Friday, January 30, 2015

Review Me Twice - Where She Went by Gayle Forman

I don't know if it's because I listened to the audiobook of this or if it's because I just don't REMEMBER that much of If I Stay (it was almost three years ago, after all) or if the writing just genuinely wasn't as good, but I really didn't enjoy Where She Went.

It was really obvious to me where the book was going to end up from page one, which was fine, because it's a teen romance novel, not a big deal, it's not like it takes a huge leap of the imagination to figure out what's going to happen.  But Adam is in this ridiculously depressive state, but it's not even a depression you can necessarily relate to.  You just kind of feel like he's whining and being emo.

And the writing just felt really cliche a lot of the time.  I felt like there were a lot of bad similes and metaphors throughout the entire book.  Jarringly bad ones, that would throw me out of the book.  It really felt more like she was trying to recreate If I Stay, which I remember having a little bit of magic, so maybe I forgave terrible metaphors a little more?  But it didn't have the same sort of feel to it.  It was just a rock star being sad because he lost his girlfriend three years ago.

I didn't listen to the audiobook like Cassy did, but I can only imagine it sounded like one long "Wahhhhhhh." Because oh my goodness can this narrator whine.

While I understand and empathize with real-life people who suffer from depression or are even just getting over a bad breakup, these are not the kinds of traits I want to see in a protagonist for an entire book. It can be part of the book... the journey to overcome depression makes a great story, but that's not what Adam is doing here. He's wallowing. Nobody wants 200+ pages of wallowing.

And the primary problem with If I Stay, which was that everyone's life (pre-car-accident, anyway) was so unbearably perfect, is still the case here. He's an overnight rock sensation with more money than you can shake a stick at (which is a weird thing to do to money, I think) and enough raw talent to fill several arenas. She's a cello prodigy who graduated early from Julliard and is embarking on her world tour of genius.

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