Friday, 29 August 2014

Where She Went- Gayle Forman

The problem with hype is that it can really ruin a book. I read If I Stay in the run up to the release of the film. There was talk of it everywhere and I went into reading it with absolutely humongous expectations. The book unsurprisingly fell short- through no fault of its own but rather because I was expecting the world and it gave me a continent. As I said in my review, it wasn't that I didn't enjoy it, it's just I found it a bit predictable, the book tried to make you think you didn't know how it would end but I could have told you the ending after the first couple of pages. The follow up- Where She Went- is arguably just as predictable, the one difference being that it wasn't really trying to be hugely dramatic or unpredictable and therefore I didn't expect to be surprised. 

The book begins three years on from its predecessor, this time it is narrated by Adam and it follows a similar structure, alternating between past and present. I enjoyed this structure as it allowed the story to skip three years but I still felt as though I was up to date with what had gone on. Adam is at a low point, his carer as a musician means that he has hit the big time, but problems with band mates and the inability to live a 'normal' life when faced with fans and insensitive journalists means that he isn't coping. He is a shell of a human and ready to quit the band- only made worse by the fact that he is doing it without Mia, the love of his life. Enter Mia. It has been three years without a word and suddenly he is faced with her, the book follows their journey through nighttime New York as Adam learns of why she left him and whether they can make another go of it. 

The sequel to If I Stay is told through Adam, I much preferred his narrative and I really did feel a strong emotional connection with the poor boy who three years on from being left by Mia is not in a good state. I felt that the first book lacked character development and the sequel really allowed me to learn about the characters. I believed their emotions more and I was more invested in their story because of it. As with the first book I did shed a tear. It wasn't so blatently sad but just upsetting to see Adam at only 21 struggling through life.

All in all it was a much better book and I can see why it has really grabbed the book reading community. It is a quick and easy read which will send you on an emotional roller-coaster! 

Eilidh  

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