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Where She Went by Gayle FormanWHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman Book Review
Series: If I Stay, #2
Publication Date: November 4th 2010 by Dutton Juvenile
Rating: – Exceeds Expectations |

Book Summary: 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 Juilliard’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.

Book Review Overview:

  • It was amazing to read about what Mia and Adam were able to accomplish in the last three years!
  • Get the tissues ready – this one is a tear-jerker!

So I basically thought it was too good to be true when just about all of my bookish friends told me that WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman is better than the first book, If I Stay. It was impossible, I thought to myself.

Then I was proved that the impossible is possible.

WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman is all kinds of awesome. I read it in two sittings – I only stopped to cook and eat dinner, which was something I almost forgot to do because this book is so hard to put down.

Fast forward three years later after the accident. Adam is a famous rock star, and it’s been three years since he last saw Mia when she left for Julliard in New York. Despite the fame and money and a celebrity girlfriend, Adam still cannot let go of Mia. Their paths collide in New York when Adam stumbles upon her first concert at Carnegie Hall.

First of all, I loved reading about Mia and Adam three years later. Despite the fact that Adam is pretty much miserable and still heart-broken, I was so proud of what Mia and Adam had accomplished in the last three years. I almost wanted to do a happy dance because they were both able to live their dreams.

I really enjoyed the change of perspective in WHERE SHE WENT, which is told entirely from Adam’s perspective. I feel like male protagonists are so rare in young adult – so it was a refreshing change of pace.

WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman also involved tears and sniffles. I cried a few times while reading when all the emotions and feelings just got too overwhelming. My heart went out to Adam and Mia. They’ve gone through so much. A sign of a talented author, for me, is the ability to make me cry through words on a page.

Gayle Forman is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I’m basically going to get my hands on every book she publishes. I’m a fan. WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman will not disappoint fans of If I Stay.


About the Author

Gayle FormanGayle Forman is an award-winning author and journalist whose articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Seventeen, Cosmopolitan and Elle in the US. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Find the Author

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Comments 1 comment

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Four Stars - , , , , , , , , , | Words 946 words

You are here: Home » Tear-Jerker

If I Stay by Gayle FormanIF I STAY by Gayle Forman Book Review
Series: If I Stay, #1
Publication Date: April 2nd 2009 by Dutton Juvenile
Rating: – Exceeds Expectations|

Book Summary: In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck…

A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

Book Review Overview:

  • An absolute tear-jerker
  • Protagonist with an awesome relationship with boyfriend and parents
  • One of the best books I’ve read so far in 2013

Have your tissues ready because If I Stay by Gayle Forman is one hell of a tear-jerker. Mia’s family was just going out for a drive one morning. Next thing she knows, Mia is watching herself get taken away by an ambulance after a horrific car accident.

I love how point of view is used in If I Stay. Even if Mia is in a coma, she has an out of body experience that sees what is going on around her while she remains in critical condition at the ICU. She cannot interact with anyone, but she can listen to conversations and follow family members and friends around the hospital.

Forman also uses flashbacks quite well. Through flashbacks, we learn more about how Mia and Adam’s relationship developed. We also learned more about Mia’s family. By the time I reached the end of the book, I felt such a strong connection with all of the minor characters that the whole novel became even more heart-wrenching. This is one of the few books in YA in which the protagonist actually has an awesome relationship with her parents. For once, the parents are not absentee or ignorant. Their relationship with Mia just makes this book all the more powerful.

Okay, there is so much buzz in the blogging world about swoon-worthy Adam. And alright, I admit it – he is very swoon-worthy. He’s such a nice guy and he’s such a perfect boyfriend to Mia. What more can a girl want?

If I Stay by Gayle Forman is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I had a hard time putting this book down. Now, I can’t wait to pick up the sequel Where She Went.

About the Author

Gayle FormanGayle Forman is an award-winning author and journalist whose articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Seventeen, Cosmopolitan and Elle in the US. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Find the Author

Website | Twitter | GoodReads

Comments 4 comments

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Four Stars - , , , , , , | Words 738 words

You are here: Home » Tear-Jerker

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah OcklerTWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler Book Review
Publication Date: June 1st 2009 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating: – Acceptable |

Book Summary: “Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.”
“Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?”
“Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?”

According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

TWENTY BOY SUMMER explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every beautiful moment life has to offer.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler Book Review Overview:

  • Refreshing break from the cold New York winter
  • I did not approve of the twenty boy contest, but Twenty Boy Summer has awesome kissing scenes
  • This book almost made me cry

During the summer, I recommended TWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler to my sister because I’d seen it around the blogosphere. She likes the summer romance young adult novels – ones that I’m not too fond of. But since my dystopian hangover – caused by reading too many dystopian novels, most recently Fuse by Julianna Baggott – I thought it was about time to take a break and read something different. I took a break from the dreary New York weather and vacationed in the California summer with protagonist, Anna in TWENTY BOY SUMMER.

Anna is secretly in love with her best friend’s brother, Matt, who also happened to be her other best friend. When Matt finally kisses her on her 15th birthday, Anna is ecstatic. But just before Anna and Matt can tell his sister about their relationship, Matt dies from a heart defect. One year later, Anna travels with Frankie to Zanzibar Bay, California with her family in hopes to overcome their grief.

My main frustration in TWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler is this twenty boy contest that the book revolves around. I know that Frankie is dealing with the loss of her brother by basically rebelling with booze and boys. But I really don’t like it. I guess I just never saw the appeal of summer romances and excessive flirting. It made me constantly want to roll my eyes.

But I admit, Sarah Ockler has a knack for kissing scenes.

If it weren’t for the fact that TWENTY BOY SUMMER is border-line tear-jerker, then I probably would not have enjoyed this book. When Ockler gets to the more serious parts of the novel, she does not back down. I found myself getting choked up whenever the girls finally confront their grief.

What I wish TWENTY BOY SUMMER focused more on was the  relationship between Aunt Jayne and Anna. Aunt Jayne seems to have a better understanding of Anna than anyone else in the novel. It’s a shame that we only get a short glimpse of how Aunt Jayne sees her. In general, I wish that the parents weren’t as oblivious as they were. While they tried to spend quality time with Frankie and Anna, I feel like they were still always avoiding the topic of Matt.

However, I do think that Ockler made a great point towards the end of the novel that at the end of the day, everyone has to deal with their grief in their own way. Everyone is a little different when it comes to dealing with the grief of losing a loved one.

About the Author

Sarah OcklerSarah Ockler is the bestselling author of novels for teens, including Bittersweet, Fixing Delilah, and the critically acclaimed Twenty Boy Summer, a YALSA Teens’ Top Ten nominee and IndieNext List pick. She is a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, night person, and bookworm.

When she’s not writing or reading at home in Colorado, Sarah enjoys taking pictures, hugging trees, and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex.

Find the Author

Website | Twitter | GoodReads

Comments 2 comments

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Three Stars - , , , , , , , | Words 1079 words

When the day shall come that we do part, if my last words are not 'I love you'-ye'll ken it was because I didna have time.
- Diana Gabaldon, The Feiry Cross

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