending, a meeting of both Mia and Adam. I think I like the premise of the novel, and I LOVED If I Stay. Even before I read this review, it'd been dubbed my most anticipated 2011 sequel, and ultimately one of my most anticipated books of 2011.

    Obviously, the second book can never live up to the standards that the first one did, but I'm glad that WSW was still amazing and even more exemplified Gayle's excelling talents in writing.

    Good Golly Miss Holly wrote: October 24, 2010 at 12:54 AM

    I wasn't as much a fan of If I Stay as everyone else seemed to be but I am interested in reading it's sequel.

    So Many Books, So Little Time wrote: October 24, 2010 at 3:29 AM

    I'm so curious about reading from Adam's POV. Thanks for the great review!

    Kathryn wrote: October 24, 2010 at 5:38 AM

    Yeah ! I'm so excited ! And glad to hear that it's as breathtaking as the first book.

    Page (One Book At A Time) wrote: October 24, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    I can not wait to read this one!

    resugo wrote: October 27, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    This is a fantastic review. I, too, loved IIS, and was already excited for WSW, but now I can't hardly wait. Thanks!

    Bere wrote: October 27, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    Brilliant review, Nancy! Your review makes me want to read If I Stay asap. I don't know why I haven't picked it up yet, I've heard such fantastic things on it. And now with the sequel, I can't wait. Thanks, Nancy! =)

    bibliophile brouhaha wrote: November 2, 2010 at 8:30 AM

    Oh wow - I can't wait until April. I just reviewed If I Stay. It seriously broke my heart.

    Love your blog - new follower.


    Post a Comment

    I would love to see what you have to say :)

    “Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

    Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

    Tales of a Ravenous Reader

    My Photo
    Hello, and thank you for stopping by. This is my little haven for talking about the books that I adore.

    Grab My Button

    Email Twitter RSS Feed

    Contact Me

    I am an avid reader from Northern California and if you are a publisher and would like to have your YOUNG or NEW ADULT book reviewed, please email me. I accept ARCs, as well as books that have already been released. I am also more than happy to do author interviews, guest posts, and contests to promote your book as long as they are in the Young and New Adult genre. Please check my review policy prior to sending me an email, thank you. curlyshoe(at)gmail(dot)com

    2015 Reading Challenge

    2015 Reading Challenge
    nancy has read 1 book toward her goal of 150 books.

    Upcoming YA Bay Area Book Events

    I have compiled all the SF, bay area YA and NA events in this section. If you know of any events that I have failed to post, please let me know. Also, please keep in mind that some events may change and it is best to verify all events prior to attendance.



    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Wednesday, April 8 @ 7pm

    NYMBC Event Books Inc. Alameda
    Wednesday, April 8 @ 7pm

    Copperfield's in Santa Rosa
    Friday, April 10 @4pm

    Theme: We don't want to grow up. why adults read YA and why you might like it, too.
    Thursday, April 16 @6:30-8pm

    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Monday, April 20 @ 5pm

    NYMBC Event Books Inc. Palo Alto
    Monday, April 20 @ 7pm


    Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland
    Tuesday, April 21 @ 7pm

    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Tuesday, April 28 @ 7:30pm

    The Epic Reads YA Tour featuring Susane Colasanti, Maria Dahvana Headley and Katie Contugno.
    A Great Good Place in Montclair Village
    Wednesday, April 29 @ 7 pm


    Book Passage in Corte Madera
    Saturday, May 9 @ 3pm

    Fierce Reads 2015 Spring Tour with Katie Finn, Lynne Matson, Marie Rutkoski and Lindsay Smith
    Keplers in Menlo Park
    Tuesday, May 12 @ 6pm

    Books Inc. in San Francisco
    Thursday, May 14 @ 7pm


    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Wednesday, June 3 @ 7pm

    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Thursday, June 4 @ 7pm

    Mrs. Dalloway's in Berkeley
    Saturday, June 13 @ 7:30pm


    Holiday Inn Golden Gateway San Francisco
    Saturday, August 8 11:30-4pm

    Purchase Tickets HERE

    ...and lots more events are coming. I am so excited but cannot share them yet :) Stay Tuned!!

    What I am Reading Now

    and this too.....

    Book Tour Host

    Book Tour Host

    Book Tour Host

    Follow by Email


    Rating System

    ♥♥♥♥♥ Love it! A must read

    ♥♥♥♥ Great, give it a try

    ♥♥♥ Okay, a decent read

    ♥♥ Meh, read at your own risk

    Would not recommend

    DNF=Did Not Finish

    Blog Archive

    Blog Stats

    Blog Designer