Where She Went

This week’s Road Trip Wednesday! Best book of June!

This month was a bit slower in the reading department, mostly because of my vacation at the end of May, and OK, also because of the long slog that was the middle of BITTERBLUE. Good book overall, but man it got tedious for a while there.

However, because I’m far more generous than the Pulitzer Fiction committee, I will still award a best book for this month: WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman.

The sequel to Forman’s IF I STAY, which I absolutely loved, WHERE SHE WENT showed Adam and Mia further down their respective roads, after Mia has left Adam and Adam has become a rock star. These aren’t spoilers, as you pretty much learn all of this in the first chapter. The two reconnect for a single night in NYC, before both have to move on to their respective touring engagements–Adam to Europe and Mia to Tokyo.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story. Like every girl ever, I thought Adam was adorbs. Wounded, cynical rock star pining after a lost love? Yes please. I love me some tortured artists.

Forman’s prose had the same pitch-perfect emotional resonance from IF I STAY, and there were plenty of lines that I wished I had come up with myself. Adam’s grief is heartbreaking, not just from losing Mia but also from losing her family, who he had grown so incredibly close to.

However, in honor of full disclosure, it was a little strange for me to see them as actual young adults. Post-college. Building their lives. And I missed the focus on music that carried us so naturally through IF I STAY. The music was there, but the connection to the music was lost. Really, I’m not sure what it was, but I just felt like something was missing. I don’t know how much else I can say without giving things away, so I’ll stop here.

What was your favorite June read? Have you read WHERE SHE WENT? Did you love it?

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24 comments

  1. Katie says:

    I loved Where She Went. I haven’t read If I Stay, though, so maybe that’s influenced me? I thought the voices and characters were pitch-perfect, and I physically ached for Adam as I read.

    I also think the cover is one of my favorites on the shelves this year.

    I picked The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness and put it up at my blog!

  2. Rachael says:

    Looks I’m definitely going to have to pick up one of her books! They’ve been on my list for a long time but I haven’t gotten to them yet.

  3. Stephanie Scott says:

    Good to know this is a sequel; I almost picked up the audio book from the library, but I’d like to read the first book first.

    I kind of slogged through Graceling, even though it was great, high fantasy is not really my thing so it took me a bit longer to get through. I’ve held off on the sequels.

  4. Elodie says:

    I came into WHERE SHE WENT thinking I couldn´t like it as much as IF I STAY and…wondering about reading from Adam´s POV. As you know, my doubts were erased as soon as I got into the story. I loved the voice and I think what really got me is what you mentioned here:
    “Adam’s grief is heartbreaking, not just from losing Mia but also from losing her family, who he had grown so incredibly close to.”
    For me, it was even better than IF I STAY even though I cried much more reading IF I STAY than while reading WHERE SHE WENT 😀

    • Crystal says:

      Yeah, I bawled while reading IF I STAY, haha… maybe that’s why I didn’t feel the same emotional connection to WHERE SHE WENT–it didn’t make me cry at all.

  5. Colin says:

    I haven’t read either of these books, but it’s interesting that in the second, the characters are post-college. Were these novels both classified as YA? Usually, YA characters are under 18, so, assuming a “yes” to my first question, was it the voice of the novels that made them YA, rather than the age of the characters? Just curious. 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      In IF I STAY they are in high school, but the sequel is like, three years later. So yeah, I think WHERE SHE WENT is classified as YA because the first book is YA, but it’s much more “new adult,” if that’s a real thing.

      It might be because of the voice, too, which still felt YA.

  6. Kat says:

    Aw, sad to hear you didn’t enjoy Bitterblue! As you know I loved Graceling so was looking forward to the next too. But glad you found Where She Went 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      I loved GRACELING and FIRE, but BITTERBLUE felt different. Less romance, but it also gets a bit more technical about some things and it started to get dry. The beginning is great though, and the ending is interesting, the middle is just a bit saggy. I’d still recommend it if you like Cashore’s writing! 🙂

  7. Sara Biren says:

    Agree, agree, agree. There was something missing in Where She Went. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but you may have hit on it with the music. LOVED If I Stay. Heartbreaking. And I heart Adam, too.

    • Crystal says:

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one that felt that way. I thoguht I had to be going crazy or something, because the book gets so much unconditional love. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it still gets my love, but with conditions 😉

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