Gayle Forman

Where She Went

  • 23-page comprehensive study guide
  • Features 23 chapter summaries and 5 sections of expert analysis
  • Written by a published author with a degree in English Literature
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Where She Went Summary and Study Guide

SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides for challenging works of literature. This 23-page guide for “Where She Went” by Gayle Forman includes detailed chapter summaries and analysis covering 23 chapters, as well as several more in-depth sections of expert-written literary analysis. Featured content includes commentary on major characters, 25 important quotes, essay topics, and key themes like The Hollowness of Fame and Closure.

Plot Summary

Gayle Forman’s young adult novel Where She Went is the sequel to If I Stay and features the same characters: Mia Hall and Adam Wilde. Told in sparse prose from Adam’s point of view, it contains themes of loss, sacrifice, closure, family, and the aftermath of grief.

As the novel begins, Adam’s band Shooting Star is one of the biggest rock acts in the world. However, on the eve of their new tour, Adam, the star of the group, is overcome with dread. He is alienated from his bandmates, who resent his self-imposed isolation from them. They also struggle with the fact that the media publicity has increasingly focused on Adam, not on the entire group. Adam is also dependent on drugs and alcohol just to get through his days.

His greatest torment is the result of being left by Mia Hall, his high school girlfriend. An accomplished high school cellist, she is now a lauded professional musician. After she was in a car crash that killed her parents and younger brother, Mia slipped into a coma. After emerging from it and enduring through a painful, lengthy recovery, she leaves for Juilliard School of Music. And when she goes, she abandons Adam, despite her priorpromises that they would always be together. Three years later, when the novel opens, Adam still has no idea why she left him.

The night before his tour begins, Adam happens to see that she is performing at a venue in the city. Although he tries to hide in the crowd, he is noticed. Mia is alerted to his presence and asks to see him backstage. They spend the night walking through Manhattan and avoiding the many questions surrounding their breakup.

Finally, Mia reveals her reason for leaving Adam. While she was in her coma, Adam begged her to stay alive. He promised that he would let her go, as long as she didn’t let herself die. She heard him and chose to come out of her coma. However, rather than being grateful for her life, she was overcome with anger, blaming him for the fact that she didn’t join her family in death.

As the novel ends, she shares this revelation with Adam and they reconcile. Where She Went has been critically acclaimed and is highly recommended for readers of young adult fiction.

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Chapters 1-5