Where She Went by Gayle Forman, is the sequel to If I Stay – a book I really enjoyed. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy Where She Went, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of Adam in the first book so to have a book from his perspective didn’t improve my rating. Originally I hadn’t planned on reading the sequel, because I enjoyed the ambiguities of If I Stay’s ending. Now, I wouldn’t say I was disappointed with the ending, but I didn’t think I needed a sequel to come to the same conclusions that I’d already…concluded.
Adam spends the majority of the book moaning about how much Mia hurt him – this book takes place about three years after the ending of the first book – by going to Julliard and living her dream. I was absolutely appalled by the time it took for Adam to recognize that he had told her he would let her go if she stayed. Because Adam was in an unhappy place in his life it didn’t make for very fun reading. The novel definitely picked up with the introduction of Mia, but even then it wasn’t until the very end that I felt what I’d read actually meant something to the characters.
Forman still effortlessly went back and forth in the timeline, and I enjoy how easy her writing is to read. There wasn’t as much music in Where She Went, but I didn’t feel like this made it any less identifiable as Adam and Mia’s story. In fact the lack of music references just showed how much these characters changed. One thing that I felt was lacking was a resolute message that change can sometimes be good. Also, I wasn’t particularly fond of how attached Adam was to Mia – a good relationship should be supportive, but not dependent, which is what Adam was.
I think regret is a strong word to describe how I feel about reading this book, because I don’t think it necessarily added or subtracted from how much I liked If I Stay. I will say that if you’re undecided on whether or not to pick up Where She Went, just think about where you would like Mia and Adam’s relationship progresses and assume you are correct. Overall, I gave Where She Went two stars, because I couldn’t connect with Adam’s PoV as much as I did Mia’s and it would be unfair to rate it the same as If I Stay.