Andie Z's Reviews > Where She Went

Where She Went by Gayle Forman
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Apr 04, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, read-2011, own, 24-hours, my-heart-hurts, catch-me-i-am-swooning, made-me-cry, death-grief-loss, music-madness, reviewed
Read on August 20, 2011 — I own a copy , read count: 1 and a bit

Oh god, Adam broke my heart. So much love. Full, gushing review to come soon.

Originally posted on my blog, From A to Z.

I wrote this many many months ago, right after I first finished Where She Went, and I’ve never posted it for a couple of reasons. First, I’d always planned to write a review for If I Stay, and I thought it made more sense to post that one first. And second, I thought this needed some editing because it has always felt less like a review and more like a ridiculously incoherent outpouring of feelings from an emotionally unstable person.

But I’ve decided that it’s silly to wait any longer (today is the one year anniversary of its release!), and I want to share how I truly feel about this FREAKING AMAZING story. It’s become one of my favorite books and every time I open it to reread part of it I just start having ALL THE FEELINGS.



So here, in all its unedited, emotionally unstable glory, is my review for Where She Went:

I’ll be honest, I very seriously considered not writing a review for Where She Went. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely fell in love with the book, it had nothing to do with that. In fact, it’s because I loved it so much that I almost didn’t review it. I know this may seem counterintuitive: if I liked it that much, why wouldn’t I want to tell everyone about it? But Where She Went was such an intense read for me, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do the book, and my feelings for it, any justice at all. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to try.

But I decided I couldn’t not tell the world how much I love it, so here I am, trying to put my feelings into words and form coherent sentences from the jumble of emotions this book left me with.

I’ll be the first to admit that I get way too (“too” being a subjective term) emotionally invested in the lives of fictional characters, and Where She Went is a prime example. This book absolutely wrecked me. And I loved every agonizing second of it.

It was devastating to see what had become of Mia and Adam since If I Stay, and reading from Adam’s point of view absolutely broke my heart. Gayle Forman is such a beautiful, lyrical writer, and she has the ability to make you get completely sucked into the story and feel every little thing that the characters feel. The setting, too, was a living, breathing place, and their night in New York City came alive from the pages.

There are so many things I could talk about, but I don’t want to give anything away. Part of the wonderful torture of reading this book is really having no idea where it’s going to end and what’s going to become of your beloved characters. My heart ached for them the entire time and my insides were tied up in knots. The more I read, the higher the pile of tissues grew beside me.

It is extremely rare that I like a sequel better than the first book, but Where She Went has done it. As amazing as If I Stay was, Where She Went has captured my heart just a little bit more. It’s been a long time since I read a book that affected me on such an intense emotional level. I couldn’t even bring myself to start another book for several days after finishing Where She Went because I wasn’t ready to leave the story and just wanted to bask in it for as long as possible.

Filled with angst and hope and pain and beauty and longing, this book makes you hurt in the best way possible. Your heart will be shattered and put back together so many times you won’t know what to do with yourself. When a book can make you feel for the characters that much, you know the author is doing something right. Gayle Forman has forever secured a place on my favorite authors list, and I’m ready to buy anything she writes.

On a parting (and less dramatic) note, I really really wish Adam’s band, The Shooting Stars, was real. Every other chapter begins with song lyrics from one of their songs, and I would just love to be able to listen to them. One of my favorites:

I’ll be your mess, you be mine
That was the deal that we had signed
I bought a hazmat suit to clean up the waste
Gas masks, gloves, to keep us safe
But now I’m alone in an empty room
Staring down immaculate doom

“Messy”

Happy sigh. <3

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Quotes Andie Liked

Gayle Forman
“It's my turn to see you through,' she whispers, coming back to me and wrapping me in her blanket as I lose my shit all over again. She holds me until I recover my Y chromosome.”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“I look at her there in the shadows of the shut-down city, her hair falling onto her face, and I can see her trying to figure out if I’ve lost it. And I have to fight the urge to take her by the shoulders and slam her against a shuttered 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 neck 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 the things she can’t understand.”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“You were so busy trying to be my savior that you left me all alone.”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“Standing here, in this quiet house where I can hear the birds chirping out back, I think I’m kind of getting the concept of closure. It’s no big dramatic before-after. It’s more like that melancholy feeling you get at the end of a really good vacation. Something special is ending, and you’re sad, but you can’t be that sad because, hey, it was good while it lasted, and there’ll be other vacations, other good times.”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“You don’t share me. You own me.”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“Hate me. Devastate me. Annihilate me. Re-create me. Re-create me. Won't you, won't you won't you re-create me.”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“Barrel of the gun, rounds one two three
She says I have to pick: choose you, or choose me
Metal to the temple, the explosion is deafening
Lick the blood that covers me
She’s the last one standing
“Roulette”
Collateral Damage, Track 11”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“You know, I thought about that a lot these last couple of years," She says in a choked voice. "About who was there for you. Who held your hand while you grieved for all that you'd lost?”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“You?' is all I can manage to choke out.

'Always me,' she replies softly, bashfully. 'Who else?”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“And then Adam Wilde shows up at Carnegie Hall on the biggest night of my career, and it felt like more than a coincidence. It felt like a gift. From them. For my first recital ever, they gave me a cello. And for this one, they gave me you.”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“I get it now.
I have to make good on my promise. To let her go. To really let her go.
To let us both go.”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“There are so many things that demand to be said. Where did you go? Do you ever think about me? You've ruined me. Are you okay? But of course, I can't say any of that.”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“You crossed the water, left me ashore
It killed me enough, but you wanted more
You blew up the bridge, a mad terrorist
Waved from your side, through me a kiss
I started to follow but realized too late
There was nothing but air underneath my feet"

—from the song "Bridge" on the Collateral Damage album”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“First you inspect me
Then you dissect me
Then you reject me
I wait for the day
That you'll resurrect me
"Animate”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“I'll be your mess, you be mine
That was the deal that we had signed
I bought a hazmat suit to clean up your waste
Gas masks, gloves, to keep us safe
But now I'm alone in an empty room
Staring down immaculate doom
"Messy”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“But I'd do it again. I know that now. 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.”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“I needed to hate someone and you’re the one I love the most, so it fell on you.”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“A thousand suns rise from my chest.”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“She's still beautiful. Not in an obvious Vanessa LeGrande or Byrn Shraeder kind of way. In a quiet way that's always been devastating to me.”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“In that twisted incestuous way of fate, Mia's a part of our history, and we're among the shards of her legacy.”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“Mia and I had been together for more than two years, and yes, it was a high school romance, but it was still the kind of romance where I thought we were trying to find a way to make it forever, the kind that, had we met five years later and had she not been some cello prodigy and had I not been in a band on the rise - or had our lives not been ripped apart by all this -I was pretty sure it would've been.”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“All I wanted was for you to be okay. All I wanted was to help you. I would've done anything."
She drops her chin to her chest. "Yes, I know. You wanted to rescue me."
"Damn, Mia. You say that like it's a bad thing.”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“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.”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“How can it be so unclear to her when it's like the fingers on my hand to me?”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went

Gayle Forman
“You dumb-ass," I crooned, kissing her on the forehead. "You don't share me. You own me.”
Gayle Forman, Where She Went


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