Title: Where She Went
Author: Gayle Foreman
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Where She Went is the much-anticipated sequel to Foreman’s best selling novel, If I Stay. Where She Went picks up three years after its predecessor’s abrupt ending and is told from Adam’s perspective. Adam has been shoved into the public eye after his indie band, Shooting Star, hit super stardom after the release of the album Collateral Damage. Mia has attended Julliard and has become quite famous in the realm of classical music. The two haven’t seen or spoken to each other in three years, but a single day in New York City brings them back together. Adam goes to see Mia perform at Carnegie Hall and after the show, Mia requests that he meet with her in her dressing room. The rest of the book chronicles their night in New York City, catching up on the three years they had lost.
I really loved this book and one of the main reasons I did was because it was in Adam’s perspective. After Mia’s decision to leave Adam and his sudden shot to super stardom, Adam is a mess. He struggles with anxiety and seems depressed. He is no longer in love with music like he used to be. Although Adam is a negative character, I think he is is incredibly intriguing. I think the complexity of Adam’s character is what made this book hard to put down and Foreman made him incredibly human. I appreciated his nervous ticks, like reaching for a cigarette in a stressful situation, and the consistency of Adam’s anxieties really made him a believable character.
Foreman tells the story in present day as well as in flashbacks, much like in If I Stay. I know that flashbacks aren’t for everyone, but I really enjoyed them. Since the book picks up three years after the first one left off, the reader has obviously missed out on a lot. Instead of info-dumping three years of back story, I love how Foreman takes us back to the pinnacle events that changed Adam during this three year gap. We learn what made him change from the loving, caring boyfriend from If I Stay to the jaded, lovesick rock star he is in Where She Went. Another thing that I liked was the usage of Adam’s song lyrics at the beginning of every chapter. Since music is such a massive part of Adam’s life, I loved that we were able to see what Adam had written and each song seemed to match the theme of the chapter.
I thought that Foreman did a great job reuniting Adam and Mia. They didn’t seem forced together by an unrealistic coincidence. In If I Stay, Adam mentions that it is how Mia played the cello that made him interested in her. He went on to say that he wished that he could get into music as much as she could. So, knowing his love of her passion, it only seems right that Adam would go see Mia perform at Carnegie Hall. He does struggle with the decision, but I do think it happened naturally. I also thought that it was only fitting that Mia was the one still making the decisions. Mia made the choice to leave Adam, so it seems right that she would make the choice to reunite with him. I feel like throughout the book, her actions also showed her confidence and growth as a character.
I really enjoyed reading this book and would definitely read it again. The only complaint that I have is that I feel like the ending seemed very rushed. The book takes us through their night as Adam and Mia slowly get to know each other again. Then, in just a few short chapters, Adam breaks up with his celebrity girlfriend, Mia and Adam decide that they do love each other and want to be together, and then they begin to travel the world together, supporting each other on their respective tours. I would have liked to see this happen a little slower since I loved their relationship in the first novel and wanted to see more of it in this book. Either way, I am incredibly happy that they got back together in the end.
If you have read Where She Went, I would love to hear your thoughts as well. To view Where She Went on Amazon, please click here.