Reviews, ya contemporary

Book Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

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Goodreads Summary:

It’s been three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life.

And three years he’s spent wondering why.

When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.

Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good – or can you really have a second chance at first love?

My Initial Thoughts:

My thoughts you say… well they weren’t pretty. Not because I thought I was going to dislike it, but because I knew it was going to tear my heart apart. I heard Where She Went would open the water gates, so I kept avoiding it.

Review:

I can just tell you from the get-go that this may just turn into a fangirl session. I am ab-so-lute-ly head over heels with Where She Went. 

The rawness of this book just hit the spot deep within me. I am a sucker for heart-breaking tales, and this is one I will not easily forget nor do I want to. WSW is absolutely breathtaking because it was everything I wanted it to be and more. I mourned with Adam, and I felt his pain. I understood his lyrics and the need get it out the only way you know how. For him it was writing music, and for me… poems.

One of the reasons I love the If I Stay duology so much is because I can personally connect to both Mia and Adam. I didn’t go through the same tragedies as they did, but I’ve gone through some of my own, and to have on the page before me the same thoughts and feelings I’ve had before is an indescribable experience. It’s like that quote we see around tumblr so much, “We read to know we are not alone.” I read to know that I am not the only one feeling those same things, thinking those same thoughts.

Some readers that loved If I Stay did not like Where She Went because they say Adam is selfish and a jerk. I am not blind to his characteristics and attitude, but are we really going to say we are not all at one time or another a jerk and/or selfish? If we say we have never been a jerk or selfish we would be lying. Even the people who we think are selfless and the nicest people in the world at least have selfish or mean thoughts sometimes. The difference is that they don’t act out their thoughts or give them voice. Nonetheless, I understand their stance and respect it. I don’t need everyone to agree with me. If they did, well life wouldn’t be fun now would it?

Overall, this book will be going in my “Favorite Books of All Time” shelf. It was an indescribable experience that I want to experience all over again.

Rating: 5/5

 

Reviews, ya contemporary, ya romance

Book Review: If I Stay (If I Stay #1) by Gayle Forman

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Goodreads 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.

My Initial Thoughts:

I began reading If I Stay cautiously because I knew it would break my heart. Within the first ten pages, it did. I’m not going to talk about the heartbreak, or how much it will make you cry. I’m going to talk about Mia’s dilemma and why this book is so freaking amazing.

I know there are some out there that coudn’t connect with Mia, but I did. Several times in my life I’ve lost people I’ve loved. Once it was death and the few others… its almost as if they did die.

Review:

The back and forth scenes within the novel were easy for me to follow. I also felt like I was reading Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver where there were alternate chapters going back and forth in time.

The way the novel was written helped gain momentum for the ending and even if it was a simple ending, because the whole novel was moving to that point, it made it huge.

Throughout the novel we got to see what Mia would lose if she stayed and also what she would lose if she left. The entire book is her journey deciding whether she will stay or go.

The people in Mia’s life are strong. Her grandparents, family friends, Adam, Kim, when it comes down to a heavy part of life, they are strong and do everything and anything they can for Mia. If Mia stayed, all of those people would be by her side, helping her cope with the grief she would feel. They also understood if she decided to leave. The pain of being an orphan, of all of her immediate family dying at once is a horrible thing to deal with of she decided to stay.

I really found Adam and Mia’s relationship real and adorable. I also cried when I saw Adam frantically trying to get into Mia’s hospital room, wanting to see her, not caring he was missing his show. So many parts of this book tugged at the strings of my heart.

Overall, it is a novel about making the best of what you have and deciding if life is worth fighting for or not.

Rating: 5/5