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Description

Product Description

The highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed If I Stay

Picking up several years after the dramatic conclusion of If I Stay, Where She Went continues the story of Adam and Mia, from Adam''s point of view. Ever since Mia''s decision to stay - but not with him - Adam''s career has been on a wonderful trajectory. His album, borne from the anguish and pain of their breakup, has made him a bona fide star. And Mia herself has become a top-rate cellist, playing in some of the finest venues in the world. When their respective paths put them both in New York City at the same time, the result is a single night in which the two reunite - with wholly satisfying results.

And don''t miss Gayle''s newest novel, JUST ONE DAY and the forthcoming companion, JUST ONE YEAR.

Review

"[A] gorgeous portrayal of rejection and rekindled love." - USA Today "Forman follows up her bestselling "If I Stay" with a story that is equally if not more powerful . . . " - Publishers Weekly, starred review

About the Author

Gayle Forman is an award-winning, internationally bestselling author and journalist. She is the author of Just One Day and Just One Year, and the companion e-novella Just One Night, as well as the New York Times bestsellers If I Stay and Where She Went. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughters.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

A TWIST OF FATE?

 

My gaze returns to earth and when it does, it’s her eyes I see. Not the way I used to see them—around every corner, behind my own closed lids at the start of each day. Not in the way I used to imagine them in the eyes of every other girl I laid on top of. No, this time it really is her eyes. A photo of her, dressed in black, a cello leaning against one shoulder like a tired child. Her hair is up in one of those buns that seem to be a requisite for classical musicians. She used to wear it up like that for recitals and chamber music concerts, but with little pieces hanging down, to soften the severity of the look. There are no tendrils in this photo. I peer closer at the sign. YOUNG CONCERT SERIES PRESENTS MIA HALL.

Also By Gayle Forman

Sisters in Sanity

If I Stay

Just One Day

Just One Year

Just One Night

(e-special)

I Was Here

Table of Contents

 

A Twist of Fate?

Also by Gayle Forman

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

 

ONE

TWO

THREE

FOUR

FIVE

SIX

SEVEN

EIGHT

NINE

TEN

ELEVEN

TWELVE

THIRTEEN

FOURTEEN

FIFTEEN

SIXTEEN

SEVENTEEN

EIGHTEEN

NINETEEN

TWENTY

TWENTY-ONE

TWENTY-TWO

TWENTY-THREE

 

Acknowledgements

Shuffle

Lyrics

Playlist

Discussion Questions

Special Excerpt from If I Stay

Special Excerpt from Just One Day

Special Excerpt from I Was Here

SPEAK

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) LLC

375 Hudson Street

New York, New York 10014

USA * Canada * UK * Ireland * Australia

New Zealand * India * South Africa * China

A Penguin Random House Company

an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2011

Published by Speak, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2012

promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized

edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning,

or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers

and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

Forman, Gayle.

Where she went / by Gayle Forman.—1st ed.

p. cm.

Sequel to: If I Stay

Summary: Adam, now a rising rock star, and Mia, a successful cellist, reunite in New York and reconnect after the horrific events that tore them apart when Mia almost died in a car accident three years earlier.

whether to live with her grief or join her family in death.

ISBN: 978-1-101-47632-1

[1. Interpersonal relations—Fiction. 2. Emotional problems—Fiction. 3. Rock music—Fictional. 4. Violoncello—Fiction. 5. New York (NY) —Fiction.] I. Title.

PZ7.F75876Wh 2011

[Fic] —dc22 2010013474

FOR MY PARENTS :
for saying I can.

It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution’s power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.

 

Excerpt from “Love is not all:
it is not meat nor drink.”

 

BY EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY

ONE

Every morning I wake up and I tell myself this: It’s just one day, one twenty-four-hour period to get yourself through. I don’t know when exactly I started giving myself this daily pep talk—or why. It sounds like a twelve-step mantra and I’m not in Anything Anonymous, though to read some of the crap they write about me, you’d think I should be. I have the kind of life a lot of people would probably sell a kidney to just experience a bit of. But still, I find the need to remind myself of the temporariness of a day, to reassure myself that I got through yesterday, I’ll get through today.

This morning, after my daily prodding, I glance at the minimalist digital clock on the hotel nightstand. It reads 11:47, positively crack-of-dawn for me. But the front desk has already rang with two wake-up calls, followed by a polite-but-firm buzz from our manager, Aldous. Today might be just one day, but it’s packed.

I’m due at the studio to lay down a few final guitar tracks for some Internet-only version of the first single of our just-released album. Such a gimmick. Same song, new guitar track, some vocal effects, pay an extra buck for it. “These days, you’ve gotta milk a dollar out of every dime,” the suits at the label are so fond of reminding us.

After the studio, I have a lunch interview with some reporter from Shuffle. Those two events are kinda like the bookends of what my life has become: making the music, which I like, and talking about making the music, which I loathe. But they’re flip sides of the same coin. When Aldous calls a second time I finally kick off the duvet and grab the prescription bottle from the side table. It’s some anti-anxiety thing I’m supposed to take when I’m feeling jittery.

Jittery is how I normally feel. Jittery I’ve gotten used to. But ever since we kicked off our tour with three shows at Madison Square Garden, I’ve been feeling something else. Like I’m about to be sucked into something powerful and painful. Vortexy.

Is that even a word? I ask myself.

You’re talking to yourself, so who the hell cares? I reply, popping a couple of pills. I pull on some boxers, and go to the door of my room, where a pot of coffee is already waiting. It’s been left there by a hotel employee, undoubtedly under strict instructions to stay out of my way.

I finish my coffee, get dressed, and make my way down the service elevator and out the side entrance—the guest-relations manager has kindly provided me with special access keys so I can avoid the scenester parade in the lobby. Out on the sidewalk, I’m greeted by a blast of steaming New York air. It’s kind of oppressive, but I like that the air is wet. It reminds me of Oregon, where the rain falls endlessly, and even on the hottest of summer days, blooming white cumulus clouds float above, their shadows reminding you that summer’s heat is fleeting, and the rain’s never far off.

In Los Angeles, where I live now, it hardly ever rains. And the heat, it’s never-ending. But it’s a dry heat. People there use this aridness as a blanket excuse for all of the hot, smoggy city’s excesses. “It may be a hundred and seven degrees today,” they’ll brag, “but at least it’s a dry heat.”

But New York is a wet heat; by the time I reach the studio ten blocks away on a desolate stretch in the West Fifties, my hair, which I keep hidden under a cap, is damp. I pull a cigarette from my pocket and my hand shakes as I light up. I’ve had a slight tremor for the last year or so. After extensive medical checks, the doctors declared it nothing more than nerves and advised me to try yoga.

When I get to the studio, Aldous is waiting outside under the awning. He looks at me, at my cigarette, back at my face. I can tell by the way that he’s eyeballing me, he’s trying to decide whether he needs to be Good Cop or Bad Cop. I must look like shit because he opts for Good Cop.

“Good morning, Sunshine,” he says jovially.

“Yeah? What’s ever good about morning?” I try to make it sound like a joke.

“Technically, it’s afternoon now. We’re running late.”

I stub out my cigarette. Aldous puts a giant paw on my shoulder, incongruously gentle. “We just want one guitar track on ‘Sugar,’ just to give it that little something extra so fans buy it all over again.” He laughs, shakes his head at what the business has become. “Then you have lunch with Shuffle, and we have a photo shoot for that Fashion Rocks thing for the Times with the rest of the band around five, and then a quick drinks thing with some money guys at the label, and then I’m off to the airport. Tomorrow, you have a quick little meeting with publicity and merchandising. Just smile and don’t say a lot. After that you’re on your lonesome until London.”

On my lonesome? As opposed to being in the warm bosom of family when we’re all together? I say. Only I say it to myself. More and more lately it seems as though the majority of my conversations are with myself. Given half the stuff I think, that’s probably a good thing.

But this time I really will be by myself. Aldous and the rest of the band are flying to England tonight. I was supposed to be on the same flight as them until I realized that today was Friday the thirteenth, and I was like no fucking way! I’m dreading this tour enough as is, so I’m not jinxing it further by leaving on the official day of bad luck. So I’d had Aldous book me a day later. We’re shooting a video in London and then doing a bunch of press before we start the European leg of our tour, so it’s not like I’m missing a show, just a preliminary meeting with our video director. I don’t need to hear about his artistic vision. When we start shooting, I’ll do what he tells me.

I follow Aldous into the studio and enter a soundproof booth where it’s just me and a row of guitars. On the other side of the glass sit our producer, Stim, and the sound engineers. Aldous joins them. “Okay, Adam,” says Stim, “one more track on the bridge and the chorus. Just to make that hook that much more sticky. We’ll play with the vocals in the mixing.”

“Hooky. Sticky. Got it.” I put on my headphones and pick up my guitar to tune up and warm up. I try not to notice that in spite of what Aldous said a few minutes ago, it feels like I’m already all on my lonesome. Me alone in a soundproof booth. Don’t overthink it, I tell myself. This is how you record in a technologically advanced studio. The only problem is, I felt the same way a few nights ago at the Garden. Up onstage, in front of eighteen thousand fans, alongside the people who, once upon a time, were part of my family, I felt as alone as I do in this booth.

Still, it could be worse. I start to play and my fingers nimble up and I get off the stool and bang and crank against my guitar, pummel it until it screeches and screams just the way I want it to. Or almost the way I want it to. There’s probably a hundred grand’s worth of guitars in this room, but none of them sound as good as my old Les Paul Junior—the guitar I’d had for ages, the one I’d recorded our first albums on, the one that, in a fit of stupidity or hubris or whatever, I’d allowed to be auctioned off for charity. The shiny, expensive replacements have never sounded or felt quite right. Still, when I crank it up loud, I do manage to lose myself for a second or two.

But it’s over all too soon, and then Stim and the engineers are shaking my hand and wishing me luck on tour, and Aldous is shepherding me out the door and into a town car and we’re whizzing down Ninth Avenue to SoHo, to a hotel whose restaurant the publicists from our record label have decided is a good spot for our interview. What, do they think I’m less likely to rant or say something alienating if I’m in an expensive public place? I remember back in the very early days, when the interviewers wrote ’zines or blogs and were fans and mostly wanted to rock-talk—to discuss the music—and they wanted to speak to all of us together. More often than not, it just turned into a normal conversation with everyone shouting their opinions over one another. Back then I never worried about guarding my words. But now the reporters interrogate me and the band separately, as though they’re cops and they have me and my accomplices in adjacent cells and are trying to get us to implicate one another.

I need a cigarette before we go in, so Aldous and I stand outside the hotel in the blinding midday sun as a crowd of people gathers and checks me out while pretending not to. That’s the difference between New York and the rest of the world. People are just as celebrity-crazed as anywhere, but New Yorkers—or at least the ones who consider themselves sophisticates and loiter along the kind of SoHo block I’m standing on now—put on this pretense that they don’t care, even as they stare out from their three-hundred-dollar shades. Then they act all disdainful when out-of-towners break the code by rushing up and asking for an autograph as a pair of girls in U Michigan sweatshirts have just done, much to the annoyance of the nearby trio of snobs, who watch the girls and roll their eyes and give me a look of sympathy. As if the girls are the problem.

“We need to get you a better disguise, Wilde Man,” Aldous says, after the girls, giggling with excitement, flutter away. He’s the only one who’s allowed to call me that anymore. Before it used to be a general nickname, a takeoff on my last name, Wilde. But once I sort of trashed a hotel room and after that “Wilde Man” became an unshakable tabloid moniker.

Then, as if on cue, a photographer shows up. You can’t stand in front of a high-end hotel for more than three minutes before that happens. “Adam! Bryn inside?” A photo of me and Bryn is worth about quadruple one of me alone. But after the first flash goes off, Aldous shoves one hand in front of the guy’s lens, and another in front of my face.

As he ushers me inside, he preps me. “The reporter is named Vanessa LeGrande. She’s not one of those grizzled types you hate. She’s young. Not younger than you, but early twenties, I think. Used to write for a blog before she got tapped by Shuffle.”

“Which blog?” I interrupt. Aldous rarely gives me detailed rundowns on reporters unless there’s a reason.

“Not sure. Maybe Gabber.”

“Oh, Al, that’s a piece-of-crap gossip site.”

Shuffle isn’t a gossip site. And this is the cover exclusive.”

“Fine. Whatever,” I say, pushing through the restaurant doors. Inside it’s all low steel-and-glass tables and leather banquettes, like a million other places I’ve been to. These restaurants think so highly of themselves, but really they’re just overpriced, overstylized versions of McDonald’s.

“There she is, corner table, the blonde with the streaks,” Aldous says. “She’s a sweet little number. Not that you have a shortage of sweet little numbers. Shit, don’t tell Bryn I said that. Okay, forget it. I’ll be up here at the bar.”

Aldous staying for the interview? That’s a publicist’s job, except that I refused to be chaperoned by publicists. I must really seem off-kilter. “You babysitting?” I ask.

“Nope. Just thought you could use some backup.”

Vanessa LeGrande is cute. Or maybe hot is a more accurate term. It doesn’t matter. I can tell by the way she licks her lips and tosses her hair back that she knows it, and that pretty much ruins the effect. A tattoo of a snake runs up her wrist, and I’d bet our platinum album that she has a tramp stamp. Sure enough, when she reaches into her bag for her digital recorder, peeping up from the top of her low-slung jeans is a small inked arrow pointing south. Classy.

“Hey, Adam,” Vanessa says, looking at me conspiratorially, like we’re old buddies. “Can I just say I’m a huge fan? Collateral Damage got me through a devastating breakup senior year of college. So, thank you.” She smiles at me.

“Uh, you’re welcome.”

“And now I’d like to return the favor by writing the best damn profile of Shooting Star ever to hit the page. So how about we get down to brass tacks and blow this thing right out of the water?”

Get down to brass tacks? Do people even understand half the crap that comes spilling out of their mouths? Vanessa may be attempting to be brassy or sassy or trying to win me over with candor or show me how real she is, but whatever it is she’s selling, I’m not buying. “Sure,” is all I say.

A waiter comes to take our order. Vanessa orders a salad; I order a beer. Vanessa flips through a Moleskine notebook. “I know we’re supposed to be talking about BloodSuckerSunshine . . .” she begins.

Immediately, I frown. That’s exactly what we’re supposed to be talking about. That’s why I’m here. Not to be friends. Not to swap secrets, but because it’s part of my job to promote Shooting Star’s albums.

Vanessa turns on her siren. “I’ve been listening to it for weeks, and I’m a fickle, hard-to-please girl.” She laughs. In the distance, I hear Aldous clear his throat. I look at him. He’s wearing a giant fake smile and giving me a thumbs-up. He looks ludicrous. I turn to Vanessa and force myself to smile back. “But now that your second major-label album is out and your harder sound is, I think we can all agree, established, I’m wanting to write a definitive survey. To chart your evolution from emocore band to the scions of agita-rock.”

Scions of agita-rock? This self-important wankjob deconstructionist crap was something that really threw me in the beginning. As far as I was concerned, I wrote songs: chords and beats and lyrics, verses and bridges and hooks. But then, as we got bigger, people began to dissect the songs, like a frog from biology class until there was nothing left but guts—tiny parts, so much less than the sum.

I roll my eyes slightly, but Vanessa’s focused on her notes. “I was listening to some bootlegs of your really early stuff. It’s so poppy, almost sweet comparatively. And I’ve been reading everything ever written about you guys, every blog post, every ’zine article. And almost everyone refers to this so-called Shooting Star “black hole,” but no one really ever penetrates it. You have your little indie release; it does well; you were poised for the big leagues, but then this lag. Rumors were that you’d broken up. And then comes Collateral Damage. And pow.” Vanessa mimes an explosion coming out of her closed fists.

It’s a dramatic gesture, but not entirely off base. Collateral Damage came out two years ago, and within a month of its release, the single “Animate” had broken onto the national charts and gone viral. We used to joke you couldn’t listen to the radio for longer than an hour without hearing it. Then “Bridge” catapulted onto the charts, and soon after the entire album was climbing to the number-one album slot on iTunes, which in turn made every Walmart in the country stock it, and soon it was bumping Lady Gaga off the number-one spot on the Billboard charts. For a while it seemed like the album was loaded onto the iPod of every person between the ages of twelve and twenty-four. Within a matter of months, our half-forgotten Oregon band was on the cover of Time magazine being touted as “The Millennials’ Nirvana.”

But none of this is news. It had all been documented, over and over again, ad nauseam, including in Shuffle. I’m not sure where Vanessa is going with it.

“You know, everyone seems to attribute the harder sound to the fact that Gus Allen produced Collateral Damage.”

“Right,” I say. “Gus likes to rock.”

Vanessa takes a sip of water. I can hear her tongue ring click. “But Gus didn’t write those lyrics, which are the foundation for all that oomph. You did. All that raw power and emotion. It’s like Collateral Damage is the angriest album of the decade.”

“And to think, we were going for the happiest.”

Vanessa looks up at me, narrows her eyes. “I meant it as a compliment. It was very cathartic for a lot of people, myself included. And that’s my point. Everyone knows something went down during your ‘black hole.’ It’s going to come out eventually, so why not control the message? Who does the ‘collateral damage’ refer to?” she asks, making air quotes. “What happened with you guys? With you?”

Our waiter delivers Vanessa’s salad. I order a second beer and don’t answer her question. I don’t say anything, just keep my eyes cast downward. Because Vanessa’s right about one thing. We do control the message. In the early days, we got asked this question all the time, but we just kept the answers vague: took a while to find our sound, to write our songs. But now the band’s big enough that our publicists issue a list of no-go topics to reporters: Liz and Sarah’s relationship, mine and Bryn’s, Mike’s former drug problems—and the Shooting Star’s “black hole.” But Vanessa apparently didn’t get the memo. I glance over at Aldous for some help, but he’s in deep conversation with the bartender. So much for backup.

“The title refers to war,” I say. “We’ve explained that before.”

“Right,” she says, rolling her eyes. “Because your lyrics are so political.”

Vanessa stares at me with those big baby blues. This is a reporter’s technique: create an awkward silence and wait for your subject to fill it in with babble. It won’t work with me, though. I can outstare anyone.

Vanessa’s eyes suddenly go cold and hard. She abruptly puts her breezy, flirty personality on the back burner and stares at me with hard ambition. She looks hungry, but it’s an improvement because at least she’s being herself. “What happened, Adam? I know there’s a story there, the story of Shooting Star, and I’m going to be the one to tell it. What turned this indie-pop band into a primal rock phenomenon?”

I feel a cold hard fist in my stomach. “Life happened. And it took us a while to write the new stuff—”

“Took you a while,” Vanessa interrupts. “You wrote both the recent albums.”

I just shrug.

“Come on, Adam! Collateral Damage is your record. It’s a masterpiece. You should be proud of it. And I just know the story behind it, behind your band, is your story, too. A huge shift like this, from collaborative indie quartet to star-driven emotional punk powerhouse—it’s all on you. I mean you alone were the one up at the Grammys accepting the award for Best Song. What did that feel like?”

Like shit. “In case you forgot, the whole band won Best New Artist. And that was more than a year ago.”

She nods. “Look, I’m not trying to diss anybody or reopen wounds. I’m just trying to understand the shift. In sound. In lyrics. In band dynamics.” She gives me a knowing look. “All signs point to you being the catalyst.”

“There’s no catalyst. We just tinkered with our sound. Happens all the time. Like Dylan going electric. Like Liz Phair going commercial. But people tend to freak out when something diverges from their expectations.”

“I just know there’s something more to it,” Vanessa continues, pushing forward against the table so hard that it shoves into my gut and I have to physically push it back.

“Well, you’ve obviously got your theory, so don’t let the truth get in the way.”

Her eyes flash for a quick second and I think I’ve pissed her off, but then she puts her hands up. Her nails are bitten down. “Actually, you want to know my theory?” she drawls.

Not particularly. “Lay it on me.”

“I talked to some people you went to high school with.”

I feel my entire body freeze up, soft matter hardening into lead. It takes extreme concentration to lift the glass to my lips and pretend to take a sip.

“I didn’t realize that you went to the same high school as Mia Hall,” she says lightly. “You know her? The cellist? She’s starting to get a lot of buzz in that world. Or whatever the equivalent of buzz is in classical music. Perhaps hum.”

The glass shakes in my hand. I have to use my other hand to help lower it to the table to keep from spilling all over myself. All the people who really know what actually had happened back then aren’t talking, I remind myself. Rumors, even true ones, are like flames: Stifle the oxygen and they sputter and die.

“Our high school had a good arts program. It was kind of a breeding ground for musicians,” I explain.

“That makes sense,” Vanessa says, nodding. “There’s a vague rumor that you and Mia were a couple in high school. Which was funny because I’d never read about it anywhere and it certainly seems noteworthy.”

An image of Mia flashes before my eyes. Seventeen years old, those dark eyes full of love, intensity, fear, music, sex, magic, grief. Her freezing hands. My own freezing hands, now still grasping the glass of ice water.

“It would be noteworthy if it were true,” I say, forcing my voice into an even tone. I take another gulp of water and signal the waiter for another beer. It’s my third, the dessert course of my liquid lunch.

“So it’s not?” She sounds skeptical.

“Wishful thinking,” I reply. “We knew each other casually from school.”

“Yeah, I couldn’t get anyone who really knew either of you to corroborate it. But then I got a hold of an old yearbook and there’s a sweet shot of the two of you. You look pretty coupley. The thing is, there’s no name with the photo, just a caption. So unless you know what Mia looks like, you might miss it.”

Thank you, Kim Schein: Mia’s best friend, yearbook queen, paparazzo. We hadn’t wanted that picture used, but Kim had snuck it in by not listing our names with it, just that stupid nickname.

“Groovy and the Geek?” Vanessa asks. “You guys even had a handle.”

“You’re using high school yearbooks as your source? What next? Wikipedia?”

“You’re hardly a reliable source. You said you knew each other ‘casually.’”

“Look, the truth is we maybe hooked up for a few weeks, right when those pictures got taken. But, hey, I dated a lot of girls in high school.” I give her my best playboy smirk.

“So you haven’t seen her since school then?”

“Not since she left for college,” I say. That part, at least, is true.

“So how come when I interviewed the rest of your bandmates, they went all no comment when I asked about her?” she asks, eyeing me hard.

Because whatever else has gone wrong with us, we’re still loyal. About that. I force myself to speak out loud: “Because there’s nothing to tell. I think people like you like the sitcom aspect of, you know, two well-known musicians from the same high school being a couple.”

“People like me?” Vanessa asks.

Vultures. Bloodsuckers. Soul-stealers. “Reporters,” I say. “You’re fond of fairy tales.”

“Well, who isn’t?” Vanessa says. “Although that woman’s life has been anything but a fairy tale. She lost her whole family in a car crash.”

Vanessa mock shudders the way you do when you talk about someone’s misfortunes that have nothing to do with you, that don’t touch you, and never will. I’ve never hit a woman in my life, but for one minute I want to punch her in the face, give her a taste of the pain she’s so casually describing. But I hold it together and she carries on, clueless. “Speaking of fairy tales, are you and Bryn Shraeder having a baby? I keep seeing her in all the tabloids’ bump watches.”

“No,” I reply. “Not that I know of.” I’m damn sure Vanessa knows that Bryn is off-limits, but if talking about Bryn’s supposed pregnancy will distract her, then I’ll do it.

Not that you know of? You’re still together, right?”

God, the hunger in her eyes. For all her talk of writing definitive surveys, for all her investigative skills, she’s no different from all the other hack journalists and stalker photographers, dying to be the first to deliver a big scoop, either on a birth: Is It Twins for Adam and Bryn? Or a death: Bryn Tells Her Wilde Man: “It’s Quits!” Neither story is true, but some weeks I see both of them on the covers of different gossip rags at the same time.

I think of the house in L.A. that Bryn and I share. Or coinhabit. I can’t remember the last time the two of us were there together at the same time for more than a week. She makes two, three films a year, and she just started her own production company. So between shooting and promoting her films and chasing down properties to produce, and me being in the studio and on tour, we seem to be on opposing schedules.

“Yep, Bryn and I are still together,” I tell Vanessa. “And she’s not pregnant. She’s just into those peasant tops these days, so everyone always assumes it’s to hide a belly. It’s not.”

Truth be told, I sometimes wonder if Bryn wears those tops on purpose, to court the bump watch as a way to tempt fate. She seriously wants a kid. Even though publicly, Bryn is twenty-four, in reality, she’s twenty-eight and she claims her clock is ticking and all that. But I’m twenty-one, and Bryn and I have only been together a year. And I don’t care if Bryn says that I have an old soul and have been through a lifetime already. Even if I were forty-one, and Bryn and I had just celebrated twenty years together, I wouldn’t want a kid with her.

“Will she be joining you on the tour?”

At the mere mention of the tour, I feel my throat start to close up. The tour is sixty-seven nights long. Sixty-seven . I mentally pat for my pill bottle, grow calmer knowing it’s there, but am smarter than to sneak one in front of Vanessa.

“Huh?” I ask.

“Is Bryn going to come meet you on the tour at all?”

I imagine Bryn on tour, with her stylists, her Pilates instructors, her latest raw-foods diet. “Maybe.”

“How do you like living in Los Angeles?” Vanessa asks. “You don’t seem like the SoCal type.”

“It’s a dry heat,” I reply.

“What?”

“Nothing. A joke.”

“Oh. Right.” Vanessa eyes me skeptically. I no longer read interviews about myself, but when I used to, words like inscrutable were often used. And arrogant. Is that really how people see me?

Thankfully, our allotted hour is up. She closes her notebook and calls for the check. I catch Aldous’s relieved-looking eyes to let him know we’re wrapping up.

“It was nice meeting you, Adam,” she says.

“Yeah, you too,” I lie.

“I gotta say, you’re a puzzle.” She smiles and her teeth gleam an unnatural white. “But I like puzzles. Like your lyrics, all those grisly images on Collateral Damage. And the lyrics on the new record, also very cryptic. You know some critics question whether BloodSuckerSunshine can match the intensity of Collateral Damage. . . .”

I know what’s coming. I’ve heard this before. It’s this thing that reporters do. Reference other critics’ opinions as a backhanded way to espouse their own. And I know what she’s really asking, even if she doesn’t: How does it feel that the only worthy thing you ever created came from the worst kind of loss?

Suddenly, it’s all too much. Bryn and the bump watch. Vanessa with my high school yearbook. The idea that nothing’s sacred. Everything’s fodder. That my life belongs to anyone but me. Sixty-seven nights. Sixty-seven, sixty-seven. I push the table hard so that glasses of water and beer go clattering into her lap.

“What the—?”

“This interview’s over,” I growl.

“I know that. Why are you freaking out on me?”

“Because you’re nothing but a vulture! This has fuck all to do with music. It’s about picking everything apart.”

Vanessa’s eyes dance as she fumbles for her recorder. Before she has a chance to turn it back on, I pick it up and slam it against the table, shattering it, and then dump it into a glass of water for good measure. My hand is shaking and my heart is pounding and I feel the beginnings of a panic attack, the kind that makes me sure I’m about to die.

“What did you just do?” Vanessa screams. “I don’t have a backup.”

“Good.”

“How am I supposed to write my article now?”

“You call that an article?”

“Yeah. Some of us have to work for a living, you prissy, temperamental ass—”

“Adam!” Aldous is at my side, laying a trio of hundred-dollar bills on the table. “For a new one,” he says to Vanessa, before ushering me out of the restaurant and into a taxi. He throws another hundred-dollar bill at the driver after he balks at my lighting up. Aldous reaches into my pocket and grabs my prescription bottle, shakes a tablet into his hand, and says, “Open up,” like some bearish mother.

He waits until we’re a few blocks from my hotel, until I’ve sucked down two cigarettes in one continuous inhale and popped another anxiety pill. “What happened back there?”

I tell him. Her questions about the “black hole.” Bryn. Mia.

“Don’t worry. We can call Shuffle. Threaten to pull their exclusive if they don’t put a different reporter on the piece. And maybe this gets into the tabloids or Gabber for a few days, but it’s not much of a story. It’ll blow over.”

Aldous is saying all this stuff calmly, like, hey, it’s only rock ’n’ roll, but I can read the worry in his eyes.

“I can’t, Aldous.”

“Don’t worry about it. You don’t have to. It’s just an article. It’ll be handled.”

“Not just that. I can’t do it. Any of it.”

Aldous, who I don’t think has slept a full night since he toured with Aerosmith, allows himself to look exhausted for a few seconds. Then he goes back to manager mode. “You’ve just got pretour burnout. Happens to the best of ’em,” he assures me. “Once you get on the road, in front of the crowds, start to feel the love, the adrenaline, the music, you’ll be energized. I mean, hell, you’ll be fried for sure, but happy-fried. And come November, when this is over, you can go veg out on an island somewhere where nobody knows who you are, where nobody gives a shit about Shooting Star. Or wild Adam Wilde.”

November? It’s August now. That’s three months. And the tour is sixty-seven nights. Sixty-seven. I repeat it in my head like a mantra, except it does the opposite of what a mantra’s supposed to do. It makes me want to grab fistfuls of my hair and yank.

And how do I tell Aldous, how do I tell any of them, that the music, the adrenaline, the love, all the things that mitigate how hard this has become, all of that’s gone? All that’s left is this vortex. And I’m right on the edge of it.

My entire body is shaking. I’m losing it. A day might be just twenty-four hours but sometimes getting through just one seems as impossible as scaling Everest.

TWO

Needle and thread, flesh and bone
Spit and sinew, heartbreak is home
Your suture lines sparkle like diamonds
Bright stars to light my confinement

 

“STITCH”
COLLATERAL DAMAGE, TRACK 7

 

 

 

 

Aldous leaves me in front of my hotel. “Look, man, I think you just need some time to chill. So, listen: I’m gonna clear the schedule for the rest of the day and cancel your meetings tomorrow. Your flight to London’s not till seven; you don’t have to be at the airport till five.” He glances at his phone. “That’s more than twenty-four hours to do whatever you want to. I promise you, you’ll feel so much better. Just go be free.”

Aldous is peering at me with a look of calculated concern. He’s my friend, but I’m also his responsibility. “I’m gonna change my flight,” he announces. “I’ll fly with you tomorrow.”

I’m embarrassed by how grateful I am. Flying Upper Class with the band is no great shakes. We all tend to stay plugged into our own luxury pods, but at least when I fly with them, I’m not alone. When I fly alone, who knows who I’ll be seated next to? I once had a Japanese businessman who didn’t stop talking to me at all during a ten-hour flight. I’d wanted to be moved but hadn’t wanted to seem like the kind of rock-star prick who’d ask to be moved, so I’d sat there, nodding my head, not understanding half of what he was saying. But worse yet are the times when I’m truly alone for those long-haul flights.

I know Aldous has lots to do in London. More to the point, missing tomorrow’s meeting with the rest of the band and the video director will be one more little earthquake. But whatever. There are too many fault lines to count now. Besides, nobody blames Aldous; they blame me.

So, it’s a huge imposition to let Aldous spend an extra day in New York. But I still accept his offer, even as I downplay his generosity by muttering, “Okay.”

“Cool. You clear your head. I’ll leave you alone, won’t even call. Want me to pick you up here or meet you at the airport?” The rest of the band is staying downtown. We’ve gotten into the habit of staying in separate hotels since the last tour, and Aldous diplomatically alternates between staying at my hotel and theirs. This time he’s with them.

“Airport. I’ll meet you in the lounge,” I tell him.

“Okay then. I’ll order you a car for four. Until then, just chill.” He gives me a half handshake, half hug and then he’s back inside the cab, zooming off to his next order of business, probably mending the fences that I’ve thrashed today.

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Top reviews from the United States

Timy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A heartwrenching, emotional read which will make you curse and smile and cry
Reviewed in the United States on April 8, 2019
Before I get to the point, I have to note that even though it''s a sequel, it can be read as a stand alone too. The characters are reflecting back to past events, so you probably won''t be all lost. But, obviously, to add emotional background it''s better if you read If I Stay... See more
Before I get to the point, I have to note that even though it''s a sequel, it can be read as a stand alone too. The characters are reflecting back to past events, so you probably won''t be all lost. But, obviously, to add emotional background it''s better if you read If I Stay first.

Years ago, when I still went to the library, I stumbled upon a book titled If I Stay (well, it had a Hungarian title of course). I think I was waiting for a book I had to request for my studies which wasn''t on the public shelves, and at the time the YA books were right beside the waiting area. I was browsing the shelves and this book popped out to me. I took it home and I remember devouring it probably in a day. It was a tragic story about music, love, loss. When I started to read in English, I discovered it had a sequel. If I liked If I Stay, then I totally fell in love with Where She Went.

We are three years after the events in If I Stay. Mia and Adam have their separate life, both having success in their musical careers. Adam had become a world-famous rock star with Shooting Star, selling thousands of albums, winning awards, touring and having a famous actress as her girlfriend. But under the shiny surface he is suffering. What once was a joy becomes a burden for him. He has to spend a night on his own in New York before the European leg of a giant tour becomes and the past he desperately tries to forget comes banging on his door. Giving him one last chance to right every wrong and get his own closure.

Mia aced her classes at Julliard and about to go on a tour herself after her solo recital at Carnegie Hall. After the tragedies she had a hard time dealing with her grief and her teachers were soft on her, except one. An old Russian teacher of her pushed her harder than anyone else and under his and other mentors'' hands she had become a cellist she was destined to be. On the dawn of her success the last person she expects to run into is Adam Wilde. The world-famous rock star who once meant the world to her.

Mia and Adam go on a tour of New York and their past, tearing open old scars, bringing out feelings buried deep down for too long, looking for a closure. While If I Stay was written from the POV of Mia, in Where She Went we see the events with Adam''s eyes. The carefree, happy, devoted guy we got to know is replaced by someone cynical, unhappy, haunted someone who completely lost himself and can''t find the way out. This book is as much about the present  than the past, Mia and his journey together and his own self discovery. After a long time he can finally get the answers he equally needed and dreaded, face his problems and learn to let go. As they say goodbye to New York Adam does the same to himself.

"Standing here, in this quiet house where I can hear the birds chirping out back, I think I’m kind of getting the concept of closure. It’s no big dramatic before-after. It’s more like that melancholy feeling you get at the end of a really good vacation. Something special is ending, and you’re sad, but you can’t be that sad because, hey, it was good while it lasted, and there’ll be other vacations, other good times."

Why I like this book so much is because a) I always liked Adam; b) I''m a sucker for musicians and books which feature music, especially if it shows the dark side of the music industry too; c) the raw feelings Adam has, his transformation through the book and they way Forman handles these matters. She can keep the balance between drama and lighter moments, and not turning her books into a long sappy romantic dramedy. And although her writing has a lighter tone, she addresses dead serious topics like grief, depression, loss, self discovery, dealing with problems long repressed.

Even though I veered away from YA books in recent years, I don''t mind picking up Gayle Forman''s books every once in a while. Especially Where She Went, a heartwrenching, emotional read which will make you curse and smile and cry. A fast and sweet read for cold winter days.
3 people found this helpful
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Michelle
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Love, loss and recovery
Reviewed in the United States on June 15, 2021
This book is in Adam’s POV, taking place 3 years after If I Stay. His voice is so much more raw and textured than Mia’s and fits him perfectly. Mia thought she was an outsider in her own life, but here is Adam, who has everything he could possibly want at his fingertips... See more
This book is in Adam’s POV, taking place 3 years after If I Stay. His voice is so much more raw and textured than Mia’s and fits him perfectly. Mia thought she was an outsider in her own life, but here is Adam, who has everything he could possibly want at his fingertips (music, wealth, fame, talent) and he’s never felt more isolated. He keeps everyone at a distance and still nurses a broken heart that seems to be the catalyst for his career launch, but otherwise general downfall in every other way. Watching Mia playing live in Carnegie Hall leads to them spending the day together and eventually dredging up the past hurts. It would seem expected that Mia had turned cold and numb after everything, but that’s not true at all. She didn’t think she was anything like her family, but in this book, Mia’s parents would’ve been so proud of the person she has become. She has her mom’s staunch resolve, her dad’s easygoing understanding and Teddy’s playfulness. She seems wise and mature beyond her years with a compassion and confidence that wasn’t obvious in the last book. As the reader, it’s not hard to put the pieces together of why Mia let Adam go before, but he can’t see it for himself until she explains. And in the meantime, those hours together seems to seal up some broken cracks in both of their souls. Adam had been the rock, but he experienced tragedy and loss, too, through Mia, and as he unravels, Mia quietly holds him up. Loved the writing and the peeling back of the layers of these two characters, especially through Adam’s eyes and how he comes to his own personal epiphany that finally paves the way for the peace and happiness he’s been wishing for all along.
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mallory richardson
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Much better than "If I Stay"
Reviewed in the United States on March 12, 2015
I must say that i liked Where She Went much better than If I Stay. Am i allowed to say that? The second book usually isn''t as good as the first book. If I Stay was all about death and Mia being in a Coma the whole time, and wondering if she should live or die. I couldn''t... See more
I must say that i liked Where She Went much better than If I Stay. Am i allowed to say that? The second book usually isn''t as good as the first book. If I Stay was all about death and Mia being in a Coma the whole time, and wondering if she should live or die. I couldn''t handle that.

It’s been three years since the accident that took away Mia’s family. Adam is a huge rock star now. His band Shooting Star is making albums, winning awards, and touring the world. Adam should be living it up, but he is no longer the same guy he was. His life is the shadow of what it should be and it all traces back to the accident that changed everything he believed in. He''s a broken guy no longer in love with the music he used to eat, sleep and dream about. Instead he is a guy just floating by. A random chance encounter in NYC changes everything. The past that Adam thought was over and had left behind is suddenly right in his face leaving him no choice but to deal with his demons and decide if the past should be left in the past.

Where She Went is told in Adam''s POV which i absolutely loved. I felt so bad for Adam. He was so heartbroken after Mia left, and i could really feel his pain. I was really mad at Mia for leaving him like that, but after reading further into the book I understand why she did what she did. I also liked that in the beginning of the chapters were Adam''s lyrics to the songs he written. This book was just so beautifully written and it''s an absolute must read.
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Kat
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Just....oh!
Reviewed in the United States on July 20, 2014
The best thing about reading a series when all the books have been published is the fact that if you love the first book, you can immediately read the second one. In fact, as soon as I finished If I Stay, I immediately purchased Where She Went on Kindle because I HAD TO... See more
The best thing about reading a series when all the books have been published is the fact that if you love the first book, you can immediately read the second one. In fact, as soon as I finished If I Stay, I immediately purchased Where She Went on Kindle because I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.

Where She Went is told from the POV of Adam, and to be honest I was a little wary going into it - I liked both Mia and Adam, but it felt like it should be more Mia''s story. And at first, I didn''t really like Adam anymore - after Mia left for New York his life went into overdrive - fame, money and the rock ''n'' roll lifestyle had, to be honest, turned him into a bit of a tw@t.

But as the story progressed, I liked him more and more, and I understood why he was acting in a reckless, uncaring way. When he finally met up with Mia again by accident, suddenly he was the Adam that I loved from If I Stay.

Where She Went is an emotional, moving book, just like the first in the series. It''s impossible not to cheer on both Adam and Mia as they reminisce through their romance and dance around the elephant in the room.

Gayle Forman has written a book that is just as outstanding as the first - there''s love and sadness, fabulous characters that you just want to reach through the pages and hug, and flipping through the pages at a furious pace is not only possible, it''s inevitable.
7 people found this helpful
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Vicki F.
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Disappointing...not nearly the same caliber as If I Stay
Reviewed in the United States on July 26, 2014
"If I Stay" was such an incredible book, it was a no-brainer to buy this one. Not only to see how the story plays out, but just because Gayle Forman''s writing can be so sublime. But I have to say, I was disappointed by this sequel. It just did not have the same... See more
"If I Stay" was such an incredible book, it was a no-brainer to buy this one. Not only to see how the story plays out, but just because Gayle Forman''s writing can be so sublime. But I have to say, I was disappointed by this sequel. It just did not have the same emotional impact as the first book, the storyline was just kind of blah and I didn''t find the main character engaging. The things I really wanted to read about- how things unfolded after Mia woke up, why she left Adam behind, etc- were kept hidden. You find out a few details here and there, and get more of the story toward the end, but overall it just doesn''t fill in the gaps. You never get a really satisfying explanation for Mia''s motives- she does explain them, but it just falls kind of flat. And she seems like a different person from the first book- not someone I could connect with or care about.

So basically, you learn very little about Mia''s life after the accident and you get this whole book about boring Adam, and in the end there''s a rapprochement, but it''s too little too late and it doesn''t all quite fit together or make sense. I really only kept reading it to see how it turned out in the end...and even then it just didn''t really have a satisfying conclusion. The story probably would have been better told from Mia''s perspective because there were just too many unanswered questions from Adam''s perspective, and his character just wasn''t that interesting on its own.

It''s really a shame since If I Stay was such a great book...I almost can''t believe this was written by the same author.
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Kim G.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great, emotional follow-up to If I Stay
Reviewed in the United States on September 26, 2014
This book takes place 3 years after Mia wakes up and leaves Adam. As opposed to the first book, this one is written from Adam’s point of view. Adam has achieved fame and fortune with his band over the past three years, but he is unhappy with his life. Though he is... See more
This book takes place 3 years after Mia wakes up and leaves Adam. As opposed to the first book, this one is written from Adam’s point of view. Adam has achieved fame and fortune with his band over the past three years, but he is unhappy with his life. Though he is involved in a relationship with a beautiful and famous actress, he still misses Mia and thinks about her often. Adam and Mia happen to meet each other in New York by chance and spend the evening together touring various parts of the city. Adam has a lot of anger over Mia breaking up with him and Mia has her own issues with Adam. I won’t tell you if they work it out or not. Obviously, you’ll have to read the book to find out. I liked this book just as much as the first one. Looking at the story from Adam’s point of view was a nice twist and made it seem like I was reading a new story. It didn’t feel like a sequel. I got a little teary with this one. I felt so bad for Adam. He was obviously in so much pain and turmoil. It was a little strange, because I didn’t feel too emotional reading the last book despite all the tragedy. Adam’s character was well developed in the first book and reading from his point of view gives great insight into what he has gone through over the past three years and the struggles he continues to go through. I highly recommend this one. Make sure you read past the acknowledgements at the end of the book as there is more material about Adam and Mia after. You can read my other reviews at http://bookwormbookreviews.com
3 people found this helpful
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Beth F.
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I like Goodreads system better
Reviewed in the United States on December 28, 2014
The rating system on Goodreads is different than the rating here. So where it got a 3-star there, it moves up to a 4-star here. I like Goodreads system better. But anyway, I enjoyed this book better than the first one, "if i stay". Basically it could''ve just... See more
The rating system on Goodreads is different than the rating here. So where it got a 3-star there, it moves up to a 4-star here. I like Goodreads system better. But anyway, I enjoyed this book better than the first one, "if i stay". Basically it could''ve just been a continuation that picks up 3 years later. It''s told from Adam''s point of view and shows how gut wrenching it was for him to lose Mia at the end of the first book. All the money and fame in the world does not make him happy. He''s spiraling to nowhere when he happens upon one of Mia''s concerts in New York. There he gets the answers as to why she did what she did and he is finally able to accept things as they should be.

There''s something quite satisfying in finishing a book and closing the back cover. You can''t do that with a Forman book and she loses one star based on all the crappy propaganda she fills the last chunk of her books with. Once again Forman really goes overboard in her Acknowledgments but I don''t think it''s quite as bad as the first one. If you skim through those you''ll find a gem hidden afterwards of a fake magazine article that tells what happened to Adam after the book finished. I really think that should''ve come before the pages of thanks and I wonder how many people missed it. Then you have a section on the songs playlist of the book again, followed by discussion questions. Why does Forman seem to think all her books will be used in discussion groups? Then you have a chunk from "if i stay" as if people are reading book 2 prior to book 1. Then chapters from another two novels by Forman and advertisements for yet two more! I can''t stand all this crap at the end of the book and I definitely will not be seeking out any more Forman books because of it. Silly I know. But like I said, there''s just something satisfying in finishing a book and closing the back cover and thinking about what you''ve just read.
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Sweet and Heartbreaking all in one
Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2013
Note: Review may contain spoilers Just read ''If I Stay'' in one sitting then bought and read the sequel ''Where She Went'' the next day, reading that all in one go as well. That being the case I''m putting this same review on both. Of the two, I''d say ''If... See more
Note: Review may contain spoilers

Just read ''If I Stay'' in one sitting then bought and read the sequel ''Where She Went'' the next day, reading that all in one go as well. That being the case I''m putting this same review on both.

Of the two, I''d say ''If I Stay'' is the better story and ''Where She Went'' is the better written book. Don''t get me wrong, they are both excellent, I think it just shows how the author grew her skills as a writer between creating each of them.

Where I felt ''If I Stay'' fell down a bit was in the early dialogue, I thought it sounded very unnatural and brought me out of the story a bit. Thankfully that improved markedly as the story progressed and I was left with only my own personal preferences getting in the way. It is rare that I read a piece of fiction written in present tense. I''m not sure why that is but, since much of this book is in present tense, it threw me a bit and I also felt like the constant back and forth with flashbacks was a bit jarring. These were both issues that I got used to and barely noticed by the end of the book, the story was good enough to carry me through.

''If I Stay'' tells the story of Mia, a seventeen year old girl and a gifted classical musician, with her whole life ahead of her. A life full of choices. That is until a ride in the car with her family ends with a horrific wreck and Mia has an out of body experience. Mia comes to realise that she only has one choice left, live or die, and she has to make it all by herself.

Through the use of Mia''s (while having her out of body experience) observations of her friends and family around her and the previously mentioned flashbacks we are shown or given hints at all the things Mia has lost, some of the things that Mia has left, and reminded of how life can turn on a dime.

The story shows us sweet first love, teenage confusion and heartbreaking choices.

''Where She Went'' is written in the same style as ''If I Stay'', that is to say mostly first person and with a whole lot of flashbacks but the author does it much more smoothly this time (or maybe I was just used to it by this point). Also, just like the first story, the "present day" events all happen in just a little over a single day. This author can pack a lot of emotion into a single day. This story picks up three years after the events of ''If I Stay'' and is told from the perspective of Adam, Mia''s boyfriend at the time of her accident.

Adam was crushed when Mia cut off contact with him and ''Where She Went'' tells the story of how he channelled all that pain into his music and his rise into a bonafide rock star. Through present-day events and flashbacks, we see the way Adam remembers the special relationship they had, the simple pure love and his confusion about how it ended. Wandering the streets of New York randomly, he happens across a venue where Mia, now a rising star in classical music, is playing. Telling himself he''ll just slip in and listen to her, then leave, he buys a ticket that leads to an awkward reunion between himself and the love of his life. But has life moved on? Have they wandered too far to get home?

They wander New York together as the night wears on and old emotions, sweet and bitter, are both stirred in equal measure. The author did a superb job keeping me guessing until so near the very last page. I was up out of my seat, walking away from the screen so I could pace the room, I was laughing, I was crying.

I was a bit disgruntled with the price of the kindle editions, but hey, I bought the first one, read it, and then bought the second one, so you won''t see me complaining now. I would recommend both of these books if you like romance stories that aren''t all sunshine and lollipops, stories with real grit, real heart and love that is hard-earned and well-deserved.
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Top reviews from other countries

Victoria Pamela
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Redeemed my feelings
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 24, 2015
All of the bad feelings I felt from the abrupt ending of If I Stay were erased with Where She Went. I loved that this book was written from Adam''s POV. It was nice to get his thoughts and feelings and understand where he was coming from. The book is set three years after If...See more
All of the bad feelings I felt from the abrupt ending of If I Stay were erased with Where She Went. I loved that this book was written from Adam''s POV. It was nice to get his thoughts and feelings and understand where he was coming from. The book is set three years after If I Stay and it''s amazing to catch up and learn what has happened. I fell in love with Adam (and Mia) all over again. It''s one hell of a ride he takes you on and every minute is worth it. His journey is one that will stay with you long after the story has ended. The way him and Mia fall into each others lives again is beautiful and the journey they take together is mesmerizing and full of emotion, it will have you completely sucked in and feeling all of what''s happening on the pages. I was actually really sad it ended but I am very glad I read these books. Gayle did an outstanding job writing these books. She captures the raw emotions the characters are feeling and dealing with. She writes an amazing story that captivates and holds your attention right through the book. I am very glad i picked up these books and after mixed emotions from the end of If I Stay I am well and truly in love.
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Naomi
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Where She Went
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 10, 2014
Oh, dear Lord! Why do I always cry at books, at the most beautifully-sad endings ever? Wow. Gayle Foreman has done a fantastic job. She is immensely great at writing from a guy''s POV. Really great. This book, the sequel to If I Stay, was a rollercoaster of emotions. One...See more
Oh, dear Lord! Why do I always cry at books, at the most beautifully-sad endings ever? Wow. Gayle Foreman has done a fantastic job. She is immensely great at writing from a guy''s POV. Really great. This book, the sequel to If I Stay, was a rollercoaster of emotions. One minute I was in hysterics and then the next I was a blubbering mess. Adam and Mia''s relationship is so delicate and fragile, and yet so impossibly strong and unmoving. Their story fascinates me beyond belief. I love how they found common ground over music. Relationships as such don''t exist in reality, so it was really beautiful to witness Adam and Mia connect over music. There was one point nearing the end where I just started saying "No, no, no, no," over and over again. I genuinely thought that was it for the two of them and that it was the end of the road. I thought Gayle Foreman had surprised me by ruining everything I''d hoped for the reunioned couple. I won''t say anymore to avoid spoilers, other than this is one of my favourite books of all time.
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Ms. J. Clarke
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The wait is finally over!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 8, 2011
I waited and I waited and I waited some more and finally this book was released and to my delight arrived the day before I went on holiday so I got to read this lay by a pool in peace and quiet after I had re-read If I Stay. It really is a must for you to read that book...See more
I waited and I waited and I waited some more and finally this book was released and to my delight arrived the day before I went on holiday so I got to read this lay by a pool in peace and quiet after I had re-read If I Stay. It really is a must for you to read that book first if you haven''t already, you could still appreciate this book, but not nearly as much as you would if you know the back story. This book is set 3 years after If I Stay, Adma is now a famous rock star but can''t enjoy the fame he once craved because Mia left him, walked out of his life with no explanation, never getting intouch again. Out feeling sorry for himself wandering around New York he stumbles across a Cello Recital at the famous Carnegie Hall by Mia. And thats where it all starts. After their meeting starts off tense and ends abruptly they end up wandering the city together for the night going over the past but at first Adam is still too scared to ask the quastion he so desperately wants the answer to. "Why?" I found this very enjoyable. Did it hit me the way If I Stay did, no if I''m honest it didn''t, but then I wasn''t expecting it to. I knew this wouldn''t have the gut wrenching drama as the first book. But what it did have was heart. And a maturity, Adam has changed so much, its not surprising, he''s had to deal with the grief at the loss of Mia''s family too, but felt unable to express it, like he didn''t deserve to, along with coping with losing Mia and his guilt about that, dealing with his fame and all the things that go with that and finding life in general a huge struggle, feeling completely out of control. Mia, is not the same timid girl with a silent fierceness we knew before. She has grown up so much. Mainly because of dealing with such a huge loss at a young age but also because of her experiences at Juliard. I was fascinated reading about Adams past, getting to know him better than we did in If I Stay showed us the other side to the story. Witnessing the events of the first book through Adams eyes was great too. We can fully understand what happened. I thought I would want the 2nd book to be from Mia''s POV aswell but it really worked well with Adam as the narator, and it also helped me see a new side to Mia. I have to admit the book was a tiny bit slow to get going but once it did I could not put it down. I desperately wanted to find out what was going to happen, but at the same time I wanted to savour it for as long as possible. I didn''t want it to be over. The only downside to If I Stay was that I desperately wanted to know what happened to Adam and Mia, and Where She Went did that for me. Did it all go the way I thought it would, No. But I felt things worked out the way they were supposed to and I was stunned at the ending. I''d sort of worked it out, but it still blew me away and now I am no longer left wondering what happens to them both. I just wish them well and hope that perhaps one day the amazing author Gayle Forman may like to enlighten us as to how the''r lives turn out....... but its not necessary, it can happily end where it has. A brilliant sequel to a truly exceptional novel.
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Andrea Hearn
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Absolutely brilliant!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 26, 2015
After watching the film If I Stay, I read the book and I was intrigued to hear there was a sequel to it, in the form of Where she Went. I was not disappointed at all by this book. Once started, I could not stop! I read this book literally in one afternoon, I could not put...See more
After watching the film If I Stay, I read the book and I was intrigued to hear there was a sequel to it, in the form of Where she Went. I was not disappointed at all by this book. Once started, I could not stop! I read this book literally in one afternoon, I could not put it down. Completely immersing myself into the world of Mia and Adam. Being written from the perspective of Adam, creates a different viewpoint to the prequel that took place in Mia''s. A difference I very much enjoyed. You are clearly able to picture Adams inner turmoil and grief. How despite having the life many would crave, he finds no joy at all. Written fantastically, able to fully understand his hurt, confusion and his struggles he is daily having with everyday life. The way the two came together for their one night, was brilliantly done. And the two engaged in a way that was just like them before, but with added maturity and wiseness from their experiences. I would read this again and again, I enjoyed it that much. The ending was done beautifully and handled really well and done in a way that was very believable to the reader. Long live Adam and Mia and may they be happy forever!
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Caroline Cousens
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Definitely one for the re-read pile.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 21, 2011
Caroline for [...] Having devoured If I Stay in one sitting I waited expectantly for the Continuation of Mia and Adam''s story. Where She Went is set three years after the events of If I Stay. The subject of miles of gossip column print, a superstar girlfriend on his arm and...See more
Caroline for [...] Having devoured If I Stay in one sitting I waited expectantly for the Continuation of Mia and Adam''s story. Where She Went is set three years after the events of If I Stay. The subject of miles of gossip column print, a superstar girlfriend on his arm and a bathroom cabinet full of prescription medications, Adam is a 21 year old rock god. A chance encounter enables the couple to reunite for one night. Through a series of flashbacks and moving song lyrics we explore the lead up to, and the aftermath of, their break up from Adams'' first person perspective. The camping flashback is probably one of the sweetest romantic scene I''ve read this year. Adams voice is honest with a maturity that reflects his experiences of grief, loss and unfulfilled expectations. The major supporting character in the book is New York City. The descriptive narrative completely immersed me in the sights, sounds and smell of the city. If I ever have the opportunity to visit NYC I will be adding Mia''s places to my itinerary. Never mind breakfast at Tiffany''s, I want black coffee and vanilla scented croissants in the historic district. Although the premise of this book is not as harrowing as the preceding novel, suffering from less tear-stained pages, Where She Went contains it''s fair share of ''bash their heads together'', will they won''t they, heart in the mouth moments. Verdict: Another Gayle Forman triumph consumed in one sitting. Definitely one for the re-read pile. [...]
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