August 22, 2013

Gayle Forman Read-along || Where She Went, Week 2

Where She Went - Gayle Forman
I'm so pleased to be a part of the Gayle Forman Read-Along that my friend Brittany is hosting from June-September. We tackled Sisters in Sanity with Judith, and have just finished If I Stay with Candice. And now it's my turn! I'll be covering Where She Went, the sequel/companion novel to If I Stay over the next month.

If you're interested in finding out more about the read-along, or signing up to join us, feel free to check out Brittany's kick-off post. There are three books left (Where She WentJust One Day and Just One Year) so there's plenty of time (and reading material)!

August 15-21: Chapters 1-6
August 22-28: Chapters 7-12
August 29-September 4: Chapters 13-18
September 5-11: Chapters 19-23

Here are the questions for week 2:

1. Adam's new girl, Bryn, has definitely made an appearance now. What do you think of how they first met? And what do you think of Bryn herself?

2. If someone important from your past showed up again in your present after you'd left things on an awkward note, how would you react? Awkward? Excited? Nervous? Angry? Sad? Afraid?

3. Mia and Adam attempted a few months at a long-distance relationship while Mia was in New York. What is your opinion on long-distance relationships?

4. As Mia says, "Everyone loves New York City for all these different reasons." Have you been to New York, and if you have, what did you love most about it? If you haven't been yet, do you want to visit and what do you want to see most?

5. Shooting Stars seemed like such a close-knit group in If I Stay, but that dynamic has completely changed in Where She Went. What do you think of the friction between the band? Do you think they can fix it?

Here are my answers to last week's questions. Please feel free to link up to your posts below in the comments so that I can hop over and check them out!

1. Adam has changed a lot since we last saw him in If I Stay. Any guesses as to what happened between him and Mia? Him and the band? In his personal life? What do you think of the "new" Adam we find in the first chapter?

I sincerely think that Adam and Mia just had a heck of a relationship roller coaster, what with the trauma of Mia's accident. The residual effects of that experience definitely took a toll on them, as did the distance when Mia insisted on leaving to go to school in New York. The strain was probably what broke them in the end, and they probably had an epic fight.

I really cannot figure out what happened with the band, but in terms of his personal life, I feel like Adam is a totally different person. This is, in part, because of the great hurt that life has dealt him when he loses Mia. His incredible love for her is transformed into hatred and longing and twists his personality until there's no escape for him but music. I feel like the old Adam is still there somewhere deep down inside.

2. How do you feel about Mia's determination to go to Julliard right away, instead of deferring for a year? Do you think it was the right decision for her to immediately leave the familiar, the scene of her greatest trauma and grief and head to an unfamiliar, new place?

If I were in Mia's place, I would have also chosen to leave and go to school at Julliard. A part of the reason would be leaving behind the place that would remind me of the family I'd lost, and the horrific accident. But the biggest motivator would be to follow my dreams. The accident would have made me realize that time is a precious commodity, so I would take my opportunities when I got them. Plus, the music was the only thing that comforted and steadied her, so I could understand her drive to just go and do what she'd always wanted with it.

3. What do you think of Mia and Adam's first reunion after three years? 

It was very awkward, as it should be. Mia seemed to have the upper hand initially, but I felt like the pair were on even ground as their meeting went on. It's interesting to recognize the familiar/unfamiliar vibe between them, as I've personally encountered that in real life. It's like you know the person... but only as they were back when you really knew them.

4. Grief strikes people different, as we see Adam grieving when he and Mia break up. Have you ever experienced the same intensity of grief? How did you survive it or move on from it? What do you think of Kim's role in helping Adam snap out of his grief?

I've experience grief many times in my life, and it is always difficult. There's a sorrow that pierces the heart, and a sense of regret and anger. While I do allow myself some time to be sad, there comes a point when I realize that it's time for me to let go and move on, hard as it may be. It's baby steps from there, but slowly and surely, with the help of family, friends and things I love, I recover. (I'm generally optimistic too, so that helps a lot!)

Sometimes, the people you least expect are the ones to snap you out of your funk. That's why I've always believed that people come into our lives for a reason -- especially when we're in the throes of deep emotions, such as grief.

5. Song lyrics can sometimes describe our feelings about situations completely, as Adam's lyrics for the songs on the Collateral Damage album describe his feelings after Mia dumped him. What are some song lyrics that describe feelings you've had or memories?

It seems fitting that I'd end with a Taylor Swift quote for this, as it currently describes how I feel about figuring out this life thing - "I don't know what I want, so don't ask me. I'm still trying to figure it out. Don't know what's down this road, I'm just walking - can't see through the rain coming down."

I hope you join me and the other hosts as we read our third Forman book for the next month. After finishing If I Stay, I'm very curious about what happens years later between Adam and Mia and am truly excited to find out!


  1. I loved all of your answers Alexa! I didn't really think about Mia going to Julliard instead of taking the year off as following her dreams until you mentioned it. Just because I thought that she just needed to get away and find solace somewhere else and I thought Julliard provided that for her. I do agree that grief takes a toll, but ultimately it's you that has to pick yourself up and say "enough is enough." Not in a mean way, but in a realistic way because you have to move on.

    Here are my answers to the questions:

    Thanks for hosting this read-along :)

  2. I agree! I think Mia really just needed to leave at that point. I know she had Adam, but there was just too much pushing her to go and too much pain if she stayed. True, music was her healing thing and she needed to dive into that!
    I LOVED this lyric question! One of my favorite things about this series/duo of books is how involved music is and Adam is clearly just drowning in it.
    GREAT questions, Alexa!! I'm so excited to answer ones for future weeks!!! :)


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