Monday, October 21, 2013

Mini Reviews: If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman


Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Speak
Published: April 2, 2009
Purchase: Amazon  |  B&N

 From Goodreads:

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.

Title:  Where She Went (If I Stay #2)
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher:  Speak
Published: April 5, 2011
Purchase:  Amazon  |  B&N

From Goodreads:  

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.



If I Stay

I have been hearing wonderful things about Gayle Forman for a while now, and I am so pleased to say I finally know what all the excitement has been about.  I chose If I Stay for my first Forman read, and it truly lived up to all the buzz.

The story as well as the writing is unique and lovely.  Most books introduce you to the characters and – hopefully – you become captivated by them as you turn the pages; and then if and when a misfortune strikes, you hold onto that book for dear life and feel every hurt they do.

“Just like with music, sometimes you have harmony 
and other times you have cacophony.”

If I Stay was so exceptional and rare in that you are almost immediately placed at the scene of this horrific tragedy and heartbroken for a family you have yet to fall for.  Then as the story unfolds, you slowly learn through flashbacks who these wonderful people are – they become all you can think about.  The best way to describe my feelings for this book is that it was like falling in love… in reverse.

“You were both in love with music and then
 you fell in love with each other.”

I can easily recommend this book to all my reader friends.  The characters are engaging; they are real; and the story, while emotional, is an amazing one.

“I can lose you like that if I don’t lose you today. 
 I’ll let you go.  If you stay.”

My Rating: 1/2


Where She Went

I didn’t waste any time diving into Where She Went.  I couldn’t wait to have Adam’s POV and get to know him better in this story. I knew from If I Stay that he was an incredibly talented musician, and I already loved him for what he went through and everything he did for Mia.  But I didn’t expect this story to frustrate me so! I had naively imagined a therapeutic and blissful story unfolding for this stunning couple… but what I got was a heartrending, shattering, and… well… truth be told, incredibly realistic turn of events and account of what happened after book one.

“How does it feel that the only worthy thing you ever created 
came from the worst kind of loss?”

I was so angry with Mia upon learning what had transpired since that last page of If I Stay.  But Gayle Forman did a remarkable job of filling the pages with things that turned my anger into compassion and understanding.  I was very pleased with the outcome.

“Mia’s smile is melting chocolate.  It’s a kick-ass guitar solo.
  It’s everything good in this world.”

While I may have been content to stop at If I Stay and let that be the end, my curiosity got the better of me… and I’m glad it did.  I definitely can’t wait to read more of Gayle Forman’s writing.

“It’s my turn to see you through…”

My Rating: 1/2


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