Double Feature – If I Stay & Where She Went





Title: If I Stay

Author: Gayle Forman

Published: Speak; an imprint of Penguin, 2009


On a day that started like any other…

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left – the most important decision she’ll ever make.

Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.


An interesting book. In a devastating car accident, Mia loses her parents and younger brother, and finds herself in a coma. NB: Not a spoiler. This happens in the first 15 pages. The novel is Mia’s struggle, during her coma, to decide whether to stay on this earth or move on.

That is the entire premise of the book – the whole thing takes place over her ICU stay. That said, this one was full of emotion. FULL of emotion. Do I stay with my boyfriend and friends, knowing that my entire family is gone and I have to learn to live without them? Or do I “follow the light”, go with my family, but leave my boyfriend and boyfriend to grieve for me, and not see how my life could pan out? Neither option is particularly appealing. Each comes with it’s own challenges.

Brilliantly written to pull on the heartstrings. An excellent choice for my first Gayle Forman novel!




Title: Where She Went

Author: Gayle Forman

Published: Doubleday; an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, 2011



It’s been three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life. And three years he’s spent wondering why.

When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.

Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good – or can you really have a second chance at first love?



When Mia was in hospital after a horrific car accident that killed her entire family, she made a decision. She made a decision to stay… but to leave Adam. This second novel follows both Mia and Adam three years following the accident, when they meet again. Once again, Forman makes you think and gives you all the feelings you didn’t know were inside you. Mia has had to deal with so much since the accident – and she dealt by avoidance. Now she can’t avoid any more. Adam is here and wants answers, and it is stirring up feelings she had hoped were gone for good.

I loved both these books – the many facets of one side in If I Stay, and the dealing with the aftermath in Where She Went. I read them back to back – in 2 days. I did them both in one sitting each – could not put them down. Forman is an excellent writer – just enough plot, great focus, character development over the two books. Absolutely recommend!


Have you read these two books? Did you love them?


3 thoughts on “Double Feature – If I Stay & Where She Went

  1. I’ve read both of these and I loved them both! Definitely made me fall in love with Gayle’s writing. And I really like that her books are series, but only 2-book series. Makes it so much more manageable!

    Great review! 🙂

    • Thanks! Same, I’d heard so much about “Just One Day”, and thought that with all the hype, I wanted to start with one (or two) of her others first. Totally impressed, and yes love the 2 book series – not such a huge commitment 🙂

  2. Pingback: Just One Day | my novel addiction

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