Let me just start off by saying this: Where She Went by Gayle Forman, is a sequel. This I didn't know at first, and was rightly thrown off a little, since the author catapults you into a scene 3 years following the first book. I sorta wish I'd known this, I believe I would have been more involved in the novel had I read the first (If I Stay).
Aside from that, I did enjoy the book. In If I Stay, you follow Mia & Adam's relationship as they deal with a horrific accident involving Mia & her entire family. Adam makes a promise to her that if she stays with him, if she lives, he'll do whatever she wants. In Where She Went, you find out that what she wanted was for all ties to be cut between them, which tears Adam apart, even as he lets her do it. You follow his perspective as he tries to deal with his sudden rockstar-dom (did I mention their one tieing hold on each other is their mutual love of music?). He should be happy for himself and his band, but years later he's still wracked with this ghost of what he used to be, who he used to be in love with. Mia.
While parts of this book may seem a little far-fetched (what are the odds of two people being so successful in their own genres of music?), I think people can definitely relate to Adam's feelings of What If? Who hasn't asked that question of themselves about at least one aspect of their lives?
What if I'd made it into this college?
What if I'd chosen to apply there?
What if I hadn't said those words?
What if I'd said no?
I've often wondered what it would be like if you could see another track your life could have followed. How would things be different, how different of a person would I be? It's sorta fascinating to think certain aspects of your personality could be affected by a few simple decision changes.
Ultimately however, I'm thankful we don't have some magic crystal ball. While it might be nice to correct some past mistakes, I'd like to think that things happen for a reason. Otherwise, we might never be able to confidently make a decision and stick with it.
This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club, but all content & opinions are my own!