Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on February 23, 2012 | 4 Comments

Review: Where She Went by Gayle FormanWhere She Went by Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay #2
Published by Dutton Children's (4.5.2011)
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 264 pages
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon

3 Stars

It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I StayWhere She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

My thoughts

This one just didn’t do it for me like If I Stay did. Sadly, I found myself disappointed. The characters and setting were real enough, I just couldn’t make the connection like I did in the first book. There didn’t really seem to be much happening plot-wise at all and I got bored frequently. Other than that, I don’t really know what it was. There were some things I liked, such as the lyrics at the start of a new chapter – it really made the band seem real, like they were lyrics plucked right out of a top hit song from now. Also, Forman did a great job capturing the rough side of being a ‘rock star.’ The difficulty of keeping up with everything such as tours, interviews, and dealing with paparazzi. It shed some light on the downsides of being famous whereas many portrayals make it seem glamorous.

What I didn’t like were certain comments from Adam, such as:

And the girl. She’s great. Any guy would kill to be with her, would be proud to knock her up.

I think my problem with that one is just the way it’s worded. ‘Knocked up’ just sounds crass and lewd for the context.
Then the big whammy for me:

…she whispers, coming back to me and wrapping me in her blanket as I lose my shit all over again. She holds me until I recover my Y chromosome.

Hear that, ladies? Yes, take the time to stew in that. Angry yet? I sure was. Why is it that so many men think that when we cry it’s just because we’re women and that automatically makes us emotional? And it’s not acceptable for a man to cry on occasion because he’d just be acting like a woman? Ugh. Maybe I’m just being overly sensitive, but that’s always a comment sure to get my blood boiling. Especially coming from a male mouth.
The chauvinist comments didn’t make me angry with Gayle herself though, but strangely made Adam more convincing as a narrator…because that is how many guys think. (And please don’t think that I’m being sexist, I know several males personally that think like that. I’m not saying all men think in those terms, just some. Or most…>.>)

Favorite quote, because I love bowling and the terminology gives a great mental picture:
I grab my ball and hurl it down the lane. It hits the pin formation with a satisfying thwack; the pins go flying in every direction, like little humans fleeing Godzilla.

Plot: 3/5
Writing style: 4/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Realistic but I couldn’t make a connection like the last book.
Pace: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
I love her hair!
Overall rating: 3 starfish
Pales in comparison to If I Stay, but still worth the read.

Jessi (Geo)

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