Okay, it’s been a while, but I can’t think of what else to write about here so I’m going to review book number nine! This time it’s called
Where She Went by Gayle Forman.
First things first! This is a sequel. If you haven’t read the first book, it won’t make much sense, as it follows on from the first book.
Side note: The prequel to Where She Went is If I Stay. If you haven’t read it, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
GO READ IT. It is absolutely fantastic. One of my favourite books.
Are you reading it now? No? Why not? Because you’re reading my blog post?
Oh, well, I guess that’s a good enough reason. But after that! Read If I Stay! It’s haunting, beautiful, eloquent… I can’t praise it enough!
Ahem. Back to the review proper.
Where She Went:
The Good: Similar to If I Stay, the prose is beautiful. The story is captivating, engaging and heart-warming. It’s both tragic and beautiful and wonderful all at the same time. Where If I Stay was written from Mia’s perspective, Where She Went takes Adam’s side. It follows the two of them on one night three years after the events of If I Stay.
I don’t want to ruin the story of either book, but the second nicely fleshes out the first. It follows on and elaborates on the story between Mia and Adam, filling in the blanks in the three years they were apart throughout the course of the book. It keeps the flashback format of the first book, and once again music plays a huge part in the book, which I, as a musician, do appreciate. Forman’s lyrical writing style shines through again and the sheer human interest of the story drives it. Emotive and powerful, it’s difficult to put down.
The Bad: The only bad things I have to say about Where She Went are in relation to If I Stay. It’s not as good as If I Stay. But then, sequels rarely are. As well as that, where If I Stay stands on its own, Where She Went, in actuality, I don’t think would. Because it picks up on the story of Adam and Mia, it’s focused largely on the aftermath of If I Stay. So without the first, the second doesn’t so much fall as stumble. It *could* stand on its own, but the book wouldn’t be half as powerful.
The Ugly: 4.5/5
It’s excellent, there’s no denying that. But it’s just that little bit behind If I Stay, and that little bit too fragile to stand on its own.
Similar: Before I Die by Jenny Downham, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, If I Stay by Gayle Forman