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A Reader of Fictions: Where Did Our Love Go - The Supremes

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Where Did Our Love Go - The Supremes

Where She Went
If I Stay, Book 2

Author: Gayle Forman
Pages: 264
ARC Acquired From: Penguin via NetGalley

Brief Summary:
Picking up three years after where If I Stay left off, Where She Went chronicles events, both past and present, from Adam's point of view. Now a rock star, with all of the trappings, Adam is barely holding it together. He has never recovered from Mia's desertion, which happened quickly once she left for Juilliard. She just stopped calling, offering no closure for anyone. On the night before the start of the tour for Shooting Star's newest album, he goes to see her show, after seeing an advertisement for it on a billboard by happenstance. This begins their last night in New York City before they both have to leave on tours, one last night to get all their demons out and find closure.

After having really enjoyed If I Stay, I was pretty stoked to read the sequel. Even before starting out, I definitely thought it was rather odd to write a sequel for a book like If I Stay. The whole question of book one is whether Mia will choose to live or not. And while, I suppose she could have chosen to leave and the sequel could be about the afterlife or everyone reacting to her death, that's really not likely, and it's definitely not the case. So, bold move.

Another bold writing move was the change of the narrator from Mia to Adam. Even though Adam was a big part of If I Stay, I never got a real read on what he was like as a person; I could tell that Mia loved him and that he was a pretty good guy and that was enough. Then, I started reading Where She Went and I found myself hating him and the book in general, largely as a result. Adam's just a stereotype at the outset: a super successful rock star, who, whether intentionally or not, is hogging the spotlight, thus causing a rift with the band. He also pops pills, chain smokes and has trashed at least one hotel room. Plus, he has a hot actress girlfriend, which is an improvement on the one night stands he had before her. I could not stand all of this, even though I understood that it was him falling apart after Mia. At least fall apart in an original manner.

The book definitely picked up when he and Mia began interacting. After having read the flashbacks from If I Stay of their relationship, the reader has an idea of what they were like together, and now it's amazing to see them so stilted and awkward. They have grown and changed and are weighed down by all of the words unsaid.

My favorite aspect of the novel is definitely the one last night before they were both to depart on their tours. It has a Before Sunrise feel to it. I love that movie, so it's not surprising that I would dig that element here. While such a brief time period could be limiting, it has an interesting way of being very freeing, since it's your last chance and you just need to get things out. I thought that was very well done.

All and all, having finished the book, I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. It might be too optimistic, but, then again, maybe it works just right considering all the crap the characters had to go through to get there. Perhaps time will tell as I think back on the book. Either way, this is not a book you will want to miss reading if you enjoyed the first, even though it is quite different. I can offer a couple of readalikes too, both selected for characters overcoming grief (and the stupid things they have done in their grief): Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly and Adios, Nirvana by Conrad Wesselhoeft.

"Ooh, baby, baby
Where did our love go?

Ooh, don't you want me

Don't you want me no more"

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Blogger Grazianohmygod said...

Any cool band mentions? I loved when "If I Stay" mentioned the Melvins and Wipers.

May 7, 2011 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

This one mentioned The Wipers again for sure. I've never heard of either of those bands. I think there was a listing of bands in the early chapters too, but I don't remember who was on it.

May 7, 2011 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger Gaby said...

This book was my very favorite. I just loved that it was in Adam's POV

March 25, 2012 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yeah, it was a really brave decision to write a sequel to If I Stay, since that kind of removes any question of what her decision will be in book one. I mean, I guess it could be about people dealing, but you would know from the description.

Once I got used to the way Adam thought, I really loved it.

March 25, 2012 at 7:49 PM  

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