Friday, June 1, 2012

29. Where She Went

Book #29: Where She Went
Author: Gayle Forman
Published: April 5, 2011
264 Pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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. 

Adam's Promise: If you stay, I’ll do whatever you want. I’ll quit the band; go with you to New York. But if you need me to go away, I’ll do that too. .. And that would suck, but I’ll do it. I can lose you like that, if I don’t lose you today. I’ll let you go. If you stay.

This book achieved what I thought the first one, If I Stay, was lacking. Picking up three years since the events in the first novel, Mia is now recovered and living on her own - without Adam. Their lives changed drastically the summer after the accident and by Christmas, they were no longer in contact with each other. Told from Adam's point of view, we get to see how he's been living with the horrible aftermath. Now a world famous rock star, his life in on the brink of cracking. He's tired of being in the band and is spending one last night in New York before starting a three month long tour. He is heavily medicated, smokes all the time, and is pretty much an emotional wreck. He has not gotten over the fact that Mia left without saying goodbye, even though he knows he has to make good on his promise to stay away from her. But a chance encounter makes him rethink everything and may just be the chance for him to ask the questions that have been haunting him for so long.

Mia is quite different than what I would have expected her to be after such a heartbreaking accident. She lost her whole family, but she pushed through it. She's done very well in her career and keeps her family close to her heart at all times. She has accepted the fact that she cannot bring them back, and her strength keeps Adam on his feet. Adam seems to take the accident harder than Mia does and his thoughts and actions throughout the novel show us that he's still having a hard time dealing with everything. The tortured rock star can be an easy ploy, but Adam's torture rings true. We've all felt abandoned and alone even in a room full of people. There is only one person he wants in the world but he can't have her. You know he would give up everything just to be with her and it's endearing, heart wrenching, and tragic. 

Emotions swirl around this novel like bees at a beehive. Forman captures the reunion of old lovers flawlessly. There is anger, hurt, sadness, and happiness. Memories fill the page just as they did in If I Stay, showing the reader parts of the world they weren't a part of. And suddenly Mia's and Adam's lives become our own and all we can do is root for them, hope for them to have their happy ending. Forman includes lyrics to Adam's songs at the beginning of every other chapter. The songs are all from the album he wrote after Mia left him. They are raw, brutal, and totally honest. You can feel his hurt and rage burning off the page. We watch as Adam struggles to escape the life he's chosen for himself and witness Mia realizing her mistakes and trying to make amends. 

This novel just proves that true love can prevail. Reminiscent of Nicholas Sparks, with just a tad bit more Rock 'N' Roll, this book will take you on a roller coaster ride that, when you finally get off, will make you want to jump right back on again. 

“You were so busy trying to be my savior that you left me all alone.”

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