Reviews for Where She Went
Booklist Reviews 2011 April #2
This companion to Forman's New York Times best-seller, If I Stay (2009), picks up three years after Oregon teen Mia survived the car accident that killed her parents and brother. Compacted once again into a 24-hour period of seismic emotional shifts, this time the story is narrated by Mia's former boyfriend, Adam. Still haunted by the bewildering dissolution of their relationship, Adam, now a punk-rock star, stumbles across a concert in which Mia, a rising cellist, will perform solo. His spontaneous ticket purchase begins their awkward, charged reunion, and in a sleepless night spent roaming New York City, they talk, argue, and gradually recapture the profound, enduring bonds between them. As in If I Stay, Forman tells an emotionally wrenching story that believably captures the mature depth and intensity possible in teenage love as well as the infinite ways that grief of all kinds permeates daily life, from the wormholes of memory that spin out from small moments to the unconscious ways that past pain can influence present decisions. Sure to please the first book's legions of fans. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.
BookPage Reviews 2011 April
Rekindling a lost love
In Gayle Forman’s best-selling If I Stay, Adam stood over the bed of his comatose girlfriend Mia, promising to do whatever it would take, even leaving or letting her go, if she’d just choose to live despite the accident that claimed the rest of her family. It’s three and a half years later in the equally compelling sequel, Where She Went, and Adam should be having the time of his life since his grunge band just scored a Grammy for Best New Artist and he knows that Mia is alive. Instead, he’s chain-smoking, popping pills for anxiety, moving in with an actress in L.A. and trying to figure out why Mia, after suffering through intense rehab in order to start at Juilliard on time, left for the East Coast and never came back.
Briefly in New York to tie up last-minute details before starting a grueling tour, Adam takes in a performance by now-rising star cellist Mia at Carnegie Hall. When she calls him backstage after the show, the two spend the rest of the night on a whirlwind tour of the city, taking in Mia’s favorite sights. Chapters alternate between past and present, revealing more details about the days and months after Mia’s awakening, Adam’s mounting isolation after Mia’s departure—and the searing truth that erupts as they face each other once again.
As the two former young lovers reconnect, Adam realizes that Mia was not the only victim who suffered a loss, felt grief and anger or needed closure. Perhaps there’s still time to remember, forgive and love again—together. With beautiful yet achingly realistic storytelling, Where She Went is a page-turner, tearjerker and romance all in one, and the pace doesn’t let up until the final sentence. Have some tissues ready.
Copyright 2011 BookPage Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
In this sequel to If I Stay, cellist Mia is making her Carnegie Hall debut while Adam--still consumed with love for Mia--is a paparazzi-hounded rock star. Fate brings the two together in New York City; tension mounts and sparks fly. Forman's angst-ridden narrative offers the appeal of a sensitive rock star whose only hope for salvation is true love. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2011 #3
In If I Stay (rev. 7/09), Adam's love pulled Mia back from the brink of death after a tragic automobile accident. The sequel finds Adam three years after Mia dumped him, drowning in the pain of losing her. Separated by the weight of grief (Mia's entire family died in the car crash), Adam and Mia's lives have grown worlds apart. Mia is a gifted cellist making her Carnegie Hall debut, while Adam is a paparazzi-hounded rock star with a platinum record. Despite his fame and an A-list Hollywood girlfriend, Adam is still consumed with love for Mia and depends on a cabinet full of prescription drugs to combat anxiety and sleeplessness. Fate brings the two together in New York City right before each is set to leave on tour; tension mounts and sparks fly as Mia shows Adam her New York and Adam braces himself to find out why she left him. While flashing back to fill in Adam's rise to stardom, encounters with groupies, and alienation from his bandmates, the immediate story takes place in just one night, and Mia and Adam's imminent separation heightens the romance. Though not as gripping as If I Stay, Where She Went's angst-ridden narrative offers the appeal of a sensitive rock star whose only hope for salvation is true love. lauren adams Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2011 March #1
In this compelling sequel toÂ If I StayÂ (2009),Â Forman fast forwards three years in the lives of Mia and Adam, two budding musicians. They had been lovers, bound by an intimate and painful past that included the accidental death of Mia's family in an automobile accident. Whereas the prior title focused on Mia and her decision to remain alive as her body lay in a hospital between life and death, this book focuses on Adam, now an angst-ridden rock star. This installment reintroduces the pair as virtual strangers who have not interacted since Mia left for college three years prior and cut off communication with Adam. Unsurprisingly the power of music reunites the couple in a chance meeting at Carnegie Hall, where Mia, now a world-renowned cellist, takes center stage. Their reunion sets off a fast-paced, one-night tour of New York City, who in which Mia introduces Adam to her favorite haunts and new reality. Throughout the night, they both struggle to make sense of their feelings and to find closure, all revealed in Adam's agonized present-tense narration. Although their story is compressed into 24 hours, both characters spring to life, and their pain-filled back story and current realities provide depth and will hold readers fast.Â (Fiction. YA) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Journal BookSmack
In If I Stay (2010), Mia made the decision to stay in this life rather than follow her parents and brother in death after a car crash. Behind that decision was the pure love she felt for Adam, her boyfriend and the frontman of a Portland punk band. Now, two years later, Adam's band, Shooting Star, is astronomically popular (think Cold Play meets Nirvana), and Mia is out of his life. She is a cellist on hiatus from Julliard, beginning a world tour, hailed as the next Yo-Yo Ma. Heart clouded by confusion and anger, Adam nevertheless buys a last-minute ticket to her New York concert. Thus begins a long night's journey into day, as these emotionally scarred early twenty-somethings struggle to resurrect the love they once shared. - "35 Going on 13" Booksmack! 6/16/11 (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 February #4
"I know it's really cheesy--crass even--to compare my being dumped to the accident that killed Mia's family, but I can't help it. Because for me, at any rate, the aftermath felt exactly the same." Forman follows up her bestselling If I Stay with a story that is equally if not more powerful, set three years after the previous book and told from the perspective of Mia's former boyfriend, Adam. Mia and Adam haven't seen each other since she left for Juilliard, deserting him just months after emerging from her coma. Adam's anguish found an outlet in songwriting, and the resulting album, Collateral Damage, has become a sensation, turning Adam and his band into bona fide rock stars, though he's barely keeping it together. Mia's career as a cellist is taking off as well, and a chance meeting in New York City gives Mia and Adam the opportunity to exorcise the ghosts of their past. Having spent If I Stay in Mia's head, readers are, like Adam, thrust into a state of unknowing regarding Mia's thoughts and motivations. It's an extremely effective device, and one that makes this reunion all the more heartrending. Ages 14-up. (Apr.) [Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews 2011 March
Gr 9 Up--Three years after the tragic accident that killed the family of his former girlfriend, Mia Hall, the now-famous rock star Adam Wilde finds himself at New York City's Carnegie Hall for Mia's breakout cello concert. Convinced that merely hearing her play will be enough to satisfy his curiosity, Adam hides in the audience but is stunned when she asks him to come backstage after the show. Their awkward reunion sparks a night of painful reminiscing, heartbreaking closure, and hopeful discoveries. Using the voice of Adam, Forman continues the gripping narrative started in If I Stay (Dutton, 2009). After months of rehab from the car accident, Mia leaves Oregon for the east coast to attend the prestigious Juilliard School. Adam remains on the west coast to pursue his own rising musical career as the lead in his band. Mysteriously Mia cuts off all contact with him. Simultaneously freed and abandoned, Adam plunges into a depression, which also fuels the writing that launches his band to stardom. This novel is best suited to readers familiar with the first book. However, Forman convincingly establishes the relationship with flashbacks and Adam's current angst. Though not as poignant as its predecessor, this book has compelling characters and a romance so deliciously fated that readers will be willing to suspend believability and embrace the growing mood of a fairy tale. Fans of the exceptional first novel won't be able to put this one down.--Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD [Page 161]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
VOYA Reviews 2011 June
Forman's sequel begins three years after her fine novel If I Stay (Dutton/Penguin, 2009/VOYA February 2009) concludes. Mia has recovered from the devastating automobile crash that killed her parents and brother, has finished her studies as a cellist at Julliard, and is about to embark upon her first world concert tour. What she has not managed to take care of very well is the young man left in the wake of her climb back to a normal life--Adam. A talented musician in his own right, Adam sat by Mia's side at the hospital and even moved into her grandparents' home once she was out of rehab, coaxing her toward better health--that is, until Mia left for New York and, within weeks, cut him off without explanation or apology. Mentally crushed and adrift, Adam turns his raw feelings into two cathartic rock albums that send his band into superstardom. The initial charge of the celebrity life burns out quickly for Adam, however. When the novel opens, he is on the brink of a complete breakdown. Then circumstances cause Mia's and Adam's lives to intersect for a single evening in New York City Told from Adam's point of view--one laced with cynicism, desperation, and exhaustion--Forman's tale is pitch-perfect. Here she deals with the long-term aftermath of tragedy and the difficulty of recovery. A path from illness to health seems straightforward, but as Forman deftly describes, it is very complicated and wrought with anger, guilt, pity, and blame. The injured were not just those in the car but also those that surround Mia--and Adam. Arguably, Forman has succeeded at an even more difficult objective than set forth in the first book. Forman's prose will adequately carry those who pick up Where She Went without the benefit of the pre-story, but they will miss the full beauty of Adam and Mia's tale if they do not start at the beginning. The set is greater than the sum of its parts--an absolute must-buy for collections serving teens.--Lauri J. Vaughan 5Q 5P S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.