Thursday, 22 November 2012
Thursday Thoughts: Book Review of Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Warning: Staggeringly huge spoilers for If I Stay. Seriously, if you haven't read it, don't go near this review.
Three years after Mia lost her parents and brother, and nearly died herself, in a tragic accident in If I Stay, she's a rising star of classical music. Adam is a rock star. They haven't spoken for a long time. Until Mia plays a concert in New York, Adam attends, and she sends word for him to go backstage. Can Adam finally find out what went wrong with their relationship?
I got this book out of the library about three weeks ago, but couldn't bring myself to get round to reading it because I was so devastated by the thought of Mia and Adam, one of my favourite couples in recent teen fiction, splitting up. When I finally picked it up, I raced through it in a few hours, though. Told from Adam's point of view this time, it's a stunning portrayal of the end of a romance, the effect that grief has on a survivor of an accident, and the perils of fame.
It's a hugely emotional read - I tweeted when I'd just finished it, saying that I'd cried more at this one than at If I Stay. Rereading my review of the first book has reminded me that I cried a LOT over that book, so this may not be true, actually, but it's certainly a close-run thing. Adam and Mia are two incredibly well-rounded characters, and as depressing as it is to see that they grew apart after their love seemed so strong in the original book, the flashbacks to the period in between the two books make it perfectly believable. There's not much of a supporting cast, but that doesn't matter - this is very tightly focused on the lead characters, and is all the better for it.
Massive recommendation as one of the very best contemporary novels I've read this year - and it's been an incredibly good year for contemporary!