Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I'll let you go. If you stay.

It wasn't until last December when I was flying home to upstate New York that I picked up Gayle Forman's If I Stay. If I had to tell you why, it would be because I knew it would be a slightly depressing read and that I wanted to be in the right frame of mind for it. Of course, I then went on to read it in one sitting and was impatiently awaiting the sequel, Where She Went. Of course, once I finally got it into my hot little hands, I waited a bit to read it. Perhaps I wanted to draw out the suspense.

Where She Went is told from Adam's perspective and begins several years after the accident that claimed the lives of Mia's family. Like If I Stay, the plot jumps from the present action to flashbacks to life before the accident, which helps the reader to understand where Adam is coming from.

If you remember from the first novel, Adam promised Mia while she was still in a coma (and deciding if life was worth living) that if only she would stay he would do anything, even let her walk out of his life. And that is precisely what Mia did after leaving the west coast to go to school at Julliard. Her departure left Adam a complete mess; he even quit college and moved back into his parent's house. But after a year of mourning, he turned his anguish into song. When the novel begins, we are introduced to an Adam who is seemingly at the top of his game: he's a very successful rock star who is about to embark on an European tour. But instead of feeling like he is living a dream life, he can't sleep and is taking medication for his nerves. Not to mention an inquisitive report just asked him about the one topic he refuses to answer: his relationship to Mia Hall.

On his last night in NYC, he stumbles across a concert that Mia is giving and ends up meeting with her after the show. They end up going on a whirlwind trip around the city as Mia shows him the "hidden" city she has come to love. They are given this one night together before each one departs the city to go their separate ways: Adam to Europe and Mia to Asia. Will they be able to finally talk about what happened and learn the truth about what separated them?

Gayle Forman wrote another wonderful book exploring how one accident can cause entire lives to implode and then be rebuilt. I enjoyed how she wrote this from Adam's perspective because you really got to feel how much he hurt, despite the fact that it wasn't his immediate family who had died in the accident. In their own way, they were his family, too.

And, I quite love the cover. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it is the colours.

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