REVIEW: Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My rating: 

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 you inspect me
Then you dissect me
Then you reject me
I wait for the day
That you'll resurrect me


Oh my effin God!

All those feeeellllsss... It all came back as I was reading this. So much freakin emotion. It was just... love.

Where She Went is the book two of the If I Stay duology which was set 3 years after the first book. For me, it's not really a pre-requisite to read If I Stay to read this, but it would be good to read that book because their story is intertwined.

NOTE: I had to read Where She Went first because I accidentally actually because of my stupidity purchased this one first. So yeah... silly huh?

Oh Gosh. The second read had been more emotional for me than the first. But maybe that's just me because I'm such a cry baby... but this book stirred up a lot of hurt on my end... If I Stay's story was more about love, whereas Where She Went was more about loss.


They were the main theme of this book.


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

Adam's life has never been more perfect. At least, that's what other people think.

I have the kind of life a lot of people would probably sel a kidney to just experience a bit of. But still, I find the need to remind myself of the temporariness of a day, to reassure myself that I got through yesterday, I'll get through yesterday, I'll get through today.

His band, Shooting Star, hit it big time, they were now one of the most sought after bands with chart-topping songs and sold out concerts. But he wasn't exactly that happy. No amount of groupies. No amount of fame. No amount of popularity, could fill the void in his heart.

So this is how it's become? This is what I've become? A walking contradiction? I'm surrounded by people and feel alone.

Although now in a relationship with a known celebrity, Adam's heart still belonged to the girl who broke his heart. The girl who inspired all their songs. Mia. Walking around New York city, he unexpectedly stumbled upon a picture of Mia. It was a flyer for a recital she was having at the Carnegie Hall that day. And before he knew it, he bought a ticket.

Five years ago, on our first date. Just as I did that night, I feel this mad rush of anticipation, even though I know that unlike that night, tonight I won't kiss her. Or touch her. Or even see her up close.

Tonight, I'll listen. And that'll be enough.

He thought he'd been discreet enough not to be noticed, he was wrong. Mia knew he was there. Mia called for him backstage.

So this is how it's become? This is what I've become? A walking contradiction? I'm surrounded by people and feel alone.

Although now in a relationship with a known celebrity, Adam's heart still belonged to the girl who broke his heart. The girl who inspired all their songs. Mia. Walking around New York city, he unexpectedly stumbled upon a picture of Mia. It was a flyer for a recital she was having at the Carnegie Hall that day. And before he knew it, he bought a ticket.

And so I don't really process it, don't let myself her it or believe it or think about it until the usher leads me to a small room and opens the door and closes it, and suddenly she's there. Really there. A flesh-and-blood person, not a specter..

Memories. Feelings. Emotions. They all came rushing back to Adam. It was like he was hurting all over again. He tried to hide all these from Mia. He pretended everything was normal. That her leaving him, meant nothing to him. But that was all a lie.

But I can't touch her. This is a privilege that's been revoked. Against my will, but still. Speaking of will, I have to mentally hold my hold my arm in place, to keep the trembling from turning into a jackhammer.

After their short conversation, Adam decided it was time to leave. That there was no use relieving back what they had. He has a new life now, while she got hers. Their relationship was just a thing of the past. After leaving Mia's room at the concert hall, he decided to have a short smoke to clear his head. Mia, unexpectedly showed up telling him he should quit smoking. One topic led to another, just like the old times only more awkward. Then, the ppaparazzi's came.

But Mia's striding towrads me, grabbing me by the wrist and, even though she's a foot shorter and sixty pounds lighter than me, I suddenly feel safe, safer in her custody than I do in any bouncer.

Mia and Adam decided to spend their last day in New York together. Mia was on her way to Japan for her series of recitals while Adam was going to London for his band tour. They were going to be on different parts of the world by tomorrow.

Will Adam finally get his answers within his last short hours with Mia? Will he finally know the reason why she didn't stay?


Adam: The Adam on this book, is not the same Adam you met on If I Stay. Of course, he was the same person, but he changed. People change because of the things they have experienced. Adam slipped into a severe depression when Mia left. And this was the reason he became bitter, hateful, and distant.

Mia leaving Adam broke him. It broke him into tiny little pieces. And my heart broke with him. I shared his pain. I felt Adam's heartbreak, his frustrations, and his struggles althroughout the book. It shattered me. Again.

This whole night has been a mistake. It's not going to let me rewind. Or unmake the mistakes I've made. Or the promise I've made. Or have her back. Or have me back.

I loved Adam on If I Stay, but the Adam on this book, just really have made me love him more. I love damaged heroes. And seeing Adam like this, so broken and vulnerable, made me want to take care of him. To heal him. Which Bryn tried to do I think. But Adam's love for Mia's just too strong, that nothing could seem to sway him away from that.

Oh Shit! These tearrrssss... are fallinnnnggg... again...

Mia: She's changed too. She's more bolder. Happier even. Of course she still missed her parents but... She somehow gotten over that grieving stage when they met again.

The revelation of why she did what she did was understandable, but not reasonable. She was selfish. She didn't care about Adam. She only realized her hurt and her anger. We didn't see that happen here on this book. We only hear her talk about it to Adam when they were able to finally bring up the topic. *which broke me... again... and caused tiny tears falling on my eyes*

The thing I loved about Mia was... she knew how to accept her mistakes. When she realized she made her mistake though, she didn't say anything... She let Adam suffer. That was very cowardly of her, and was angry at her for that. How could you hurt someone who loved you so dearly? How? I hated that part. I hated the thought of her having the opportunity to save Adam all that pain. All that heartache. The loss. All the bad stuff he experienced when she left. He was there for her when she needed someone the most, but in turn she left him. It really left a bad taste in my mouth.

When I first read this and didn't have any clue why she left him, I was really upset. Who would want to leave someone like Adam? WHO IN THE RIGHT STATE OF MIND WOULD DO SOMETHING AS IDIOTIC AS THAT? But after everything unfolded... I understood. And I felt it was the right decision, only done in the wrong way. Adam's heartache could have been avoided... seriously.


The love is still there. You feel Adam's hate was brought out by his overflowing love for Mia. Extreme hate could only be a product of extreme love, and vice versa.

COUPLE THEME SONG: Drop in the ocean by Ron Pope

It's just a drop in the ocean
A change in the weather
I was prayin' that you and me might end up together
It's like wishing for rain as I stand in the desert
But I'm holding you closer than most
Cause you are my heaven

(You guys should really listen to this song. It's like it's one of Adam's song for Mia)

I liked how towards the end a compromise was made. I believe that two people in love should stay together. In the book world, Mia and Adam are meant to be together. They are meant to have babies who loves music they way they do. They are meant to grow old together. They are meant to do those things.

Oh my freakin God! One of the best book couples ever made!


I don't think I have thanked Gayle Forman yet for sharing Mia and Adam's story to us. This duology showed that life is not always happy. There will always be a time when life will throw you some rocks. And they will hurt. They will permanently leave you with scars. But those are not to weigh you down, they're there to make you stronger. They are there to make you a better person.

I think I can't stress this enough. I love these books. I just love them so freakin much. I wish there is more of their story... That's how much i love them. The thing is, I hate sequels. I don't like series... But with this book, I really wish there was more.

Making this book a duology was genius. Also the change that happened on both the characters from book 1 to book 2 was great. I loved it. It made us see how we see the characters we loved from book one grew from their mistakes and learned from them.

And the ending... It was perfection.

I'm happy to announce that this book ended on a hoppy note. Everyone was able to resolve their issues, although Adam, got our easy on one of his mistakes, but yeah... everything ended up pretty nicely. This was one of those books that deserves a beautiful and satisfying ending - this one did. It really did.


  1. I love this series so much! Forman is amazing with the way she conveys the characters' emotions in a way that makes me feel everything they feel at the same time. I both laughed, cried and cursed too, while reading Where She Went.
    Awesome review, Sandee!

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    1. Thanks Lexxie! I have to agree. Gayle Forman is a fantastic writer. Although, I haven't read the other duology she made.. I'm kind of anxious because they said... It wasn't as good as this one. :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Great review!

    I tagged you for the "20 things you might not know about me" tag!

  3. I love your review! I find this one better than If I Stay. Adam and Mia are just perfection. Hate to say this, I find this duology better than Just One Day and Just One Year. It was okay but there are events that aren't necessary and the love story was somewhat like Treasure hunting. (finding each other shizums). I honestly got bored.

    Btw, I'm tagging you on "7 Deadly sins tag"

  4. Thank you guys for tagging me. :) I promise I'd get to them asap. Hehehe.


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