Monday, March 7, 2011

review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman + GIVEAWAY

pub date: April 5, 2011
publisher: Dutton
pages: 258
source: ARC from ALA Midwinter
audience: older teens
appeals: music, romance, contemporary, realistic fiction
content: language (including the f-word), sex (though not descriptive)

blurb from goodreads:
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 Julliard'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.

the preamble:
Have you ever had a book that just hit you so strong you couldn’t let it go? I’ve had a few throughout the years--The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (just to name a few). I would’ve loved the book anyway, but at that particular time in my life when I read it, it just spoke to me stronger than it would’ve other wise. That is Where She Went for me, right now. 

I first read Where She Went in January, and I’ve kind of been obsessed with it ever since. I reread it twice in three days. Even now I’ll just pick it up at random times and read chapters or paragraphs or even just a page. Especially the end. I love it that much.

On the other end of the spectrum, my friend Jaye read the book, and though she loved it too, she will never read again. In her words, it is sad and depressing.

Which, I must agree with.

But it just makes the end of the book that much more satisfying. Reading Adam and Mia’s experiences over the past three years, the struggles for both characters, and then seeing them come out at the end successful and strong makes the rest of the book worth reading again. At least for me.

I have rewritten this review over and over again, and each time it just sounds lamer. It just doesn’t translate my feelings for how much I love this book.

But I attempt it once again…

actual review:
Gayle Forman has a powerful way with words. Where She Went is beautiful. The characters are drawn so well, so real. Their struggles and growth are written so vividly. I got sucked in and did not want it to end after the end. I cried and laughed and loved right along with the Adam.

I loved being in Adam’s head, of seeing things through his point of view. It wouldn’t have worked if it had been Mia. A lot of her struggles we already know, of healing and lose. But to have it filtered through Adam? Awesome.

There is so much that is left unsaid in If I Stay. I hadn’t even realized how much until this book. I just filled in the unexplained with my own happy ending. But my happy ending was totally different from Foreman’s happy ending. And hers is so much better.

Like If I Stay, the present action takes place is just two days while a good portion of the story is in flashback. Which means memories of Mia’s family. How I love them. There are scenes from If I Stay told from Adam's point of view—super cool. I loved reading about when Adam met Mia and why he first fell for her. Then there are the three years of loneliness and heartache when Adam doesn’t have Mia or even understand why she left.

Love, love, LOVE Where She Went.

It is perfection.

now to the CONTEST!
Since you've stuck with me this long, I'm giving away my ARC of Where She Went. I've preordered the hardcover and though it is really difficult for me to giveaway my ARC (I am attached to it), I don't need two copies of the same book. I can only read one at a time and I really want a finished copy. So anyway...

This will be a short, very easy, giveaway.

It will close Sunday, March 13 at midnight.
Must have a US or Canadian mailing address.

I want to give the book away to someone who really, really wants it. If you fit that description, please enter! If it will just sit on your bookshelf for months unread, this contest is not for you.




Alison said...

Thanks for the contest! This sounds marvelous. I am so excited to read this book. I love books that are so powerful that you just pick them up to read a paragraph here and a paragraph there.

resugo said...

Ashley--you're welcome!
Alison--I love books like that, too. Somebooks I wish I could crawl into.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this contest!! I can't wait to read "Where She Went". I love to see another fan of "The Truth About Forever" and I love seeing other people who appreciate books that have strong impacts, that are so powerful you continue to read them again and again.

Anonymous said...

I guess what I'm asking is a spoiler, but is the ending happy like the kind of happy where Adam and Mia are together? I just can't stand waiting but I will if you won't tell. But if you do OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!! but if you don't that's alrite because it would be wiser to read the book instead of knowing the ending, but it either way it's a THANK YOU!

resugo said...

Anonymous--all I'll say is that the end is perfect. Between If I Stay and Where She Went, it's just the way it had to end. You'll love the ending. Promise! It's my favorite part to reread.

Anonymous said...