Gayle Forman's If I Stay was the novel that inspired me to start a blog. I needed a place to keep track of all the books I've read, so that when I had to build a classroom library, I'd know which books are essential. If I Stay, with its story about a girl in a coma who must decide between following her beloved deceased family and staying alive for her future, is at the top of that list.
Where She Went, and made it my mission to track it down and read it immediately. I loved the decisions that Forman made: to set the novel three years in the future, to change the narrator to Adam, to have the main characters beginning their promising musical careers. The reader can tell that Forman loves each of the characters because they are so beautifully crafted and real. I love that I was able to relate to this twenty-year-old male rocker as much as with the cello virtuoso.
I was reminded of how wonderful a plot device the "last night" is. Similar to the movie "Before Sunrise" and "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" (oops, I've only seen the movie), when Adam and Mia explore New York together to give themselves closure, their true feelings come out. I loved the small moments that they shared when they went bowling, and really hurt for them when they realized how much they have changed in such a short time period.
While Adam was depressed for most of the novel, I found it to be more upbeat than If I Stay. I don't expect a third book about these characters, but am so grateful that Forman wrote this sequel.