Before I reveal why I'm only giving this one 2.5 stars, let's go over what I liked:
The writing. I'd have to say that was my favorite part of this noveBefore I reveal why I'm only giving this one 2.5 stars, let's go over what I liked:
The writing. I'd have to say that was my favorite part of this novel. Just like with Elkeles' Perfect Chemistry series, it was spectacular. She always knows how to depict teens as they really are. She doesn't choose to sugarcoat their more amorous feelings or leave out curse words to make her novels more "teen friendly." I love that because, for me, it's better to be realistic than to make prudes happy.
The characters. I don't think that I felt as big of a connection as I would have liked. They were good, certainly better than a lot of characters I've read about, but not as good as with her other novels.
Which brings me to the reason for my rating: The pacing. Just didn't work for me. Everything just felt too rushed. Each chapter is very short, with each chapter switching POVs between Caleb and Maggie; this would have been fine if maybe the novel was fifty pages longer, but, unfortunately, it wasn't.
Despite this, though, I still urge all who've not yet read this (I'm talking to you, Nic) to read it soon. Because, all in all, it was a very enjoyable read do to the writing, and the plot was very unique and refreshing.
Bottom line, read it if you're a fan of Elkeles' writing.
I enjoyed Leaving Paradise, but not as much as I was expecting to. So, when starting this, my expectations weren't veryWhat to say, what to say . . .
I enjoyed Leaving Paradise, but not as much as I was expecting to. So, when starting this, my expectations weren't very high. And because of that, they were met.
I just don't like the characters or the story, for that matter, nearly as much as I do with Ms. Elkeles' other works (her Perfect Chemistry series is awesome!). It's not that I disliked this, but I won't be reading it or it's predecessor ever again. So, I guess take that how you want to.
I still love Simone Elkeles' writing, and I still love her other novels, just not these. And to whoever is interested in these two novels, I urge you to try them for yourself and not go by my review. Because I'm only one opinion.
(By the way, sorry for the short review, I'm just in a weird mood today.)
Abby's just a normal junior in high school - one who's always been used to living in her sister's shadow. With Tess around, AbActual rating: 2.5 stars
Abby's just a normal junior in high school - one who's always been used to living in her sister's shadow. With Tess around, Abby fades into the background until it as if she doesn't exist. It doesn't help that Abby is below average in the looks department and has virtually no confidence. And then there's Tess: perfect, pretty, popular Tess. Every one - male and female, young and old - loves Tess. She's always had the most friends and the most suitors. Until a tragic car accident on New Year's Day lands Tess in the hospital - and in a coma. Suddenly, Abby's life is more intertwined with Tess's than ever before - and all Abby wants is for Tess to wake up so that things can go back to normal, back to every one loving Tess and forgetting Abby exists. To do this, Abby believes that Eli, a beautiful, racially mixed boy who has more than his own share of issues, can help her wake Tess before it's too late. But what happens when Tess still isn't waking up? And what happens when Eli starts showing a romantic interest in Abby? Abby is unsure of a lot of things, and there's a lot that she's missing. But one thing is for certain: Abby's been burnt by a boy before, and she's not about to go through it again.
Abby is the type of character that you'll either love or hate, understand or not understand. That's just the way she is; Abby's self-esteem is so low that it's like a hole in the earth that you can't go all the way to the bottom of, else you'll die from lack of oxygen. Her thoughts are almost constantly on how ugly she is and how unworthy she is of even being in Eli's presence; if Eli even gives her the slightest compliment or hints that he likes her, she bolts. There are also several instances where Abby blurts out her thoughts to Eli, ones that are probably better off left unsaid. Things like how she is not and never will be of the beauty or charismatic caliber of her sister; her being perfectly aware of how ugly she is; how she's just so shocked that Eli is even speaking to her. Abby is self-deprecating to the point of absurdity. That being said, I, myself, have dealt with self-esteem issues - so there were times when I sympathized with her character. But I still think that it was overdone and should've been handled differently in order to make her character more relatable and likable to more readers. (view spoiler)[Scott does deal with a lot of serious issues in this, though: OCD, lesbianism, racial discrimination, extreme self-loathing, etc. (hide spoiler)]
I don't know if Scott's other novels are written like this, but if they are, I don't remember it. She has this---well, this way of---what I'm trying to say is---is that she writes it so that---so that there's so many---so many---damn dashes and breaks in peoples' sentences that I just wanted to scream at the characters to just SPIT IT OUT! Now, wasn't that last sentence annoying? Try reading 250 pages of it. I could understand if it were just one character, just some trait that they had, but it's not. Everyone - Abby, Abby's parents, Eli, Claire . . . they all speak---all speak that---that way. Hell, Tess probably would've talked like that had she been conscious! I don't know if the author thought that by having them talk this way it would make the characters seem confused and lost, that she could invoke more sympathy from her readers this way, but it makes reading a challenge when the characters constantly stop and start again in the middle of their sentences. I found it too annoying to be endearing.
I also thought that the ending could've been done better; it seemed rushed and it didn't have the closure that I was hoping for with some of the characters. (view spoiler)[Tess is just sent off to a home for the comatose, and that's it? I'm not saying that I want a rainbows and sunshine ending, but I would've liked for there to have been at least some type of scene where she opens her eyes, maybe with Claire there, something. I think it would have even been better for Tess to have died than to leave it like the author did. There are only certain occasions where the "fill in the blank" thing works for me, and this wasn't one of them. (hide spoiler)]
For me, Between Here and Forever just seemed too repetitive; the whole thing is just the same sentences/situations/stupidity repeated over and over again until the very end. But I'll continue to read Scott's novels, as long as Scott doesn't continue to write novels like this.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
**spoiler alert** "It turns out freedom ain't nothing but missing you."---Taylor Swift, "Back to December"
It has been three years since Adam's girlfri**spoiler alert** "It turns out freedom ain't nothing but missing you."---Taylor Swift, "Back to December"
It has been three years since Adam's girlfriend, Mia, left their small Oregon town for a scholarship at Juilliard after a horrific car accident claimed the lives of her family and left her with both emotional and physical scars. Now, Adam, the lead singer in a hugely popular rock band, is still dealing with the grief of loosing the only girl whom he's ever loved. But just before he's set to leave New York and go on tour, he sees the one thing that would make him stay: Mia.
Where She Went has a very different feel than If I Stay did. While If I Stay is told from Mia's POV and is all about Mia making the choice to either live or die, Where She Went is Adam's turn in the front seat and is all about how Adam hasn't ever really gotten over Mia. Honestly, I was content with the way If I Stay ended. Some saw it as a sad ending, but I felt that it was implied that Mia had chosen to stay and would have to go through therapy like most would in her position, but that everything would be fine between her and Adam. I mean, other than the music, Adam was the reason she chose to stay, right? I sort of saw it as a fill-in-the-blank, semi-happy ending of which I was fine with. Still, when I heard there would be a sequel, I was pleased and Where She Went quickly became one of my most anticipated releases of 2011. And it certainly didn't disappoint.
You can practically feel Adam's desolation and grief - not only for loosing Mia, but her family that he was close to, as well - wafting off of the pages as you read. Forman is very good at tugging at her reader's heartstrings, and, while I really loved If I Stay, I think I liked Where She Went even more. Where She Went is emotional for an entirely different reason than its predecessor, and I found myself tearing up quite often while reading it. Plus, I have this littleteenytinyminuscule (read: huge) fetish for emo guys, and Adam is basically emo personified.
It was interesting to see Mia through Adam's eyes, and you get a much more in depth look at Adam's character in this, as well. Adam reminisces about a lot of the bittersweet memories from before the accident, when he and Mia and her family were happy together and Adam was sort of the third child. There's also a scene of which Adam recounts when he and Mia went camping together - it's very sweet and touching.
As far as I know, Forman didn't originally plan on writing a sequel to If I Stay. And that worried me a little because I know a lot of authors decide to write sequels and they end up, well . . . sucking. But I couldn't have asked for a better sequel to an amazing book like If I Stay. The ending of this is pretty perfect for Adam and Mia's situation, and I'm very glad that Forman chose to write a sequel.
FAVORITE QUOTES: "And I have to fight the urge to take her by the shoulders and slam her against a shuddered building until we feel the vibrations ringing through both of us. Because I suddenly want to hear her bones rattle. I want to feel the softness of her flesh give, to hear her gasp as my hip bone jams into her. I want to yank her head back until her head is exposed. I want to rip my hands through her hair until her breath is labored. I want to make her cry and then lick up the tears. And then I want to take my mouth to hers, to devour her alive, to transmit all of the things she can't understand."
"But I'd do it again. I know that know. I'd make that promise a thousand times over and lose her a thousand times over to have heard her play last night or to see her in the morning sunlight. Or even without that. Just to know that she's somewhere out there. Alive."
"You don't share me. You own me."
"We stand there for a moment, staring at each other, savoring it. And then all at once, we slam together. Mia's legs are off the ground, wrapped around my waist, her hands digging in my hair, my hands tangled in hers. And our lips. There isn't enough skin, enough spit, enough time, for the lost years that our lips are trying to make up for as they find each other. We kiss. The electric current switches to high. The lights throughout all of Brooklyn must be surging."
At the end of the year, I'll be posting my personal favorites of 2011 on my profile. Where She Went will be on that list....more