Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where She Went by Gayle Forman, Quad Review (+ signed ARC giveaway!)

You know a book is epic if we quad review it. For all four of us to be gushingly, astonishingly, no-holds-barred in love with a novel (and find the time to get together to review it in our favorite, conversational way), it's something really special.

We all LOVED Gayle Forman's IF I STAY and just about died of happiness when we heard about the sequel, so it took all our self control not to have a battle royale over who got to read the coveted ARC of WHERE SHE WENT first! Thankfully, we passed it around peacefully, and one by one fell in love with the novel.

In five short days, you can buy your very own copy of WHERE SHE WENT. Here's why we think you should!

* THE FNC PROMISE: We refuse to spoil a book, so this review focuses solely on the characters and our emotional reaction to the bookno plot discussion whatsoever! *


Frankie: First of allif you haven't read IF I STAY, leave now! Because though we won't be spoilerific ... the summary of WHERE SHE WENT spoils the end of IF I STAY. So you’ve been warned. And how could you have not read IF I STAY yet? Go read it! The book is amazing!

Sara: Also, this book lives up to all the hype it’s received!

Donna: I love that it's a contemporary, character-driven novel that sucks you in as much as a plot-driven paranormal/dystopian spectacular.

Janine: I couldn't put it down.

On Adam:

Donna: Adam!

Frankie: ADAM!!!!!

Sara: I really loved that Gayle gave us a look into his mind.

Frankie: Being in Adam's head was everything I dreamed it would be and more.

Donna: It made WHERE SHE WENT so distinct from IF I STAY.

Sara: And yet connected them so much.

Frankie: Yes!

Donna: It was such a different kind of story, but they both had life or death stakes. Mia's was literal, but Adam's was metaphorical.

Sara: Mia and Adam's voice are both unique and yet weirdly similar. I think it might have be the undercurrent of music that ran through their minds constantly.

Frankie: They are two such well developed and well matched characters. I have NO idea how Gayle was able to do that. Just get so completely into his head and bring him to life.

On Worshipping Gayle:

Janine: I'm awed by how wonderfully and believable emotional it is. I was right there, in their hearts and in their heads. I cried. I laughed. I felt tortured.

Sara: And how to even begin to imagine what the mind of someone who'd gone through that experience would look like.

Frankie: I'm in awe.

Donna: ::bows down to Gayle Forman::

Sara: Yes. Annnd, fin. This book is so good there are no words for it.

Donna: Hahahaha

Frankie: Gayle Forman is our goddess. All you can do is read it again.

Janine: And again.

Sara: And again.

Who We Want Gayle Forman To Have a Baby With:

Sara: I want Gayle Forman and Stephanie Perkins to have a baby. Just saying.

Donna: Hahahhahahaha

Frankie: I want to be Gayle and Stephanie's baby! But I'd take a book baby too...

On The Connection Between Mia and Adam:

Donna: I love that both Adam and Mia are lost in their own way. And they're trying to find their way back to themselves. And to each other. It really does make the books connect.

Janine: And makes the reading of them painfully frustrating--in the best way.

Frankie: And I loved how Mia became a complete mystery in this book

Donna: Yes! I mean, in IF I STAY, we had raw Mia. At her most vulnerable time. And now it's like, who is she? What happened to her? WHERE DID SHE GO? hehe

Frankie: I felt just like Adam--we were in her head for IF I STAY, we knew her, like Adam did. But in WHERE SHE was like...SOS Mia!

Sara: I worried a little about that at first--because Mia had drawn me in so much during IF I STAY, I thought, how could I possibly connect as much with Adam? But I did.

Frankie: Easy! Adam is her other half. You connect with her, you connect with him

On The Realistic Portrayal of Epic Love:

Sara: I loved the portrayal of high school/young romance in both of these books. It was intense and beautiful, but felt realistic at the same time.

Donna: Epic and realistic.

Frankie: And Adam was SUCH a guy—I mean boy! He would hate it if I called him that.

Sara: Haha, true.

Frankie: But there was never a moment where I didn’t believe he was real and a boy!

On The Emotional Epicness of This Book:

Frankie: How emotional was this book?

Janine: It's cathartic.

Donna: SUCH an emotional hook!

Sara: I may have cried in public.

Donna: I read it in one sitting.

Janine: I skipped church to finish it.

Frankie: I cried in public and in private. It was un-put-down-able.

Sara: I found myself ignoring my real-job duties and sneaking it out of my desk.

Frankie: You can't read a Gayle book unless you have several hours set aside.

Music and Lyrics:

Sara: I LOVE the music in this book.

Frankie: I wish I could go see Adam's band perform.

Janine: Or Mia! 

Donna: I never played a musical instrument in my life, but I could FEEL that music, feel their passion for it.

Sara: The whole book was musical--the writing, the rhythm, and it was just such a beautiful foil for the two characters. It was like a second language in the book.

In Which We Crack And Turn Into Blubbering Fangirls:

Frankie: There really isn't more to say without spoiling what happens, and you do NOT want to be spoiled.

Sara: Just let it be known that it's beautiful and intense and AWESOME.

Frankie: Just trust us--this book delivers on all fronts.

Janine: You won't be disappointed.

Donna: I just wanted to hug this book. It felt so RIGHT to have a sequel.

Sara: They're like two peas in a pod. WSW and IIS!

Frankie: Kissing? Language? Tension? Lyricism? Rhythm? Pacing? Romance? Emotion? Development? Plotting? It ALL wins!

Sara: Yes.

Janine: Yes.

Donna: And WHERE SHE WENT feels complete too. It really is the perfect complement, the way I wish all sequels are.

Janine: It stands on its own.

Sara: It was it's own story, but still further fleshed out Mia's story. The sum is definitely WAY greater than the parts.

Donna: YES! Gayle ended IF I STAY so that you don't HAVE to read WHERE SHE WENT.... but you really, really should.

Sara: I was 100% satisfied with IIS and 100% with WHERE SHE WENT. Which just means I was 200% with both.

Frankie: Amen!

Donna: In conclusion: READ IT!!!

Frankie: A lot!

Sara: When it comes out. (April 5th!)

Frankie: And also get the audio. Because its the same narrator who did Cole in LINGER, and he's HOT.

Donna: Smokin’ hot voiceagreed! Alright, thank you, Gayle! Way to set the sequel bar super epically high!

The quad review's over, but that's not all, folks!

If you're lucky enough to have already read WHERE SHE WENT and want to squee spoilerifically over its awesomeness, email us! (firstnovelsclub AT gmail DOT com) If you want to squee non-spoilerifically or link to your own review, do it in the comments!

If you haven't read WSW yet.... we're giving away our ARC of WHERE SHE WENT (internationally!), and there's a very, very good chance that it's going to be signed by Gayle Forman! Frankie is venturing out to NYC next Tuesday for the launch party to get the winner's ARC personalized to them!


  1. I LOVED THIS BOOK! I'm gushing about it on my blog tomorrow. So much love!

  2. I'll definitely be reading Where She Went!

  3. I can't wait for Where She Went and have been waiting and waitng not so patiently. I checked out Gayles Forman's website and swa the videos she posted adn I swear I got chills... Gosh, five days seems like such long time to keep waiting... I have recommneded If I Stay to all my book pushers.

    Loved, Loved, Loved it...

    Happy Reading All!

  4. thanks for the giveaway!

  5. I can't wait for Where she went. I'M DYING FOR IT.

  6. I'm totally in love with this review! It absolutely captures the epicness and amazingosity (err, yah..) of this book. <3

  7. Jessica Love - Can't wait to read your review!!! Love ALL OVER THE PLACE for this book!

    Nicole, Jessy, Jessica, aloveforbooks, Addictedtolife - You're almost there! Good luck in the contest!

    Ashley - Thanks so much! We had a ton of fun reviewing this book! (Glad it was coherent, hehe)

  8. I can't wait to read this book!!

  9. I'd love to read this book.Thanks for the chance


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