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all hearthfires & holocausts

eating books. bleeding words.

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Where She Went - Gayle Forman I'll try to keep this as spoiler-free as possible."Please don't make me write a song for you."That was the line that made me burst into tears for the first time in If I Stay. The one that made me fall in love with Adam. The one that made me, after sitting on the fence with her, want her to stay. Where She Went is about the songs Adam ends up writing for Mia; the destruction left in her wake when she disappeared. It's exactly as gut-wrenching and painful as I'd imagined it to be, but just like If I Stay, it's no less gorgeous for all the heartache.I'll admit I was skeptical when I heard there was a sequel coming out. I only just read If I Stay a couple of weeks ago, and the brutally painful beauty of it still felt a little bit like a fresh bruise; a little tender to the touch. I didn't know what could possibly stand up to that, and more--if anything should try. It seemed a little bit like messing with perfection.But, they're almost two separate entities. Where She Went isn't so much of a follow up as it is an offshoot, almost. Whereas If I Stay was about loss, Where She Went is about grieving, and how hard it can be to heal. The theme of choice ties the books together; choosing to wallow, to hold on to things long gone. Choosing to let things happen rather than to make yourself happy.I found myself very upset with Mia through about 75% about the book, which I think is a testament to Forman's writing and the way she enabled me to become completely immersed in Adam's point of view. There was one point where I was sure I was not going to get the resolution that I wanted. And I would have been okay with it, which is another big point for Forman. In all actuality, it would have been a realistic conclusion to their story. But, despite that realism, I was so happy with the way it ended. After an entire book of heartache and another of angst, the smile the last few pages spawned made it all seem worth it.