Review: Where She Went
It has been three years since Adam promised Mia that he would do anything for her if she would stay. Did she hear his promise? He doesn’t know. But she stayed. And then she left. Where She Went picks up the story from Adam’s perspective. Adam’s band has achieved huge success and he is so famous he can’t go out without people recognizing him and snapping photos. His celebrity girlfriend doesn’t help him when it comes to avoiding media coverage. Yet, Adam’s rockstar dreams and glam life aren’t everything he imagined. Without Mia, he has lost touch with himself and the music he once loved. Without Mia, Adam is broken, incomplete, and confused.
No matter the sympathy one might have for Mia’s horrendous circumstances, or the love felt for her in If I Stay, it’s hard not to take on some of Adam’s anger and resentment toward her. His sense of abandonment is palpable and heartbreaking. I haven’t switched allegiances this quickly since Coach Taylor left the Panthers. Mia may have had her reasons for dumping Adam without a word, but he certainly does not know what they are and cannot move on properly without a sense of closure.
While staying in NYC before leaving for a massive European tour, Adam sees that Mia is playing a concert and decides to attend just to listen to her. Before he is able to make it out incognito, he is summoned backstage to see her for the first time in three years. With just one night together, can Adam finally get the answers he needs to move on? Can what was broken be put back together? Or is it too late for either of them to reconcile?
The reunion between Mia and Adam has a lot in common with the reunion between Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie. Except that it felt about a million times more intense. Where She Went is truly an emotional rollercoaster ride; I ugly cried every few pages, thankful to be reading this book in private. This book shares the alternating narrative of If I Stay, weaving past and present together until it ends in a satisfying conclusion that provides a sense of closure for characters and readers alike. Along the way, it hits every note perfectly with lyrical writing and suspenseful pacing.
All the King’s horses and all the King’s men could take a few pointers from Gayle Forman. Her ability to break a heart and put all the pieces back together is unparalleled. If I Stay may have left you a shattered, sobbing mess, but Where She Went will make you whole again.