Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Posted April 10, 2014 by Liza in Reviews / 4 Comments

Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Where She Went

by Gayle Forman
Published on April 5th, 2011
by Penguin
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Dan Bittner
Length: 6 hours
Source: Library
Amazon | Goodreads

It's been three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life.

And three years he's spent wondering why.

When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.
Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good - or can you really have a second chance at first love?

5 Stars

Wow! I want to kick myself in the behind for not reading Where She Went before!  I read If I Stay ages ago, before I even had a blog and I loved it (I rated it a solid 4 stars in Goodreads).  A couple of weeks ago, while I was in Florida helping my cousin, I checked this book out in audio format (anyone loves the OverDrive app like me?) and I LOVE IT (notice the caps here people!)

Oh Adam!  I fell in love with you in book one because you fought so hard to keep Mia alive!  Who would have thought that things would end up this way for you?  Adam is such an amazing guy and he feels love so deeply that the breakup almost killed him.  Literally.  It felt to me like he went through the motions of going on with his life, but without any enjoyment.  The stress he put himself under was incredible, I felt jumpy while listening to the book!  I like the idea of a love so big that you cannot function without your other half, BUT in reality, it is not too realistic *I’m just saying*

I understood why Mia did what she did, but it is really reprehensible the way it went down.  If I were Adam, I don’t think I would have waited that long to confront her.  Mia was so crazy in love with Adam that the other part of me couldn’t not comprehend leaving what you love most behind.

Each chapter starts with a quote from one of the songs from the songs Adam wrote after the break up, and they are heart wrenching. You can almost taste the anger, hurt and rawness of Adam’s pain.  This set the tone to the story.  The plot is pretty much described in the synopsis, but the way it’s executed is exquisite.  The story is told from Adam’s point of view, alternating between the present time and flashbacks that explain the present.  Where Forman books shine is in their moving writing and their amazing character building.  Where she went is a prime example of this. It is, as she herself describes it, ‘full of feels’.

I’ve read Forman’s next two books Just One Day and Just One Year and I adore them too.  It is a well-known fact that I will read anything she writes.  I cannot wait for her next book (coming out in early 2015).

It was almost impossible to come up with these quotes, because I could transcribe here the whole book, but here you go:
“You dumb-ass,” I crooned, kissing her on the forehead. “You don’t share me. You own me.”

“First you inspect me, Then you dissect me, Then you reject me, I wait for the day, That you’ll resurrect me – “Animate”

 “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.”

About the narration:  Dan Bittner is the narrator for this book and it’s my fist book read by him.  I loved all the feeling that he put on his reading.  I could actually hear the anguish in his voice, his desperation and sense of ‘losing it’.  I also enjoyed that all the voices were very distinguishable from each other and easy to recognize.  The pace was adequate and never boring.

About the cover: I really love this cover, much better than If I Stay.  I like the colors and the sense of movement and fluidity it has.

Have you read any of Gayle Forman’s books?  Do you love them? Do you not? 


About Gayle Forman

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a journalist who specialized in reporting on young people and social-justice issues. Which is a fancy way of saying I reported on all the ways that young people get treated like crap—and overcome! I started out working for Seventeen magazine, writing the kinds of articles that people (i.e. adults) never believe that Seventeen ran (on everything from child soldiers in Sierra Leone to migrant teen farm workers in the U.S.). Later on, I became a freelance journalist, writing for magazines like Details, Jane, Glamour, The Nation, Elle, Budget Travel, and Cosmopolitan.

My first young-adult novel, Sisters in Sanity, was based on another one of those social justice articles I wrote when for Seventeen and you can click here to read the article. Sisters was published in 2007. My next book, If I Stay, was published in April of 2009 by Dutton. It is also being published in 30 countries around the world, which is surreal. The sequel/companion book to If I Stay, Where She Went, comes out in April 2011. I am currently working on a new YA novel, that is, when my kids (plural, after Willa we adopted Denbele from Ethiopia) allow me to. And after that book is finished, I’ll write another, and another….

Wow. This is crazy long. I suppose the short version of this bio could simply read: My name is Gayle Forman and I love to write young-adult novels. Because I do. So thank you for reading them. Because without you, it’d just be me. And the voices in my head.


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4 responses to “Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

  1. I haven’t read any of Gayle Forman’s books! It sounds like this one is a winner, though. I’m not a huge contemporary person, though I do read some on occasion (I like to be a well-rounded reader)! I’ve never listened to any audiobook before… something to try. Glad to hear the narration was excellent 😀

    Fantastic review, Liza!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    Alyssa Susanna (The Eater of Books!) recently posted: Review: To My Hero by Danielle Sibarium
    • Liza

      Thanks Alyssa! As you can tell from my review I adore Gayle Forman’s books, they come in pairs though, so if you start on one, you have to commit to reading two 🙂 Another great contemporary author that I love is Sarah Dessen.

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