Book Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

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Title: Where She Went

Author: Gayle Forman

Genre: YA contemporary

Length: 264 pages

Published by: Dutton

Source: borrowed from school library

Blurb: 

It’s been three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life.

And three years he’s spent wondering why.

When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.

Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good – or can you really have a second chance at first love?

 

This was a really quick read for me. I read it in a day and a bit (it’s quite short) but it’s been really hard to decide what I’m going to rate it. First of all, I didn’t like that Adam was the narrator for this one. He came across as really angsty and whiny – I mean, Mia’s whole family died in a car crash and he’s comparing his fame troubles to that??? Like, no, Adam. Sorry. I don’t care how much paparazzi people suck, you cannot make that comparison.

So yeah, I would have preferred Mia as a narrator. She’s much nicer. However, I do like Gayle Forman’s writing style. It’s simple, it’s beautiful, it’s detailed without being bogged down in description. I would have liked a touch of the supernatural, like in the previous book – I felt that it was such a nice added twist that gave it a lot of depth and originality.

There was also a lot of unnecessary stuff here. I got a bit distracted by other things occasionally.

I mean, there just wasn’t a huge LINK to the first book. Adam’s musical career did nothing to advance…well, anything really. That said, I did love the song lyrics at the start of each chapter. But Adam’s whinings made this less than what it could have been. We didn’t even see Mia for quite a while into the book.

Now that I think more on it, I liked this book, but I think the first stood better as a standalone.

That doesn’t mean it’s bad. In fact, there were some parts I loved. But it was missing something. Maybe it was missing the warmth of the first book. Maybe the recounts of Adam’s life were kind of boring. Maybe the narrating wasn’t as good. Maybe the premise wasn’t exciting.

But I still recommend it, because I can see why so many people love it.

Rating: 3.5/5 Wonderkitties

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10 thoughts on “Book Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

  1. I’ve been wondering about whether or not I would read this book.
    I really liked If I Stay, and sure the ending was a bit open but I don’t really know if it needed to have a sequel.
    I loved Adam in the first book and the thought of him being all whiny and comparing a family death to fame issues kind of ticks me off. Just, no. Please stop.
    And no Mia! Ack, I am really unsure about this novel now. I may stick to the first book, and imagine a perfect happily ever after for the characters, haha.

    • People told me good things about the second one, so I thought I might as well. But yeah, Adam annoyed me. And I loved him in the first one too! Mia does come into it, but not for a while.

      That sounds like a good plan. Kind of like internal fan-fiction 😛

  2. Thanks for the review dear! I’ve never tried Gayle Foreman before. There’s just something about the hype surrounding her books that make me stay away, lol! I don’t mind angst too much, but if it’s not done in reasonable amounts, it CAN get tiring so I understand your comment about Adam’s being whiny. It’s like, okay, you already wallowed over this earlier, can you now please do something about it now? Whining won’t get you anywhere.

    Still 3.5 cats are not bad! ( HAHA, I love them!) I may check this out, but not in the near future! Great review!

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

    • I’ve definitely heard a LOT about the Just One Day books. Angst is alright sometimes – I mean, Harry Potter 5 was basically JUST that, but I don’t know, this particular angst got to me for some reason.

      3.5 cats is not bad at all! It’s weird. Sometimes I rate a book 5 stars and have lots of complaints; sometimes I rate a book lower and have lots of good things to say. It all just depends 🙂

  3. I borrowed this book from the library and then had to return it before I had time to read it. It’s a shame that it wasn’t quite as good as IF I STay (which I personally adored!) but I think it sounds interesting enough.

  4. I actually really preferred this to If I Stay. I’m not sure why, but I just liked Adam better as a protagonist. I felt like I was more invested in his story and I was just really rooting for him.

    (Side note: the movie will be AMAZING)

    • That’s really interesting that you like Adam better. I mean I loved his songs. Those lyrics were great. Just goes to show how subjective books are 🙂

      Side note: I actually can’t wait for the movie!! I think it will be so good on-screen.

  5. Pingback: What Happened This Week: Embalming, Fangirling and Studying | The Loony Teen Writer

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