Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Gayle Forman : WHERE SHE WENT

Warning! If you are expecting a story similar to IF I STAY, then you are in for a surprise!

WHERE SHE WENT is sequel to best selling novel, If I Stay,  written by the talented Gayle Forman. Ms Forman took the world of literature by storm, when her debut novel climbed onto Times Best-selling list. Last year, we could see If I Stay, on the big screen too.

But Ms Forman isn't just a one time wonder. Her story-telling has become so popular that every novel from her pen becomes a best-seller within days from publishing. I have been meaning to read WHERE SHE WENT for quite some time, but there were always books I gave preference to, but this month this finally made on my January TBR list. Not only that, but it has also become the first book to be read in #ZCbookclub - an monthly book club started by the little me and Sara from Carpe Librum Girl on Instagram.

It's been 3 years since Mia Hall - the love of his life - walked out of Adam's life. He's been to hell and back. All his musical dreams came through, but he is haunted by the ghosts of past. He is struggling to cope with new-found fame and being always in the spotlight. Although he is trying to move on with his life, it always comes back to Mia and her leaving him behind. Adam hasn't seen Mia since she walked out on him, but one night in New York before he supposed to leave for the big tour, he find himself watching Mia's concert at Carnegie Hall. Will Adam find out the answers to his questions which have been on his mind since the awful day she left him behind? Or will it all be just a random encounter which leaves them both to move forward with both of their lives?

Let's talk about the edition of the book first. Paperback. 267 pages divided into 23 chapters. The beginning of each other chapter is marked with song lyrics by Shooting Star and their debut album Collateral Damage which always give a glimpse into Adam's feelings and mental state when he was writing that particular song. There is a beautiful photograph of Adam and Mia on the cover of the book. They are gazing into each other's eyes and communicate with their own silent language. The paperback also includes lyrics to Adam's debut album Prepare for Landing. A nice touch Ms Forman. You have really thought this through.

The writing. Firstly, I want to praise the decision of Ms Forman to write this book from Adam's point of view. It's been refreshing. The writing is raw, dark and very truthful. You can feel the anger Adam is feeling towards Mia for abandoning him. He is such a messed up guy with so many demons who are haunting him. He is addicted to pills which calm his nerves and help him with panic attacks. He feels alone in the world with nobody understanding him. Even though he reached all what he desired, at least where music is concerned, he is unhappy. He is missing Mia dearly. And all this emotions are expressed in Forman's writing. It's haunting. It's sad. It's heart-shattering. And it's un-put-down-able. I just couldn't stop reading the story. Straight away it got under my skin and wouldn't let go. And I must say, I preferred to the original story.

The story itself is packed with raw emotions, sadness, lost hope and loneliness. But soon enough, it starts to change and maybe, just maybe there is still hope for Adam and his lost love. I love how the author skips between the present and the past. It keeps you more engaged. It makes you more invested in the story. You just want to keep on reading. Slowly, but surely, the little flame of hope that Mia and Adam can find their way back to each other, turns into a full on flame. Blazing. Burning. A light in the darkness. But will they be able to put their past behind and step into the future? Will they be able to forgive each other? You have so many questions, and you are finding yourself reading more so you can get your answers.

I have loved the author's explanation of why Mia left Adam. Why she has broken the heart of the only boy she ever loved and when Mia explains, you will understand. I promise you. So keep on reading. Don't give up the hope for happy ending. The story is just getting started. After you finish it, you will be left speechless. It's beautiful. A wonderful love story which leaves you breathless. I have loved every page of it.

So thank you Ms Forman. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into Adam's life. Thank you for giving us answers. And THANK YOU for writing such a unique, heart-breaking, beautiful love story. You have taken my breath and mind away.

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