In Gayle Forman’s best-selling If I Stay, Adam stood over the bed of his comatose girlfriend Mia, promising to do whatever it would take, even leaving or letting her go, if she’d just choose to live despite the accident that claimed the rest of her family. It’s three and a half years later in the equally compelling sequel, Where She Went, and Adam should be having the time of his life since his grunge band just scored a Grammy for Best New Artist and he knows that Mia is alive. Instead, he’s chain-smoking, popping pills for anxiety, moving in with an actress in L.A. and trying to figure out why Mia, after suffering through intense rehab in order to start at Juilliard on time, left for the East Coast and never came back.

Briefly in New York to tie up last-minute details before starting a grueling tour, Adam takes in a performance by now-rising star cellist Mia at Carnegie Hall. When she calls him backstage after the show, the two spend the rest of the night on a whirlwind tour of the city, taking in Mia’s favorite sights. Chapters alternate between past and present, revealing more details about the days and months after Mia’s awakening, Adam’s mounting isolation after Mia’s departure—and the searing truth that erupts as they face each other once again.

As the two former young lovers reconnect, Adam realizes that Mia was not the only victim who suffered a loss, felt grief and anger or needed closure. Perhaps there’s still time to remember, forgive and love again—together. With beautiful yet achingly realistic storytelling, Where She Went is a page-turner, tearjerker and romance all in one, and the pace doesn’t let up until the final sentence. Have some tissues ready.

 

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