WARNING: SPOILER ALERT! I usually try not to give away the ending of a book, but the review below will give answers to If I Stay as well as Where She Went. Be forewarned!
Through most of Where She Went I was very upset because I honestly did not believe that I was going to get my “happily ever after” ending that I love so much. I was really angry about that, but then I thought, “How brilliant!” because how often does a “realistic fiction” novel actually capture the essence of a first love break up? How many real life first loves actually stand the test of time and work out? So I had resigned myself to the fact that Mia and Adam would not end up together. Of course, this is a YA novel, and it does have the expected (but beautiful and touching and heart wrenching) ending.
I hated Mia through most of this novel. It was only the very VERY end that saved her. Where She Went is told from Adam’s point of view, and his love, loyalty, and passion for Mia is quite impressive! The novel takes place three years after If I Stay, and Adam is a famous rock star and Mia is a Julliard graduate and an up-and-coming cellist, famous in her circles. Mia broke up with Adam when she went to Julliard, and Adam’s world is destroyed. Through his pain at losing Mia, he writes numerous songs that launch his band into superstardom. One day, Adam walks by Carnegie Hall where Mia happens to be playing and attends her performance. Afterwards they spend the night touring unique places in New York and not discussing what is really on their minds until the very end when both are supposed to be on a flight in opposite directions – London and Japan. Their reconciliation, better late than never, is exhilarating!
I highly recommend If I Stay AND Where She Went!