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Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Where She Went is the sequel and follow up to Gayle Forman's debut novel, If I Stay, a novel that was previously reviewed here on the blog.  If I Stay was devastating and suspenseful and it is available here at the library.  I recommend you read it before you read Where She Went which is also available here at the library.

If I Stay was told from the perspective of Mia in the wake of the car crash that killed her entire family; it took place over the several days she spent in a coma as she decided whether to stay or die with the rest of her family. Where She Went is told from Adam's perspective.  Adam was Mia's boyfriend and much like Mia reminisced about memories shared with her family and boyfriend throughout her coma, Adam shares his own perspective on that fateful week and the years since that have been spent estranged from Mia.

Over three years have passed since the horrific crash that took the lives of Mia's parents and brother and nearly hers too.  Both Mia and Adam have gone one to realize their wildest and most dearly held dreams: Mia has graduated from Julliard while Adam has skyrocketed to fame with his band.  It's been three years since Mia cut off all contact with Adam after moving across the country.  And three years that Adam has spent grieving Mia's family and the end of his relationship with Mia.  Three years of increasingly claustrophobic, panic attack inducing fame that has been inching Adam ever closer to the edge without Mia's grounding influence in his life.

Adam hasn't been coping well with fame or his break up with Mia despite the fact that he's fallen into the stereotypical, cliched rocker lifestyle.  Estranged from his band, he's leading an ever more isolated existence.  Then on a stopover in New York City before flying to London to start a tour that he dreads, Adam stumbles upon Mia's debut concert at Carnegie Hall and, on a whim, buys a ticket.  After he's called backstage to meet Mia, the two decide to go on one last jaunt around New York City before parting ways.  Adam hopes he'll get some closure and some answers from Mia, but before the night is through both Mia and Adam will have gotten more than just the answers each sought from the other.

Forman vividly and viscerally portrays the edge upon which Adam teeters--and throughout the book, the reader wonders if he'll tip over it only to crash in spectacular flames or will he finally come to some sort of peace with his life.  This is a tale of letting go, of relationships broken and reconciled, and of making peace with the paths one chooses in life.

I recommend you check out this book this next time you visit the library.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie

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