Where She Went

Where She Went  - Gayle Forman

Where She Went reads like mix of the music of Nick Horby's About a Boy, the strength of character in Christine Siefert's The Predicteds, and, of course, the emotional maturity of the book's predecessor, Gayle Forman's If I Stay.  In it, musician Adam Wilde processes the haunting and inescapable reality of his relationship three years prior with cellist Mia Hall.  It's as Wilde processes his experiences since that time that the novel finds its truth: in Adam's irrational anger, his self-punishing logic, and his escape into artistic expression from family, friends, and work.  The novel is a fine example of presenting a thoughtful, complicated male character in the female-focused YA arena. But as with If I Stay, the novel avoids making these emotions, or Mia's justifications for her role in them, feel trivial or put on for show.  It is only because the highs and lows of the story are so believable that its ending feels legitimate, if somewhat abbreviated.  Books as emotionally sincere as this seem to find their readers at the right time, and that too elevates the experience of them.  But with or without any real-life parallels, readers of Where She Went can expect fine writing and sharp insight into how people operate when the complications of "adult" life find them all too soon.