Saturday, August 6, 2011

Where She Went by Gayle Forman: When A Girl Breaks A Boy's Heart

This story takes time three years after Mia lost her parents and brother in a terrible accident. Three years after an unfortunate event that changed not only Mia but also Adam, her boyfriend, and also, their relationship. 
Because a moment after Mia recovered from the accident, she broke things off with Adam. 

And this is his story that he's telling. His pain. His vulnerability. His scars. His feelings. His memories. 

I once read that when a couple breaks up, one another will react differently. The girl will cry her eyeballs out for a week, a month, a year.. Grieving and mourning till she reaches the point when she feels hey, wake up, it's enough.Then she will put the widest, prettiest smile on her face and stand up and face the world. 
The guy? At first he will do nothing. Feel nothing. It's just another break-up,he may think. Every story has an end. 
But after that? The nothingness and numbness that he feels is only an act of denial. Disapproving. The pain will eat him up, alive, like a chronic cancer cell that stays for a week, a month, a year. 
Well in Adam's case, it takes no longer than three years. 

Hence, I think the title of this review should be, "When a girl breaks a boy's heart." 

Gayle Forman did such a great thing making Adam's voice believable and gripping at the same time. As we read the book we may be wondering where on Earth is Mia right now and how is she doing but Adam pat us on the head and yells, "Hey, you've listened to Mia this whole time, now you have to sit and relax and hear me out." 

We meet Adam on the night when he's supposed to rest and get ready for a long trip to London. Yes; he is a star right now, famous with his celebrity girlfriend and his striking songs, infamous with his quiet, outcast self who enjoys time in solitude rather than in most parties. That way, he somehow manages to find a banner with Mia's picture on it, with feelings of the ol' times pouring out, begging him to give this night a chance to see Mia, at least for the last time. 

And this book tells us the night when Mia and Adam reunite, keep up with the each other's news, wander in New York, and wonder what was wrong about them. 

It broke my heart everytime Adam cries. He is not weepy or pitiful; and that's why I pity him even more. When he learns that Mia was resentful of him because he was the reason why Mia stayed, that Mia had a few times hoped Adam would just let her go because living without her family was too painful, when he was the reason why Mia left, that him being protective for her made her angry, every time Adam aches when he remembers Teddy, I cried my heart out. 

This sequel is exceptional . It's hard for me to compare the two books; because there is nothing to compare, actually. Each provides us different stories, different issues, different feelings. It's amazing how Forman manages to sum up three years + a whole night in a book. There was no part when I cringed because the plot was not making sense; I enjoyed my time reading the book. I finished the book in one sitting. 

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