Sunday, January 19, 2014

Double Review: If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Titles: If I Stay & Where She Went
Author: Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay
Publisher: Penguin
Review: 5 Stars

Holy bleep, these two books were an emotional roller coaster! I read book one back in December of winter break and loved it. I was sobbing only a few pages in and the tears didn't stop. I read Where She Went in a couple hours last night, and, while I held the tears at bay, the feelings in this book are never steady. I can't even express into words how heartfelt these books were.

If I Stay is told from Mia's point of view. At the very beginning of the book, Mia's family is killed in a car crash and Mia goes into a coma, BUT she can see and hear what's going on around her. She's like a ghost, watching over her body. Most of her story is told in flashbacks to when she was younger with her family. The main plot of the story is whether Mia should decide to die or live. I understand her plight, die and be with the family she loves, or live, and come back to those who are scared to death of losing her too. Mia felt a bit wishy washy, but I'm giving her some slack because, you know, her entire family was just killed! Book two takes place three years later, and from the point of view of Adam, Mia's boyfriend from book one. By that point, they've broken up, Adam is a rockstar, and he's not quite sure what he wants to do with his life. Adam is an amazing musician. In fact, a big background of the story is music. Almost every character is into it. Mia plays cello, Adam plays guitar, and Mia's dad was in a band. Anyway, Adam has become fairly pathetic by this point. Over the course of the book, he develops back into the character he was in book one. I can tell you this much, Mia really brings out the best in Adam.

After the cliffhanger ending of If I Stay, and Gayle Forman's Just One Day duology, I was worried that I wouldn't get much closure with Where She Went. Boy, was I wrong. The ending was beautiful and sweet and wonderful. I love it with all my heart. So, when I tell you to read EVERYTHING by Gayle Forman, I mean it. Her books are an emotional roller coaster that don't leave you, even after you've turned the last page. I love her characters, they're all so diverse and unique. Oh, and the romance? Complete and utter swoon! The books couldn't have ended more perfectly. Oh! And make sure to check out the If I Stay movie, which comes out in August! I know I can't wait! I give these books five stars!

Author Bio:
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….

You Can Find Her At:


If I Stay

On a day that started like any other…

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the one decision she has left—the most important decision she’ll ever make.

Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.

You Can Find it At:
Barnes and Noble

Where She Went

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.

You Can Find it At:
Barnes and Noble

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