That the film version of If I Stay is currently in production is reason enough to read the book before Hollywood leaves its indelible imprint too soon. Trust me: 99.9% of the time, the book is better. The intensity and ferocity that author Gayle Forman offers with her careful, lucid words, that your imagination magically makes ‘real,’ couldn’t possibly be duplicated on the flat screen – not with this sort of intimacy and depth.
Like the young lovers within, these two books shouldn’t be separated. The duo comprises a ‘she said’/'he said’ love story from its innocent inception to its miraculous recovery. In If I Stay, Mia and Adam are both musicians – Mia with her classic cello, Adam with his rock ‘n roll guitar. They are wondrously young, utterly in love, and infinitely hopeful … until Mia is lying in a hospital bed, the only survivor of a tragic auto accident that rips her away from her entire family. Mia’s twisted, damaged body lies comatose, while her mind remembers everything she has to live for, and her heart must decide if she should stay …
Three years later, in Where She Went, Adam speaks. He’s moved to L.A., he’s making amazing music, and he’s famous beyond his wildest dreams. He’s also living with a caring woman he can’t love, popping pills just to survive each day, and on the verge of imploding his rock star band. During a New York stopover on his way to London, Adam buys a ticket on a whim for a cello concert at Carnegie Hall. He’s too famous to sneak out, and is summoned by the evening’s star … and so begins a not-quite 24-hour reunion that will restore two young lives … again.
Fresh. Soulful. Raw. Sighs, tears, joy, as well.
Go ahead … put aside any cynicism and just believe.
Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult
Published: 2009 and 2011