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The follow-up to If I Stay flips things and brings us to Adam’s point of view years after Mia’s accident, and we learn what happened to our favorite musicians from two opposite worlds.
Review (with Spoilers)
Based on a recommendation I decided to read this book, and while I have to admit I was iffy about the first book until nearly midway, or near the end, with being familiar with Adam it made starting the book easier. Then, when it comes to story, thankfully Gayle Forman didn’t repeat the formula she had in If I Stay where she would jump back and forth through time creating an experience where it seemed she just wanted every last person mentioned fleshed out and her forcing the idea they are relevant. Instead, when the past is used for the story, it is more natural and helps reinforce what was just talked about in the last chapter and helps us discover what went wrong between Mia and Adam, as well as Adam and Shooting Star. For more on the story, look below.
Characters & Story
The story takes place 3 years after the end of If I Stay and a lot has happened for, and to, our favorite couple. Mia got into Julliard and got on the fast track program, of which she is graduating from when we are reintroduced to her, and Adam and Shooting Star have Grammy awards, platinum records, and sold-out tours. But, the one thing these two don’t have is each other. After Mia got out of her coma, things for a while were good between her and Adam. It wasn’t exactly the same, since Mia had to do rehab, had scars from surgeries, and Adam went from cool rock star boyfriend to worry wart, but they still had each other.
But then something changed. Mia went off to Julliard and never came back and while Kim still got to see Mia, Adam didn’t end up seeing Mia for nearly 3 years. Mind you, they never broke up and if this was a marriage technically Adam could file divorce papers citing abandonment. So there is your heart of the story: Why did Mia, without warning, decide to ignore and take Adam out of her life? For while Adam is this successful rock star with a Hollywood girlfriend and all, as his girlfriend Bryn says, Mia is the ghost of their relationship. One which Adam can’t screw her out of his thoughts, replace her with another or find anyone who can really mean as much to him. Making their encounter an awkward meeting which leads to a burgeoning fissure of emotions.
Between reading the first book and my anticipation for the movie, reading this book was strangely a breeze. I was getting through multiple chapters a day, I found Forman’s writing to have evolved since the first book, and I was really absorbed in the question of: why did Mia just abandon Adam? Something which is danced around for most of the book as they spend a night together before they are to split forever. And while Adam sought closure, by the end you kind of feel like you are as well. For you fell in love with the idea of Mia and Adam as a couple, and though you would prefer them together than apart, you also want them to be happy. So, in the end, it isn’t just Adam who wants answers to know what happened, but you as well.
Making for an overall book which does well in flipping the central character, showing the growth of the author, as well as create an excellent story which is coherent and has you crossing your fingers in hopes for more than closure, but a happy ending.