Last month I fell in love with the sparse, disconnected prose and honesty of “If I Stay”. The sequel, “Where She Went”, is a different creature entirely.
Told from the brutally honest point of view of Adam, who was Mia’s high-school boyfriend in “If I Stay”, it’s the bitter, angry counterpart to Mia’s calm detachment.
Three years after Mia’s accident, Adam’s channeled his angst into a multi-million selling album. He’s a hit rockstar with a gorgeous movie star girlfriend, and paparazzi follow him everywhere.
He’s also very clearly unwell – he’s fighting with everyone and pushing his band away, lashing out at reporters, on medication for panic attacks, obsessing over Mia, and hating every moment of his rich-and-famous life.
On a one-night stop in New York before he embarks on a dreaded European tour, Adam finds out that cellist Mia, now a rising star in the classical music scene, is playing in the city. She spots him at her concert, and they end up face-to-face for the first time in free years.
Is one evening in New York enough time to repair all the damage they’ve been through?
This is a very different story from “If I Stay” – it’s a much more self-constrained story about the two characters. I adored it – just like in “If I Stay”, every little interaction is brimming with character revealing-details. Adam’s narrative is a perfect example of a guy with issues, and it never pulls any punches. The dialogue is brilliant, but for the opposite reason – while Adam’s narrative is wordy and honest, the spoken words that follow are clipped and false. A perfect example of the contrast between what we think and what we say.
Recommended for fans of: “Before I Fall” by Lauren Oliver, “If I Stay”
A copy of this book was provided for review by the lovely people at Random House.