Thursday, March 17, 2011

Up and Coming: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Where She Went
by Gayle Forman

This is the sequel to If I Stay, so we'll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but if you haven't read If I Stay, really, what are you waiting for? Go do that and then come back and read this review...

Great rock music often comes out of an artist's pain. Look at Kurt Cobain, John Lennon or K'Naan . For Adam, the same is true for him, when life ripped his heart apart, he turned it into a record that caught fire on the charts. Now his band is touring arenas and his every move is fodder for the tabloids. But how can he move on from something he sings about every night?

Adam is about to begin a European tour, traveling from fancy hotel to fancy hotel and basically living the life he dreamed of as a teen. But, it's all ringing empty for him. People all seem to want something from him and he's got nothing to offer except anger and bitterness at the industry and all the fame seekers. (Did we mention this book starts in a dark place? But then, so did If I Stay)

Circumstances put Mia, the girl behind the music, the one he hasn't seen in nearly three years, in Adam's path for one night in New York City. Suddenly, he has the chance to ask her all the questions he's been building up since the day she walked out of his life. But, does she have the answers he's looking for?

Ms. Forman writes in a way that reminded several of our librarians of David Levithan. She has finely crafted sentences where she picked every word on purpose. Adam and Mia's voices ring true and they are definitely the same two characters from the first book, though older, rougher and worse for wear. This is the type of book that you start reading and don't want to put down even as you get sadder and sadder that there are less and less pages to go. I didn't think I wanted a sequel to If I Stay because it has such a great ending, but as soon as I started Where She Went, I was totally on board and cheering for Adam.

If you've already read If I Stay, then this book will hit all the right notes. If you also like a book about a guy and a guitar (Struts and Frets, Will, Adios Nirvana, Freefall), then this guy is not one to miss.

And check out this awesome trailer by the folks at Penguin: 

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