Saturday, May 19, 2012

Series review: If I stay/Where She Went

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Published by Speak
Genre: YA contemp.
$8.99 (US paperback)
234 pages

What it's about:
A critically acclaimed novel that will change the way you look at life, love, and family.

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.

My thoughts:
I have owned a copy of If I Stay by Gayle Forman for quite a while now but had been avoiding reading it because everyone talked about how hard it made them cry. I know that I'm the kind of person who easily cries during books so I was a little hesitant to read it. Then I decided to go to a book panel that had Gayle Forman on it and then read the book.

Oh my goodness, this book was so good.

This book takes place in a fake town in Oregon and let me just say, Gayle actually understood Oregonians. She nailed us Oregonians. This was exciting for me because so many people write about Oregon and they do not really understand the Pacific Northwest way of life. I asked her about this and she went to college here, so that is why she is in the know. Haha.

This book is so beautiful in every way. The writing is superb. The jumps between the now and then were well done and not awkward and confusing. It flowed nicely. Then there is Mia's family. This has got to be the cutest family ever. They are a really close knit family who are actually believable. The day is an ex rocker and the mom an ex hippie-rocker-groupie who loves to swear. I looovvvveeed these parents. They were so much fun. All the family flashbacks had me crying so hard.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman
$8.99 (US paperback)
264 pages

What it's about:

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 Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

My thoughts:
The second book is all about the other people close to the family. How does one handle massive amounts of grief that society doesn't think is theirs to grieve? Adam was very close to Mia and her family and was never able to grieve. This is his story.

While I didn't like this book as much as I liked the first, it was still fantastic.  It takes place three years after the first and is showing how everyone handles (or doesn't handle) the tragedy of the first book. While the first book makes you cry non-stop, this book will break your heart. It's more gut wrenching than anything else.

Over all, I'd say this is definitely a must read series for any YA book connoisseur. It's beautiful, it's heartbreaking, it's amazing.


  1. Oh man, it's been years since I read If I Stay but I remember crying like a baby! Where She Went was good but not great.

    Great review!

  2. I love If I stay, Where she went is on my wish list:)


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