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Author: Gayle Forman

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Audio Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Audiobook, Review1 Comment

Audio Review: Where She Went by Gayle FormanWhere She Went by Gayle Forman
Narrator: Dan Bittner
Series: If I Stay, Book 2
Also in this series: If I Stay
Published by Penguin Audio on 05 April 2011
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Music & Musicians, Performing Arts, Young Adult
Length: 5 hours 21 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Also by this author: If I Stay

Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York // Brooklyn, New York // London, England

First Line(s): Every morning I wake up and I tell myself this: It’s just one day, one twenty-four-hour period to get yourself through.

Ok Internet,

I have a confession to make, are you ready? Ok….I didn’t really like the book If I Stay and so when its sequel, Where She Went was released I didn’t think that I would ever read it. It wasn’t until I saw the movie of If I Stay that I began to consider picking up Where She Went. I wasn’t sure I’d like the movie but I had screening passes so I went and I liked the visual form of the story so much better than the book. I became invested in Mia’s story and curious to know what happened to her when the movie ended. So I checked out a copy of Where She Went and gave it a try. As with some others I was a little surprised, but pleased, that the narrator  was Adam, Mia’s boyfriend from the first book.

Right from the start I thought that Where She Went was a pretty solid read. I was engrossed in the story and my heart really went out to Adam and all that he was going through. Yes, I felt for Mia as well but how things went, its just that Adam seemed so very broken and Mia was just cracked but still on the mend. I also liked the epigraphs featuring lyrics from Adam’s bands album at the start of each chapter. These just highlighted how much Adam had changed in the three years since If I Stay and just how far he had separated himself from all those that he loved.

Where She Went Quote

Where Where She Went lost me at the end….and spoiler alert if you haven’t read this one yet…so Adam and Mia are on a bridge and they are finally talking about the horrible thing Mia did in just cutting off Adam without a word. There is tension, lots of tension, and exclamations from me saying “Finally! Finally Adam is confronting Mia!” And then the tension just breaks and for with a sigh Adam is all you’re forgiven and I am fixed. That the last three years of guilt and torture and all that other crap he’s been putting himself and those around him through was just done. Then there was this rush to a happily ever after that just felt a bit unreal. It wasn’t solid and I just feel that eventually Adam and Mia will split again over resentments that they don’t realize still exist.

Overall I loved the narrator, Dan Bittner, and thought that he was perfect for Adam but he did a horrible job with the female voice. There is a small chance that my dislike with Mia also made me dislike Bittner’s narration of her lines but as I said, that’s just a small chance. This is a narrator that I would listen to again and when I do I’ll be able to better evaluate Bittner’s skill with doing female voices.




Irish Recommends - Where She Went

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Movie Thoughts: If I Stay

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Movie Thoughts, Rated PG-13, Review5 Comments

if_i_stayTitle: If I Stay (Official Site)
Tag Line: Live for love.
Release Date: 22 August 2014
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 106 min
Genres: Drama
Series or Standalone: Series
Where Seen: Movie Screening
Production Company: DiNovi PicturesMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)New Line Cinema
Distributed By: Warner Bros.
Director(s): R.J. Cutler
Writer(s): Shauna Cross (screenplay), Gayle Forman (novel)
Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz (Mia Hall), Mireille Enos (Kat), Jamie Blackley (Adam), Joshua Leonard (Denny), Liana Liberato (Kim), Stacy Keach (Gramps), Gabrielle Rose (Gran), Jakob Davies (Teddy), Ali Milner (Liz), Aisha Hinds (Nurse Ramirez), Gabrielle Cerys Haslett (Young Mia), Lauren Lee Smith (Willow), Christine Willes (Nurse Davis), Chelah Horsdal (Liddy)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

As a book I wasn’t overly fond of If I Stay there was just something about the writing and how some of the scenes played out that just turned me off. So much so that as of writing this, If I Stay is the only Gayle Forman book that I’ve read despite so many people telling me how much I NEED to read her If I Stay1others. When I first heard that If I Stay was going to be turned into a movie I may have sighed and though but what about <<insert other book titles here>>. THAT one would make a far better movie and while I do still think that there are other realistic contemporary young adult books that should be made into movies I’m not as ambivalent to If I Stay as I once was.

The previews didn’t wow me for this movie and if it wasn’t for recieving screening passes then I probably would have waited for this one to stream on Netflix before I watched it. But if I had then I would have missed out on something special. If I Stay is one of those rare instances where the movie is better than the book. Chloë Grace Moretz really shines as Mia and she just took my breath away with the range of emotion she managed to convey. Mia’s role isn’t an easy and Moretz does a fabulous job bringing the before and after Mia to life. The supporting cast was also super excellent and I loved every one. The only actor that I had issues with was Jamie Blackley who played Adam and often came across as stiff If I Stay2on screen. Some of this though might be projection to some of the idiotic things that the character of Adam does in this story. There is so much push and pull between these two as they each try to hold on to each other while also trying to follow their dreams that it really tugs on the heart strings.

Another thing that this movie did really well was how it wove in Mia’s past with her present as she wandering about the hospital trying to figure out what she should do next. I was engrossed in this movie and got so caught up in the story that the world around me mostly fell away. I say mostly because I couldn’t seem to stop thinking about how Mia in the now was barefoot for all of her scenes. I keep thinking that poor actress and can someone please give her some shoes as those floors have to be cold! But those moments were fleeting and I mostly just sat there engrossed. My heart aching as events moved forward and we got to see all the various hurts and all those wonderful family moments that you almost wanted Mia to leave. Though at the same time there was still so much left for her to stay for that you are really torn on what choice you want her to make.

If I Stay nearly brought me to tears as well. Ok, there were some tears but just before this movie made me want to ugly cry (as others in the audience did) it moved to a past memory that was so If I Stay3heart achingly perfect that you can’t help but smile and laugh and want to freeze time right there. Right at that perfect moment so that the accident and nothing bad happens and these characters can just stay with each other forever with no hard choices needing to be made. Sadly though you can’t freeze time and bad things do happen and somehow you have to find the strength to pick yourself up and move on.

The soundtrack for If I Stay was also one of the best film soundtracks that I can recall in a very long time. Each song chosen and every note of the musical score was just perfect for the scene that it was in. Its a soundtrack that makes you want to immediatly run out to buy it just so you can relive all those moments in the film. And the storyline of the story along with how it ends makes me want to read Where She Went for the first time. I want to know more about these characters and what happens next. Though I think I am more fortunate than If I Stay 4some in the theatre as I know there is more story to tell. There were several gasps in the audience at the final seen and I heard a couple “That’s it?”, “That can’t be how it ends”, and “What happens next?”.

If I Stay was a movie that I was on the fence for but its one that I am so glad that I went to see. I think those that loved the book and those who, like me, didn’t care for it as much will like this movie adaptation. This is how Hollywood should adapt books into film and I hope that they decide to turn Where She Went into a film as well. As I almost would prefer to experience that story on the screen than in print.