Two things today, wonderfuls!
The winner of the pay-it-forward The Sky is Everywhere contest is
She's fabulous. Her blog's fabulous. And I'm thrilled to be paying forward The Sky is Everywhere to her!
And now for Part II! A book that might, might just rank right up there with The Sky is Everywhere *gasp*
Okay, it does. In my book rankings. It so totally belongs up there.
If you haven’t read Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, I have two things to say to you:
a) WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! (sorry, was that abrasive? Oops)
b) Go buy it. NOW. Because I’m about to review the sequel - aka - I don’t want to spoil anything for you.
And while If I Stay is off-the-chizzang amazing, Where She Went surpasses it—a million times over.
Here’s the book jacket blurb…
My first impulse is not to grab her or kiss her or yell at her. I simply want to touch her cheek, still flushed from the night’s performance. I want to cut through the space that separates us, measured in feet—not miles, not continents, not years—and to take a callused finger to her face…
But I can’t touch her. This is a privilege that’s been revoked.
It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.
Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.
Okay – so if you read If I Stay, you know that Mia, after the catastrophic accident that took her family and left her in a coma, decided to stay. You may also remember Adam’s promise to Mia.
If you stay, I’ll do whatever you want. I’ll quit the band; go with you to New York. But if you need me to go away, I’ll do that too. .. And that would suck, but I’ll do it. I can lose you like that, if I don’t lose you today. I’ll let you go. If you stay.
Well, months of rehabilitation and prepping for Julliard follow. Adam is there with her through her recovery. Sees her through her grief, the physical and the emotional. And then in September, Mia leaves for New York. And Adam pretty much never hears from her again.
Yep…I so wanted to hate her.
The book opens three years later, and it seems they’ve both moved on with their lives. Mia’s a featured Twenty under Twenty, and Adam’s fulfilling what he thought were his wildest dreams. He and his band are celeb status. He’s got fame and fortune, tosses money out like it will instantly grow back in his hand. His celeb girlfriend has upped his rock star status.He’s seemingly got it all. But he doesn’t.
Adam’s angry. Bitter. He smokes, plays, pops pills, preps for the tour, doesn’t want to do the tour. He suffers through interviews. He explodes, smokes some more. Loses himself in the music, the words. Does anything to cope. To get through the day. To get through the next hour.
He’s broken. He's lost.
And it’s like, Mia, don’t you get it? The music is the void. And you’re the reason why.
Just so you know – when I finished reading this book, I read the awesomeness that is Divergent, and then several other fabulous novels. And even after swooning over the likes of Four and Alex Fuentes, I am STILL wild about Adam Wilde—like I can’t get this guy, this book out of my head. He’s amazing. The book’s amazing.
Where She Went is raw, real, and ohmygosh beautiful. Some chapters I tore through, wanting, needing to see what would happen next. Others left me literally shaking. I would have to stop, figure out how to breathe again before turning the next page. Adam Wilde is so unbelievably real. His voice, his pain. I experienced every bit of his anger. I felt his devastation, his uncertainty. His loss. Eve-ry-thing. As they have a final night in NYC, there were times I hated Mia. Then loved her again. Then wanted to shake her and scream, “Why are you doing this to him?” And then I wanted to shake Adam. Quit censoring yourself. Just get it out there!
And there were times reading this book, I was certain I knew how it would end. And it killed me. Like Adam was prepping himself and me for his inevitable loss. Oh—and in case you haven’t figured it out—I cried a lot.
One night I slept with November Rain (Guns and Roses) playing and replaying all night long on the stereo. The same song, the same lyrics—over and over again. I could’ve turned it off. I didn’t.
That’s how I feel about this book. I WANT it to keep playing in my head. And I’m completely okay with the fact that it is. At times the story’s a ballad—Adam’s ballad, the words so heart-spoken. Poetic. Lyrical. Other times, it’s gut-tearing, bang-your head metal. Def Leppard. Guns and Roses.
Here are some tracks from Adam:
You crossed the water, left me ashore
It killed me enough, but you wanted more
You blew up the bridge, a mad terrorist
Waved from your side, threw me a kiss
I started to follow, but realized to late
There was nothing but air underneath my feet
Collateral Damage, Track 4
First you inspect me
Then you dissect me
Then you reject me
I wait for the day
That you'll resurrect me
Collateral Damage, Track 1
Raw, intense, real. Read it. Experience it.
Trust me. You won't regret it.